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By Sopa Weeraho, the bubbly Bangkok resident who shares where she’d take her nephew if he came to visit her in the big city!
Edited by Kyra Tarr
Bubbly Bangkok resident shares the ultimate kiddy friendly list with you, revealing where she’d take her nephew if he were to come visit her in the big city. Are you planning a family holiday to Bangkok? Besides finding the best areas to stay in Bangkok, coming up with things to do that appeal to all ages can be daunting, but that’s where this list comes in handy. Each spot is guaranteed to entertain and educate your tribe, as well as provide the perfect backdrop for your special memories together. Thailand’s capital is an assault on the senses in the best possible way and life here is conducted on the streets - from socialising to eating and praying - your little ones will be enthralled by all there is to see just walking from one venue to another. However, I know that tackling this bustling hub of ornate temples, dazzling lights and staggering scale is daunting without a game plan. So, here’s a list of things to do in Bangkok with family! You might also find it useful to read 10 Things to Know Before Traveling to Bangkok – it never hurts to be prepared!
A far cry from the dusty mausoleums you may picture when someone mentions museums, the Museum of Siam is interactive, edgy and a whole lot of fun. The traditional neoclassical building itself stands in stark contrast to its content, which incorporates advanced technology to really make Thailand’s history come to life! This is a great way to introduce your kids (and perhaps yourself as well) to the culture, traditions and customs of the Thai people. An indoor playground for those rainy days (and trust us, these do come around), here you’ll learn all about Buddhism, various wars and the legacy of Siam - a perfect way to kickstart your trip to Bangkok!
The Chao Phraya River runs through the middle of the city and is a wonderful way to see Bangkok with kids. Not only will they love the novelty of cruising past floating markets, but seeing the city banks from the deck of a boat truly lends you a unique perspective of Bangkok. All the sights; none of the crowds! Depending on what cruise you pick (there are many to choose from), you’ll explore the city’s canals and see locals going about their daily business. If you take your cruise later on in the day, you’ll be able to enjoy the city silhouetted in front of a spectacular orange sunset, accompanied by a delicious meal on deck. Most cruises provide for children, so don’t fret about finding a kid friendly restaurant in Bangkok.
Who said Bangkok with kids doesn’t mean you can’t find your own inner child? This one is just so much fun, so whip out your camera and get ready for a 3D illusions extravaganza. This gallery boasts over 150 interactive paintings with different themes include Classical Paintings, Fantasy World, Media Art, Underworld, Safari & Forest and Modern World. Pose in the dramatic scenes and take photos wherein you’ll complete the image. For instance, you might be narrowly escaping a shark attack, playing with an oversized kitten, sprouting wings or partaking in a Michelangelo painting. The artists have done an incredible job and this is guaranteed to be a hit with the whole family!
If you’re an adventurous bunch and looking for thrilling things to do in Bangkok with family, head to the King Power Mahanakhon - Thailand’s tallest building - and do the skywalk! The experience runs in phases, and you’ll stop at various lookout points on your way up to the top. There’s an indoor observation deck, an outdoor rooftop bar, and “The Peak”, Bangkok’s highest viewpoint at 314m high. Muster up your courage and walk out over the glass flooring that extends over the city far below. You can always retreat back to rooftop bar to steady your nerves. Guaranteed it will be something the whole tribe remembers!
Known as the “Green Lung” of Bangkok, Lumpini Park (named after the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal) is a haven of tranquility in the heart of the city. With vast grounds and various leisure activities to partake in, such as paddling, outdoor aerobics or Tai Chi classes, this is the ideal spot for you and your family to come hang out. Perhaps you’d like to bring a picnic and relax in the leafy shade of a nearby tree as the little ones explore the exciting jungle gyms, obstacle courses and tropical forest gardens. It is home to indigenous flora and fauna, including the quirky water monitor lizards, which we’re sure you’ll quickly befriend! A true escape from the city bustle, and also ideal if you’re seeing Bangkok with a baby. It’s spots like these that we treasure in the city, and part of the reason having a personalised full day with a local is so unique - you explore places we genuinely spend time in.
I know that kids aren’t always the easiest customers when it comes to food, but the Bangrak neighbourhood is a spot I recommend for some authentic Thai breakfast. Granted, it’s a far cry from Cheerios and toast, but when exploring a new city, most travellers know that part of the adventure is exposing yourself to the local cuisine. Begin the day by ordering breakfast foods like nam tao hoo (soy milk), patongo (Thai doughnuts), gai yang (grilled chicken skewers) or moo ping (grilled pork skewers with sticky rice). If anything, they’ll love the exciting sights and sounds of this eclectic neighbourhood, and who doesn’t want donuts for breakfast?
Deep in the heart of a forgotten neighbourhood called Thonburi (which is actually the old capital of Thailand), lies the Artist’s House. Although quite tricky to find (not to worry, if I’m by your side) the game of hide and seek to get there is absolutely worth it. As well as its cafes and of cours,e traditional art, here you can see a traditional Thai puppet show. Unfortunately, this is a dying art, but at the Artist’s House (a traditional wooden dwelling on the canals) they are keeping this ancient artform alive. Both you and the kids will be enthralled by the intricate puppets, which are animated by seven artists dressed in black. The stories often revolve around Thai folklore, and each day showcases a different tale. The four rows of chairs are always full and people sit casually on the floor around the stage, just like it used to be a long time ago. Enjoy a snack at the adjoining coffee shop and browse the tiny stores along the river. This is an absolute highlight of your time in Bangkok, and one not many people experience - seeing a puppet show might sound a bit too vanilla for your kids, but it’s actually a unique cultural experience as well as something to keep them entertained.
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