We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Chiang Mai no good for kids??

Bendigo, Victoria...
Level Contributor
1,027 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Chiang Mai no good for kids??

I probably wont be too popular here but here goes!!

I have been to Thailand several times, always holidays - Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Sumui and ofcourse Chiang Mai.

I always told my kids that you have to be over 18 to visit Thailand & they believed me for several years but no more - ha ha

So the pressure is on for me to take them and i have agreed..... my favourite place is Chiang Mai but i really dont believe its suitable for kids or older people - just the walking around the Night Bazaar can be hard with uneven footpaths etc etc, not to mention crossing roads! I know alot wouldnt agree with me, hence this post!

So I am thinking Phuket - Karon (not Patong ha ha)

Before I book, looking at June 2014, is there anyone who has the time or inclination to reply in favour of CM with a 14 year old, 9 year old and 2 year old in tow? Just thinking of it exhausts me ha ha


Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai
Level Contributor
10,126 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

We've been taking our boys there since they were born... Pretty much every year and they have loved it at all ages. Also, over the years many of our friends with kids have been with their families... Not one bad experience amongst them.

I've also read countless trip reports from families and can't recall anyone saying Chiang Mai is not family friendly.

We have traveled extensively in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand and have found CM to be the easiest.

It is good value for families, has lots of great restaurants with varied menus to suit everyone, has adventure experiences like zip lining for older kids, is easy to walk around the old city, very little time wasted sitting in traffic jams... And kids are warmly welcomed.

Most importantly, it is a different experience for kids... Something they don't see at home and something that will stay with them... Unlike a kids club for a week at a high end resort.

If you were asking the same question about say, Hanoi, I might agree. We did struggle there with kids and the traffic, but Chiang Mai has never been difficult.


Level Contributor
336 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

You asked about kids, but you also seem to think Chiang Mai is not suitable for older people, as well. Believe me, I am 75 years old and love the place - no, I don't go ziplining, but there is so much else to interest me that this year I've been there twice, and will be back in Jan.-Feb. 2014. I spend an average of half of each day walking around, and sure, you have to take more care than you would at home, with footpath-less stretches and some high step-offs on some footpaths, but I can cope. The main thing is not to be in too much of a hurry, just enjoy a slower pace, you'll notice more that way - and that applies to kids too.

Florida - Alaska...
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province
Level Contributor
5,908 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

Chiang Mai is quite suitable for all ages, I think discounting it because of uneven sidewalks is a bit harsh. Granted there are times when your youngest might need a lift (the crowds are a bit thick for my not quite 2 year old to motor on her own when we go to the weekend walking streets). And you may have to adjust your ideas about daily activities a bit to accommodate your kids. But as a person who grew up traveling the world, I wouldn't swap the education and experience gained from my childhood travels for all the schooling in the world. Bring the kids, open their eyes to the world around them.

Level Contributor
1,092 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

Where except fir small towns and villages are the sidewalks not uneven in Thailand? I am 68 and in Chiang Mai now. Every morning I walk for an hour and walk another hour at least once during the day. It is not as it is at home, but I have no problems and see families with children enjoying themselves every day. Choose your activities well and be reasonably careful. There is no reason not to bring children to CM>

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,873 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

We ran into friends in Luang Prabang a few days ago. These two have been travelling all over Thailand, especially Chiang Mai, for ever. The man of the couple is, wait for it, 93, and age has not phased him at all. Either end of the age spectrum, I'd say go for it and enjoy it with all you've got!

We also have been taking young ones to Thailand since they were kids (though not as long as Caroline!) and have found everywhere to be great for them as well as us. They are now adults and our daughter will return to CM in January with her friends - I'm so glad we were able to instil in her a love of Asia.

Level Contributor
1,675 posts
350 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

Since you seem familiar with Chiang Mai and Thailand you are the best person to tell if it is suitable for your kids. Why ask such a question in a travel forum? It is a parental decision.

Level Contributor
39,496 posts
226 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

I don't know where you got the idea that it isn't suitable for kids but in any case why don't you split it up, do 4 nights in Chaing Mai then head down South to Karon or Kata.

Level Contributor
1,018 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

What's so great about Chiang Mai. It's just another city.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Thailand
Level Contributor
9,762 posts
160 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

IMHO Chiang Mai is a great place to visit with kids loads of things to see and do and from the financial side of things a whole lot cheaper than places like Phuket!!

Worth getting a hotel with a half way decent pool though so you can get a bit of down time while they splash around.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
115 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Chiang Mai no good for kids??

Great chance to teach the kids common sense, unlike more westernised countries that have safety warnings everywhere. Tell them if they see an manhole in the middle of the footpath with a two metre drop that isn't barricaded, to walk around it and not into it (well, the 14 year old and 9 year old anyhow). My kids do a lot more damage to themselves at home with their skateboards, bikes, trampolines etc.

I myself try and use common sense especially when driving. I don't look at signs on the road every 500 metres telling me to Drive Safely" "Pull over when Tired" Don't Drink and Drive" "Police Patrol these roads" etc etc. I try and concentrate more on the road. Silly eh.