Chiang Mai is a great destination to visit if you have small kids. The region is known for its amazing landscapes and many visitors choose to go on multi-day hiking trips while they are there. You may not be climbing Chiang Mai’s mountains with toddlers in tow (though some adventurous parents definitely do!), but you can enjoy exploring the charming Old City and some of the surrounding sights. Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy the city when you’re here with little ones.
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Getting in and out of Chiang Mai is a breeze, as the airport is small and manageable and located just 10 minutes by car from the center.
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Read up on this guide to getting around Chiang Mai and keep in mind that most visitors to Chiang Mai get around using songthaew, the ubiquitous trucks you see with bench seats in the back. If you are with small kids, you may not feel comfortable having them out on main roads without seat belts or car seats. Though Chiang Mai is lovely and charming, it is also a large city and there is plenty of vehicle traffic. Your options with small children are somewhat limited so make sure you’re aware of these safety issues.
The Old City is stroller friendly, though you will encounter some uneven paths, a lack of curb cuts and other challenges that will make babywearing seem like a smart option despite the heat.
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Where to Stay
Accommodations can be a little challenging. You can stay with small kids anywhere, but you might find life a little more pleasant if your guesthouse or hotel has a safe area for them to run and play, not just a comfortable place for them to sleep. Some of my favorite Chiang Mai hotels fit the bill, but most aren’t quite right for small kids. It’s not that you’ll be disturbing other guests, it’s that the rooms are on the small side and the common areas aren’t safe and expansive enough for toddlers and small children. Try some of these family friendly Chiang Mai hotels instead. If you want to go really cheap, though, no worries. You do not need to stay in a fancy resort to keep the family happy. You can also find a guesthouse very close to Buak Haad Park, a public park, and garden in the southwest corner of the Old City of Chiang Mai which has a playground and is described below. There are a handful of cheap, old school guesthouses and hotels within easy walking distance of the park and... admission to the playground is free.
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What to Do
While multi-day hikes might be out of the question, Chiang Mai has enough child-friendly activities to keep you occupied for at least a few days.
If you just need a place where the kids can play, there are some good playgrounds and play areas in Chiang Mai.