Category Archives: Phuket

Phuket Beaches

Phuket Beaches

Kata Noi Beach

Given it’s reasonably small size, Kata Noi is packed with plenty of activities to keep kids amused. All in all a pretty beach with plenty to do.

Hobie Cats, Banana Boats, Jetskis, Kayaks, Parasailing are all to be enjoyed on Kata Noi beach. Additionally there is some great snorkelling around the rocks. Food can be bought in the form of snacks from beach vendors or from the hotel situated at the beach. To secure a sunlounger on this small stretch you do need to arrive early, additionally parking can be limited. Kata Noi is a very pretty beach with lovely soft white sand and beautiful bay views.

Toilet facilities are provided by the hotel and there is not much shade so probably not a great beach for smaller kids but the older ones will have lots of water fun.

Laem Ka Beach

Laem Ka is a wonderful (East coast) ‘safe all year round’ beach which also offers you and your family the chance to experience beach life Thai style.

Driving towards Rawai you need to turn left at the 7-Eleven before you take the road bending right for Rawai sea front. The 7-Eleven is opposite an entrance to a Thai Temple. Follow this road straight up all the way (you will drive past a security guard) and through some coconut fields which wind and eventually bear round to the right. Follow this road around and you will arrive at car park. Laem Ka is then a short stroll down some steps next to the Evason Resort.

Laem Ka is a lovely beach for a picnic under the trees and the beach trees provide ample shade all the way along. It’s a small beach which is very popular with locals who descend here at weekends for a picnic while the kids have loads of fun swimming and playing with inflatables. There is a beach vendour selling snacks and drinks but you will need to bring a beach mat or towel to sit on.

Although there are one or two deckchairs available for hire. Laem Ka does not have any watersports which makes it a lovely safe gentle beach for smaller kids.

Patong Beach Phuket

Patong Beach Phuket

Patong beach is arguably the most ‘western’ beach in Phuket and as such is a magnet for tourists of all ages.

Patong is a densley populated tourist strip. The hustle and bustle of Patong streets provide a backdrop for the golden sands. Water sports, parasols, sun loungers, beach volleyball are all found here. Older kids will love the availability of water sports whilst smaller children will be pleased to discover the children’s playground located at the northern end of the beach. The great thing about Patong beach is that even the fussiest children will be happy at lunch time given the wide choice of restaurants (yes even Mcdonalds). Souvenior shopping is also a popular pastime when the heat of the beach becomes to much. Do also check out Jung Ceylon, Patongs very own international style shopping mall.

Adrenaline Activities for Kids in Phuket

Adrenaline Activities for Kids in Phuket

Phuket has lots to offer adrenaline seekers, from the go karting track to the rock face, laser quest and beyond. If your kids’ thrill is found in paintballing, ATV or bungy jumping jungle style then you’ve come to the right place to guarantee them an unforgettable adrenaline adventure.

ATV

ATV is definitely for the bigger kids (aged 12 up) and they must be confident in using both brakes and throttle. Ensure your child is protected with helmet, protective eye wear and knee/elbow pads before they set off. ATV Phuket offer ATV in Phuket and also in Phang Nga.

Go-Karting

Jungle Squad in Kathu offer a whole host of adrenaline adventures, amongst them go-karting. There track is very easy to find in Kathu and ATV on a jungle course is also offered here. There are more basic karts suitable for kids who are big enough to reach the pedals. Recommended for kids aged 9 up. Go to www.junglesquad.com for more information.

Additionally there’s a go-kart track in Chalong, close to the Green Man.

Paintballing

Paintballing and BB gun fun are available daily down in Chalong at the Kinnaree / Shooting range complex. Both excellent team sports where teenagers can really enjoy themselves. Protective clothing and equipment all provided. Archery is also available at this complex. Drop into the Kinnaree centre next to the Green Man for more details.

Rock Climbing

The best place for kids to experience a climb is over in neighbouring Krabi. A trip to Railay will open up a world of breathtaking climbs up dramatic limestone cliffs. There are many rock climbing schools to choose from and kids as young as six can climb. There are a variety of courses on offer including abseiling, rock climbing and orienteering.

Power Snorkelling

Power snorkelling is available from Phuket island itself and nearby Coral island by the Coral Island Beach Club. It’s a great way for kids aged 8 and over to explore the underwater world. Seascooters are also available.

Rainy Day Activities in Phuket

Rainy Day Activities in Phuket

Rainy day family fun in Phuket can be found visiting a museum, watching the underwater world at the Aquarium or booking a seat at one of the world’s only first-class cinemas. Older kids may also enjoy a spot of bowling and the whole family will surely be entertained by a trip to Phuket Fantasea.

Phuket Aquarium

It is certainly not on the same level as Siam Paragon’s ocean world; nevertheless it’s a nice way to spend a morning or an afternoon. Sharks and manta rays are the main stars but do look out for the grouper fish located in the last tank.

There is an underwater walkway which is best visited at feeding time where divers, rays, big fish and sharks meet in the tunnel. It starts each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am. There are a large variety of colourful fish on display which younger children are sure to find interesting and all descriptions are in English.

Location: Panwa Bay
Age: Suitable for all ages
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: Yes (limited)
Souvenirs: Yes
Pram Access: Yes
Toilets: Yes but no nappy changing facilities
Hours: 8:30am-4pm
Price: Adult 100 THB
Child 50 THB
Child (less than 108cm) Free
(Local rate available if you show work permit / Thai driving licence)
Info: www.phuketaquarium.org
Tip: Eating facilities are limited
Phuket Fantasea

An all singing all dancing celebration of Thai myth and magic with a theme park and grand buffet adding to the excitement. The main event is the cabaret show featuring elephants, acrobats and lots of special effects. Be sure to arrive early and make time to enjoy the pre-show extras including a fairground. You can also pay extra and dine at the extravagant international buffet which is on par with ones usually found in Las Vegas.

Location: Kamala
Age: Best for the over 3’s
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: Yes (restaurant)
Souvenirs: Yes
Pram Access: Yes outside but not in theatre
Toilets: Yes and nappy changing facilities
Hours: 5:30pm – 11:30pm daily, except Thursdays.
Info: www.phuket-fantasea.com
Tip: The show is loud so you may want to bring protection for smaller kids ears
Phuket Sea Shell Museum

Discover rare and valuable Asian shells on display including the world’s largest and rarest 140 karat golden pearl. Older kids will love the prehistoric fossils from shells to turtles, some dating back over 350 million years.

Location: Rawai
Age: Possibly more interesting for older kids
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: No
Souvenirs: Yes
Pram Access: Yes
Toilets: Yes but no nappy changing facilities
Hours: 8:30am-4pm
Tip: Take a trip to Rawai seafront afterwards for a delicious lunch
Thalang Museum

Educate the whole family on the history of Phuket and how she was saved by two brave heroines. Packed with information from Phuket geology to tin mining and sea gypsies. The museum gardens boast replicas of sea gypsy houses and boats.

Location: Facing north on Thepkassatri road, turn right at Heroines monument. Follow the signs on the right to the museum.
Age: 5 up
Hours: 9am – 4:30pm. Closed on public holidays
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: No
Souvenirs: No
Pram Access: Yes
Toilets: Yes but no nappy changing facilities
Tip: The museum will not take long to stroll through – 30 minutes at the most
Bowling

There are bowling alleys at both the Big C shopping centre (upstairs) and at Jung Ceylon shopping mall in Patong. The one in Big C ‘CS Bowl Centre’ is fine but a little old and is bowling in the dark. Both are probably best suited for teenagers since there is little else to do there except bowl and enjoy snacks.
Kids Zones

Downstairs at the Big C shopping centre and upstairs at Tesco Lotus are kids zones. Big C seems to have the edge with an enclosed soft play area, arcades, amusements and an arts and crafts section where children can create their own Thai batik designs.

The areas are not always supervised so best to keep smaller kids out of the soft play arenas or visit at quieter times. There is a small fee of around 20 THB to enter the soft ball play pens and most of the other amusements are 10 THB a go. Both are located next to the food courts where decent local food and fresh fruit shakes are available for when the kids (or parents) need a break.
Cinemas

Central Festival and Jung Ceylon both have cinemas. The one complaint is that there are rarely kids films showing. However parents and older kids might enjoy a visit and Monday- Wednesday are usually cheaper seats. If you want to watch in style then the first-class seats at the Central Festival ‘SFX’ cinema is definitely the way to go.

Important Phuket Telephone Numbers

Important Phuket Telephone Numbers

International Dialing Code +66
Local Dialing Code 076

Emergency
Fire 199
Police 191
Immigration (Phuket Town) 076 221905
Tourist Police 1155 / 076 214368
Marine Police 076 215438 / 211883

Hospitals
Bangkok Phuket 1719 / 076 254421
Phuket International 076 249400
Mission Phuket 076 237220-6
Patong / Kathu 076 340444 / 342663
Wachira 076 217294-8 / 361234

Government Offices
Customs 076 211105
Harbour Master 076 391174

Consular Offices in Phuket
Austria 076 248334-6 #36
Czech Republic 076 249400
Finland 076 330530
France 076 288828
Germany 076 610407
Ireland 076 281273
Italy 076 323029
Morocco 076 219881-2
Norway 076 230130
Sweden 076 380000

Fixed Line Telephone Services
TOT
Chalong 076 367200 / 367238
Patong 076 340199
TT&T
Koh Keaw 076 272 800-14
Patong 076 296009-10
CAT
Phuket Town 076 216861 / 216879
Patong 076 341102-3

Mobile Telephone Services
DTAC 1678
GSM (AIS / One 2 Call) 1175
True 1177

Sunny day activities in Phuket

Sunny day activities in Phuket

Sunny day family fun is waiting for you at one of the playgrounds in Phuket where the whole family can while away the hours with a picnic and a play. Smaller children will no doubt enjoy a stroll through the Butterfly farm and older kids will go wild for Dinosaur mini-golf.
Beaches

The obvious thing to do since Phuket has so many wonderful beaches. See the beaches section for more details.
Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

A lovely place to take smaller children for a potter around. Older children may be bored by the small variety of butterflies on display and it’s certainly not the most technologically advanced family day out, but worth a visit if you’re after a tranquil educational place to visit.

Inside discover all the information that the older kids will enjoy including habitats of bugs, bees and beetles. Then take a stroll outside through the butterfly garden. There is also an interesting room exhibiting silkworms and finished materials.

Location: Phuket Town
Age: All ages
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: Yes (limited)
Souvenirs: Yes
Pram Access: Inside yes but tricky outside
Toilets: Yes but no nappy changing facilities
Hours: 9am-5:30pm
Price: Adult 350 THB
Child (4-10 years) 150 THB
Child (0-4 years) Free
(Local rate available if you show work permit / Thai driving licence)
Info: www.phuketbutterfly.com
Tip: Visit their website for the Family Plus promotion
Dino Park

Themed on the Flintstones bed rock home with mini-golf thrown in! Expect dinosaurs, caves and swamps as you work you way round the 18 hole mini crazy golf course. Older kids will love it at night when the course it spookily aglow.

When you’ve had fun on the course the prehistoric décor in the restaurant will continue to amuse as you feast on American style food. A great place to bring a group of kids for a wild time.

Location: Karon
Age: Best for the over 3’s
Car Park: Yes
Refreshments: Yes (restaurant)
Souvenirs: Yes
Pram Access: Inside yes but tricky outside
Toilets: Yes
Hours: 10am – midnight
Info: www.dinopark.com
Tip: Course can be slippery if its been raining
Parks and Playgrounds
Nai Harn

A well maintained play and picnic area located on the island in the middle of Nai Harn lake. Great place to spend a Sunday afternoon with the whole family. Very popular with expats and locals alike. Best to go later in the day when the park is cooler.
Kind Rama IV Royal Memorial Park

Situated in Phuket town on the south side at Sakidet road. This is a fantastic place to go for a family bike ride. There are lots of trees and green open spaces for picnics and ball games and a lake with 800 metre running track. Unfortunately the play equipment has not been looked after and is of the older metal variety so not especially safe for smaller kids.
Patong Beach

Very popular with locals and tourists, this playground is situated right on the beach at the northern end of Patong. Pine trees provide lots of shade and the play equipment is well maintained. Be careful with smaller children as the park is quite close to the main road.

Tips for Finding Childcare in Phuket

Tips for Finding Childcare in Phuket

Phuket child care can be great as Thai’s have a natural affinity with children. One of the main benefits enjoyed by parents living in Thailand is the inexpensive ability to employ a nanny to help out. Finding a nanny is not always an easy task and you may find they move on after a short time in the position. There is also the choice between Filipino and Thai nannies. Here are a few pointers to help ensure you find the child care right for you and that they stay with you for the full duration:

Most nannies will have no ‘formal’ training. However you may find someone who has worked as a nanny before or has some child care experience working in one of the local hotels
The best way to find a nanny is through word of mouth. Ask around and see if anyone knows of anyone – a friend’s nanny may have a friend who is suitable
When you employ a nanny it is normal for you to take a copy of their ID card. This offers some basic protection for you when bringing the nanny into your home
Do be very clear with what you expect that nanny to do / not do. If you need her to cook and clean as well then make sure she knows – do not expect her to understand this in English. At the very least have a Thai friend translate for you
Don’t expect a Thai nanny to be familiar with western gadgets – show her how to use the sterilising equipment etc
Expect to pay between THB 6,000 and THB 13,000 depending on if they live in or not. A Filipino nanny may take a lower salary but will need you to pay for their visa and work permit
Thai’s don’t usually have a set bedtime for youngsters and quite often you will see children as old as five drinking bottles of milk. Again don’t take anything for granted and enlist a Thai friend to help explain what’s important to you in raising your child. Spell out any ‘don’ts’ very clearly in Thai. If you are unhappy with your child going on the back of a motorbike then say so
If your nanny is Thai than ask them to help your child experience some Thai delights. They will gladly bring local fruits and snacks and happily teach your child some Thai customs

Still not found your very own Mary Poppins, then post a note on our Market Place wanted board .
Outside the Home

Phuket is home to an ever increasing list of nurseries and kindergartens. Find out more about what’s available on our Educate page. If a Mums & Toddlers group is more your style then post a note on the Market Place wanted board to recruit like minded mums with children of a similar age and start your own. There are many different venues island wide where you could meet, eat and play together.

Child Friendly Restaurants in Phuket

Child Friendly Restaurants in Phuket

Child friendly restaurants are literally everywhere in Phuket. Mainly because Thai’s generally dine as a family kids are always welcome. In Thailand, children usually don’t start sampling spices until they’re over three but that does not limit the range of delicious kid friendly Thai food.
Thai Dishes for Children

Most kids love Thai chicken fried rice, fried or barbecued chicken and sticky rice is usually another hit. Healthier options include vegetables in oyster sauce, steamed chicken on a bed or rice or any of the wonderful fruits available throughout the year. For snacks do let your child try some ‘kanom’ which they will love, kanom includes sweet sticky rice wrapped in a pandas leaf.

Sharing a coconut with your child is a wonderful way to keep them re-hydrated and you’ll also discover that even at the local Thai food courts fresh juice is being made – watermelon juice is usually popular. Do also consider the impact you are having on the environment when you opt for imported water. Thai mineral water is perfectly safe.

Tips: Do not expect proper children’s high chairs except at the more western restaurants and you may want to ask for no MSG which is often prevalent in most Thai dishes.

Whilst children are always welcome at any of the local Thai restaurants, here’s a quick round up of those restaurants that make a special effort for the little folk:

Da Vinci – Nai Harn

Italian cuisine billed as fine dining with the added advantage of having a kids play room. The children’s play area is very safe with plenty to keep the small ones amused. Childrens dishes and smaller portions are available and teenagers will also love the wood-fired pizzas.
Friendship Beach – Rawai

A beautifully located resort that also welcomes visitors. Situated right on the beach with a swimming pool and very relaxed dining environment. Great range of Thai and western food. Definitely a good place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Sizzler – Central Festival

Whilst not the finest cuisine available, kids will love helping themselves to the salad bar which also has a choice of desserts and pasta. Kids high chairs are available and it’s a good place to go before the cinema which is opposite. Childrens meals are available.
Black Canyon and SP Bakery – Island Wide

Both Black Canyon and SP Bakery have special childrens menus and high chairs. Look out for funny Rabbit Face chicken fried rice and Cheeky Monkey ice-cream. Very good value for money and staff are usually great with the kids.
Oishi – Index Living Mall, By-Pass Road

All you can eat Japanese buffet with fried chicken and pasta also usually available. Oishi has a kids play area at the back of the restaurant which features ball park and climbing frames. The air-conditioning can be pretty fierce so do go prepared.
Green Man – Chalong

British style mock-Tudor pub complete with beer garden and kids play area. The Green Man hosts kid friendly events throughout the year including an annual easter egg hunt. They often have a bouncy castle for kids to enjoy. Childrens menu is available.
Food Courts

Downstairs at Big C and upstairs at Tesco Lotus and Central Festival are food halls. Big C and Tesco Lotus boast soft play areas adjacent to theirs whilst Central Festival has arcade machines close by. Purchase a card at the entrance and enjoy delicious, cheap Thai food.

Shopping for Kids in Phuket

Shopping for Kids in Phuket

Toys

There are a range of toys available in the basement of Central Festival or upstairs at Robinsons Plaza in Jungceylon or at Robinsons in Phuket city. Toys R Us have two small stores one in Jungceylon and one at the HomePro village in Chalong (where Villa Market is). Do be careful buying any cheap toys as they definitely won’t meet any safety standards. A fairly limited range of books can be purchased at B2S in Central Festival or at two or three bookstores in Jungceylon. Most of the major department stores (Robinsons, Central, Outlet Mall) have children’s departments where birthday gifts can be bought. You can also order outdoor play equipment (STEP and Tikes) from Sports Stores and Central Festival.
Clothes

Clothes can be bought at any of the above but can be quite expensive as most are imported brands. Cheaper clothes items can be bought at Tesco Lotus or Big C but do not expect to get much wear from them. Central Festival and Robinson do however have regular sales where you may pick up some brand name clothes at half price. Most Phuket parents agree that decent shoes are near impossible to buy in Phuket. It might be worth taking a weekend trip to Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur for a quarterly shoe/clothes shop.

Family Adventures in Phuket

Family Adventures in Phuket

There’s loads of choice, to suit all ages and abilities, when it comes to experiencing nature in and around Phuket. From the must do elephant trekking to waterfalls and canoeing. Learn more about Thai culture with a trip to a cashew nut farm or a rubber plantation or get up close and personal with Phuket’s furry creatures at the Gibbon sanctuary.

Canoeing & Kayaking

The bay area which surrounds Phuket is simply stunning. Dramatic limestone cliffs and sparkling waters make it a breathtaking way to while away the hours. There are a number of companies in Phuket waiting to whisk you and your family off on an adventurous exploration of caves, neighbouring islands and magnificent mangroves.

Elephant Trekking

Jungle trekking atop a majestic elephant is one of the favourite excursions booked by visitors to Phuket. There are a multitude of companies offering elephant treks and some do combine elephant treks with other adventures. Choose your elephant trek wisely to ensure you really do go into the jungle to get the full benefit. Smaller children who may not want to ride can also visit the centres and feed the elephants.

Monkeys

There are two places where you can generally see ‘wild’ monkeys in Phuket but do be careful as they have been known to bite. The first is probably the safest and involves a short drive to Koh Sireh. Koh Sireh is a small island linked by bridge to Phuket, close to Phuket town. If you follow the main road in Koh Sireh you will see some mangroves on one side of the road and a white viewing platform with monkey sculptures. Here you can buy bananas from a hawker stall and throw them down to the appreciative monkeys. There is no cover here so avoid going at the hottest part of the day.

The second place is also near Phuket town in Rang Hill. Rang Hill is easily found as all the satellite dishes are located at the top. A drive up here late afternoon will see monkeys in abundance. You can drive up and view them from the safety of your car.

Alternatively if you would like to see the native gibbons a trip to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project might be what you are looking for. The centre was open to rehabilitate captive gibbons with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. The gibbons here are mostly in cages but there is lots of educational information on display. Plus any funds you spend goes directly back into helping the gibbon sanctuary.

Farm Visits

Phuket has long been synonymous with cashew nut farming and a trip to the cashew nut factory makes for an interesting day out. The cashew nut factory is located in Kwaang Road in the south of the island.
Another type of farming for which Phuket is well-known is rubber. Tapping rubber is usually undertaken at first light and is fascinating to watch. Check with a local tour operator or join the Siam Safari day trip to discover more.

Waterfalls

Phuket does not have the largest waterfalls in Thailand but they are still worth a family visit. A trip to one of Phuket’s three waterfalls will bring you closer to some of Phuket’s only remaining rain forest. Bang Pae waterfall located on route to the airport 22 kilometres from Phuket town is also located next to the Gibbon sanctuary. Ton Sai is also located in the vicinity but on the other side of the hill. This is a great place to explore and stop for a picnic.

Kathu waterfall is small but a popular place for locals to meet whilst their children swim and bathe in the water. Whilst in Kathu a visit to Kathu reservoir also makes a nice picnic spot. The reservoir is located by driving through Phuket Country (golf) Club.
Safari Trip

A great way to combine many of these activities is to book a family trip with Island Safari. Island safaris often include elephant trekking, monkeys, canoeing and farm visits all in one day.