Welcome to the 'Land of Smiles'; where colours seem brighter, the people happier and the world more beautiful. Thailand is a state of mind – touch down here and you step into a colourful oasis that beckons to be explored. From the moment you first arrive, family in tow, this captivating country envelopes you in the warmth of its people and the variety of its sights. Thrill the little ones with a tuk-tuk ride around the streets of Bangkok; stroke an elephant in a sanctuary; trek the jungles of the north; get lost in a twinkling night market; soak up the sun on world-class beaches; and feel a sense
of serenity in the many peaceful Buddhist temples dotted throughout the landscape – Thailand is somewhere you come for a week but could stay for a year. Chug down the river on a longtail boat trip and discover small rural villages as you go; expand your children's taste buds sampling the delights of Thai cuisine from street vendors – vegetable spring rolls, pad Thai and noodle soup washed down with coconut water is hard to beat for mere pennies - stop by an ancient monkey temple and take mini seafarers on a day-long boat trip or kayaking adventure through secret coves and caves – Thailand family holidays are jam-packed with pinch-me moments.
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We had a great time. Everything went well and according to the plan. The hotels were all outstanding and in Samui we got a free upgrade to one of their residences with a private pool - what an experience.
Just outside the attractive old city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand lies a superb family-friendly resort. Set amid 60 acres of paddy fields and lush greenery, this makes the ideal base from which to explore the region's natural beauty and cultural attractions. walking with elephants, mountain biking, river rafting and visits to the villages of the local hill tribes are some of the activities on offer. Chiang Mai itself, founded as the capital of Lanna - the 'Kingdom of One Million Rice Fields' that once ruled this part of Southeast Asia - has impressive temples and atmospheric shopping at the famous night bazaar.
From Chiang Mai, there are direct flights down to Phuket, which saves connecting via Bangkok. Thailand's largest island has some of the best beaches in Asia and more top-class family-friendly hotels. For any family with Bond fans in their ranks, a great day trip is to the scenic Khow Ping Kan Islands, which featured in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.