Chang Mai is great. The sunday night market is really good. We also went up to Chang Dao. Stayed in a place called the Nests. Fantastic people and Fantastic food. In Chang Dao we did white water rafting and the elephant place. There are also caves and a big temple up a big hill. After that we went on to a place called Koh Tao. You get the ferry from Koh Samui. It's about two hours.
Few years ago we went to another island called Koh Chang. It's in the east. Bit quieter than Koh Samui bacuse Trat airport hadn't been open that long. The kids got to swim with the elephants there. Was fab.
I loved Cape Panwa in Phuket. Small place with a little market at night. There's nice restaurants and an Aquariam. We stayed at the Cape Panwa hotel which was great. It has its own private beach so nobody hassling you for anything.
The hotel put on a shuttle bus into Phuket town free of charge if you fancied something a bit busier or for shopping.
We came back from Koh Samui recently and had a great time. Have three kids 8, 8 and 6 and met up with DH's Aussie relatives with kids 11 and 9. We stayed in a villa on the north west coast but found Choeng Mon to be a great area with fab beach and nice hotels and would stay there if we were to go back and wanted a hotel rather than a villa. Definitely not Chaweng (party central). PM me if you want more info!
Any Thailand recommendations? Looking for somewhere good for a family - I guess a resort would be the best option. Not a big party place, more low key, with nice beaches, swimming in the sea, swimming pools, water sports, nice food. For me, temples and markets to visit, perhaps an Eco tourism type activity - maybe an elephant sanctuary? I am a teacher and would like the chance to meet local children , perhaps help out somewhere for a couple of days. Dh likes the idea of an overnight train journey at some point and I am wondering if we might fly to Chang mai for a few days. All suggestions and comments welcome!