Next year both Paul and myself turn 40, I always thought this would be a scary thought however I am embracing life and looking on it as another adventure to undertake – life it too short to worry about getting older after all.
I decided a little while ago that for this new adventure we would use it as the perfect opportunity to take the children abroad on holiday for the first time, they have been asking for ages to go on an aeroplane but our funds just haven’t allowed this to happen. Instead of buying Paul a present for his birthday I have been putting money aside to pay for our big family holiday instead – the only thing I can’t yet decide on is where we should go.
In preparation I have been researching what there is to do for children and families in each of the places I have on my list. Today I have been looking at Phuket so thought it would be a lovely time to share my findings with you – you never know it could be on your list too.
Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations, with fine white sands, palm trees, glittering seas and lively towns it’s one of those picture postcard destinations. It has something for any taste and budget, with hundreds of hotels or villas to choose from, a wide choice of dining and partying options. Phuket is blessed with more than 30 amazing beaches to choose from. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Kamala have always been the most popular, but the north of the island reveals some hidden gems for travellers searching for a more romantic atmosphere. A perfect holiday location for couples wanting that romantic holiday but also can be enjoyed by families.
5 Things to do with kids in Phuket
A fun-filled, family-friendly afternoon spent with the Dolphins. As the only dolphinarium on Phuket Island, Dolphins Bay offers a unique opportunity to get up close to these beautiful animals.
Watch the captivating show full of flips, tricks, and fun. The dolphins jump through hoops, do balancing acts with beach balls, and even create artwork while holding a paintbrush in their mouths. Marvel in amazement as their trainers go for a ride on their backs, doing somersaults into the water. Get friendly with fur seals, who happily dance and clap around the perimeter of the pool.
After the show, you have the optional opportunity to get your photo taken with one of the adorable dolphins or you could also upgrade your experience to a Royal Swim where you can get in the water to swim with the dolphins.
Immerse yourself in the myths and magic of Thailand at Phuket FantaSea. This cultural theme park showcases the beauty of Thai heritage and welcomes you for an enchanting evening of dining, shopping, and bedazzling entertainment within a stunning 60-acre kingdom.
Enter through the elaborate front gates into the Festival Village, a shopping street lined with ornate buildings representing different styles of Thai architecture. Peruse market stalls selling bright gems, gold chains, silks, and leather, and pause before various street performers entertaining the crowds. Should you opt for the dinner package, feast on royal Thai dishes—served in a forest setting by kinnarees (half-human, half-bird creatures) – before the show begins.
As showtime approaches, step into the grandiose Palace of the Elephants, a breath-taking replica of a Thai palace lined with elephant statues. Find your seat and settle in for a night of entertainment as dancers sweep the stage and acrobats swing from above. Thailand’s legends come to life via the aerial antics of the god Hauman with his crew of animal warriors. Watch ancient battles portrayed through pyrotechnics, and be dazzled as the choreography bring the show to a climactic close.
James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand became famous in the 1970’s after it was featured in the popular James Bond movie “The Man With The Golden Gun”. After the movie became a worldwide blockbuster tourists in Thailand began to show interest in visiting the islands and tour operators began offering day trip packages. Over forty years later James Bond Island tours by longtail boat, speed boat cruises and sea canoes or kayaks remain a major attraction for tourists holidaying in Phuket, Khao Lak and Krabi in Southern Thailand.
Arrive at the coast where a big boat awaits to whisk you away through unbelievably clear waters. Relax on-board as you gaze out to see lush mangrove forests. Then we move onto your first stop, Panak Island and enjoy canoeing at Mut Cave. Enjoy exploring the sea cave inside Phang Nga Bay’s marine geology. Then, depart to enjoy canoeing experience in Hong Island.
Enjoy a delicious meal of traditional Thai cuisine on board. After your meal visit James Bond Island to discover the famous film location, The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed. Witness the sheer cliffs that tower straight up from the water and remark upon how dense the forests atop the island are.
Boat Trip/Speedboat ride
There are numerous companies offering trips around the island and once aboard you can either enjoy the scenery and listen to tour guides or head out for a swim, snorkel or even just explore the nearby islands.
There is something for everyone of all abilities. Many also include lunch too.
Splash Jungle Water Park in Mai Khao Beach is unrivalled in southern Thailand when it comes to wet and wild thrills. A great day out, particularly for children, it is home to 12 exhilarating water slides, rides and attractions, with professional lifeguards on standby to make sure that you have fun and safe time.
Whether you are after a relaxing day in the water or an adrenaline rush, Splash Jungle Water Park has it all! The park is a water oasis for your entire family.
Featuring exciting slides such as Super Bowl and Boomerango, a Wave Pool, 335 meters long Lazy River, kid’s Aqua Play Pool and Aqua Park, a 6-lane Whizzard, Family Raft Ride and (much) more.
If you are looking for more ideas on things to do while holidaying in Thailand then Kara has a great post which can be found here.
Where to stay?
Of course Phuket has lots of luxury hotels both big and small depending on your budget but as this would be for a special birthday I have been looking into Phuket pool villas on the Villa-Finder website, by choosing a villa we would have more freedom as a family in a private villa of our own, and not having to share the pool with others – of course, that also means no getting u early to grab a pool lounger which is never appealing on holiday no matter how early the kids wake up.
Other plus points for staying in a villa include not having to get dressed to go for breakfast – that is the one thing I dislike about hotel stays, it’s my only time for a relax and to be a little lazy but I have to rush around getting everyone dressed and out of the room before 9.30/10am if we want breakfast – which means my day usually starts rushed and that is far from relaxing.
There is also the option to dine out or to self cater which can save money too – if in a hotel I would opt for the all-inclusive packages but it has been proven this actually isn’t always economical and travellers often spend more this way – plus we could jump out of the pool and eat poolside without getting changed – can you see a theme to my laziness when I holiday? A villa would also give us some time alone as a couple in the evenings when the kids were asleep – how annoying is it to tip-toe around one room when the kids are finally sleeping? That has to be the worst part of hotel stays for me personally – and there’s no chance of getting romantic if you are all squeezed into one room, no matter how big it is that’s a big NO-NO for me.
Browsing the web villa-finder jumped out for a number of reasons: they have a guest relation team to arrange the stay and help to add those personal touches, for example if I wanted to book a meal for our birthday celebrations they could sort that booking for me, or they can help to arrange day-trips or even someone to come in to provide a massage in the comfort of our accommodation meaning we wouldn’t need to make other arrangements for child-care etc but if we needed to that could help with that too, and lastly a nice added touch is that for every booking made they are planting a tree in Sumatra, Indonesia.
Have you ever been to Phuket? What are your must do or must see things?