When you think of Thailand, you often picture the gorgeous white sand beaches. This country is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia for nothing. With its coastal scenery, luxurious resorts, and gorgeous natural formations, it is one of the best places to live in or travel for families that want to spend time outdoors. In particular, Thailand is filled with kid-friendly hiking destinations that vary in terms of difficulty level and sights that you get to see with each trail.
The most popular hiking trails in Thailand are concentrated in the Northern half of the country, particularly in the province of Chiang Mai. But even if you head South, you will still have plenty of trekking destinations to choose from. So, no matter where you are in Thailand, you will find a trail to explore nearby, giving you plenty of reasons to go out there and put your hiking skills to the test! As Thailand is a family-friendly destination, the hiking trails available for you to explore are no exception in that regard.
Ready to go on an adventure? These hiking trails are sure to give you the adventure you seek:
Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai
1. Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai
One of the best places that you can visit with your young ones is the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Children are natural animal lovers, and they will surely enjoy visiting Elephant Nature Park. The park is located 60 km away from Chiang Mai City. It is a sanctuary for rescued elephants from all over Thailand. There are total of 75 elephants in the park. There are no age restrictions on visitors. With kids, you can have an in-depth experience of learning about the elephants while exploring the park.
You can book a family-friendly Elephant Trail-Trails Single Day adventure at Camp North of Chiang Mai. When you visit this nature park, you will encounter a lot of families with young children. This shows how this attraction is popular as a family-friendly attraction. Aside from the ability to trek, your kids can also engage in elephant feeding activities. The ability to interact with elephants is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that your kids will remember even as they grow older.
If you want to enjoy a unique hiking experience, there is nothing better than Elephant Nature Park to go to.
Mae Hong Son
2. Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son Province’s cascading hills, which borders Myanmar, looks something out of the pages of a storybook with their misty mountains. This is more than just a highly recommended family-friendly hiking trails, it is also a notable destination for those who want to experience many kinds of natural landscapes. Visit one of the numerous caves, hot springs, and nature parks once there. You will need to dedicate one fully day exploring this trail in order for you to make the most of these sights.
Mae Hong Son is the most mountainous province in Thailand. A good mist often hangs over the soaring Shan Mountains in the air, and most of the Thai Highlands hills are covered by thick, wildlife-rich jungle. Stunning rivers flow through lush valleys, and plenty of waterfalls are particularly wonderful when the rainy season is at its fullest. Visual splendor is enhanced by caves, canyons, fields, and mountains.
Kids are lovers of nature and are adventure seekers fueled by curiosity. And Mae Hong Son is a perfect destination for families who want to encourage their kids to spend more time outdoors. There will be plenty of hiking to do so make sure your kids are wearing the right shoes.
3. Koh Samui
Koh Samui is known as the haven for tropical beaches and attractions in Thailand. If you want to escape to the beach or have a relaxing holiday, this is the number one choice for most tourists. But if you are looking for a family-friendly hike, this is also a good place to go to if you want an active pursuit with the family.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, there are many hiking trails that you can conquer at the island of Koh Samui. Aside from boasting of 125 miles of white sand beaches, it is also known for its thick jungle and endless coconut groves. Go on the off-the-beaten path and let your family see the best of what this island can offer.
One of the best trails will take you to a set of two magnificent waterfalls. You can reach Na Muang Waterfalls, which is accessible via a walking route about 12 kilometers from Nathon Bay. Another waterfall that is a must-see in Koh Samui that you should seek out as a family when visiting Koh Samui is Namtok Na Muang (also known as ‘Purple Waterfalls’). This waterfall was named as such because of the striking purple color on the rock faces.
Whether you seek out any of these two waterfalls or you simply want to see the beauty of Koh Samui’s lush jungle, a hiking trip should be part of your itinerary when visiting the island.
Kew Mae Pan
4. Kew Mae Pan
Kew Mae Pan is another recommended hiking trail in Thailand, especially if you want to tag along your kids. Your kids will be in awe at the view of the sea of clouds hovering above the lush jungle. This view alone is worth hiking this trail for, and it will surely be an unforgettable experience for your kids.
The highest point of this trail is 2,200 meters above sea level. It is only a few meters shy from the highest peak of Thailand. If you think that this is too intimidating for your kids, think again. The trail is easy as there are a lot of stairs on steep portions of the trek. In general, there are no major terrain changes, though, so it will be easy to handle especially if your kids have had previous hiking experience. Just make sure they have comfortable trekking shoes on as the hike could go on a while. There are also plenty of Instagram-worthy spots along the way so don’t forget to pack your camera, too!
For foreigners who wish to hike this trail, you must pay 8.50 USD to access the Doi Inthanon National Park (or 4.20 USD for children). This trail is only available from November to May as they close it down during the rainy season for safety purposes. The natural trail is open from 6AM to 9PM. Come early if you want to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise views from the trail. If you want to see the sea of clouds from the trail, the best time to hike is from November to February.
Phu Thap Boek Mountain
5. Phu Thap Boek Mountain
There is probably no easier hike than this in Thailand. Therefore, it is a no-brainer for anyone who wants to take their kids for a lovely hike without compromising on the scenic views. Rated by experts in terms of difficulty as 1/10, this is an easy hike that kids of all ages could handle quite easily.
This hiking trail is located within the Phetchabun Province. You can easily access this province by car and then embark on a hike towards the mountain roads. This mountain is a favorite among locals and tourists who go on a trekking adventure. It is famous for its stunning views, particularly when a blanket of cloud covers the mountain. During rainy season, you can expect a thick cloud of mist almost 24 hours a day.
If you are looking for the best experience along this trail, make sure to schedule your hiking from December to January. You will be treated to a gorgeous view of blooming cherry blossoms on your way up the mountain. If you want to capitalize on the gorgeous views and make your efforts to summit it worthwhile, you can also stay in one of the tents for rent overnight. It would be nice to wake up to the views of the clouds hovering above the mountain for that gorgeous sunrise!
Chiang Dao (Image by Khiri Travel)
6. Chiang Dao
The Chiang Dao East area is filled with hiking trails that are suited for families to explore on a day hike. The beauty about the hiking trails in this area is that it is more than just about nature sightseeing, but also a cultural interaction and immersion. This is a great thing to do with kids so they can learn more about the authentic region of Thailand and also get a feel for the local villages that are not always showcased in travel guides and magazines.
The hill-tribe villages of Akha, Lahu, and Paling, are just some of these villages that you will encounter when you embark on a hike at Chiang Dao. You will encounter many hiking trails and roads, too, so there will be plenty to choose from. You can also choose a trail that matches the difficulty level, according to the age of your kids or the kind of adventure you want to conquer together.
Along the way, Chiang Dao hiking trails feature a variety of landscapes to choose from such as limestone mountains, lush jungle, and waterfalls. This area can be quite hot and humid, so avoid hiking in the summer so your kids will not be overcome by the heat. You can even treat your kids to a swim in the waterfalls, which is a great way to cool off after a day full of hiking.
Khao Yai National Park
7. Khao Yai National Park
There are many national parks in Thailand and it is a good idea to explore the hiking trails that they do offer. Khao Yai National Park is a good example of that. Not only is this area a national park, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park spans a total land area of 2,000 square kilometers with various hiking trails to explore. It is a favorite weekend destination with many folks who live in Bangkok.
The park is a picture of stunning natural beauty – jungle areas, waterfalls, mountains, and a rich wildlife. All of these combine to make this a great choice for a family-friendly hiking adventure in Thailand. Aside from its expansive network of hiking trails, you can also find many family-friendly campsites, too. The various trekking trails available range in terms of length and difficulty. Some of them can be completed in a few hours while others can take days to complete. It is up to you to choose your adventure and create memorable experiences you can share as a family.
Thailand is a great spot to embark on an adventure with your family, especially when you have young children. If you enjoy hiking and use it as a bonding experience to the family, you will definitely be spoiled for options on where to go and what to see. Feel free to choose from this exciting range of family-friendly hiking trails in Thailand to get as close to the natural paradise as you can! If you are looking for a change of pace from the beaches, going up to the mountains is definitely what you should pursue. You can get your kids to choose which trail to explore so they can have a say n this family adventure.