A Family Day by the Riverside

24 May 2018, Richard Holmes

From its glittering temples and traditional neighbourhoods, to leafy parks and historic museums, Bangkok’s riverside offers a host of options to fill a day of family fun. Check out the following itinerary to make the most of a day here with the kids.

9:00 am – Breakfast by the River

Start the day with breakfast at Elefin Coffee. Just a 5-minute stroll from Wat Pho, this riverside café has a large seating area with patio tables, coffee from northern Thailand, and a tasty selection of Western and Thai dishes. The perfect way to fuel up for the day ahead!

10:00 am Museum Siam

After breakfast, head to the nearby Museum Siam. Housed in a 19th-century European-style building, this family-friendly attraction has a range of interactive exhibits and guided audio tours exploring Thai history and what ‘Thainess’ means. Dress up in period costumes, play a variety of games and see the quirky side of Thai pop culture and lifestyles.

11:00 am – Wat Arun

As the temperatures climb, take a wind-in-your-hair ferry ride across the river to Wat Arun. The temple has been recently restored, and doesn’t get crowded like the Grand Palace and Wat Po. Enjoy a quiet stroll around the temple gardens, feed the fish by the pier, and get a blessing from a monk.

1:00 pm — Time for Lunch

After your morning temple time, get the ferry back across the river. Tummies will no doubt be rumbling by now, so grab a bite at the cozy Home Cafe Tha Tien. Just 1 block from the ferry pier, this family-run cafe serves authentic Thai classics at great prices. Use their free Wi-Fi to upload your morning family photos while digging into a bowl of mango sticky rice.

2:00 pm — Saranrom Park

Walk 15 minutes from the pier to the charming Old Siam Shopping Plaza for a blast of air-con and traditional Thai shops. Or escape the crowds and wander to Saranrom Park. This green oasis has a playground, landscaped grounds and a beautiful fountain (ideal for cooling off!) Kids can also hunt for modern-day dinosaurs (aka monitor lizards) around the park’s glittering ponds.

3:00 pm — Canal Tour of Thonburi

Take the weight of little feet and discover the Bangkok of old with a canal tour of Thonburi. Float through this quiet and traditional community of glittering temples and old wooden townhouses, waving to locals as you glide serenely by. You can hire a long-tail boat at Sathorn pier, but it’s arguably better to book an organized tour with a company such as Pandan Tour. Along with an English speaking guide, the ride is less noisy and altogether more comfortable.

5:00 pm — Asiatique

Finish with a trip to Asiatique — an open-air shopping-entertainment hub perched beside the river. Enjoy dinner with a Thai puppet show at Joe Louis Puppet Theatre. Then stroll off your meal along the waterfront boardwalk. Watch the kids’ race around ATVs at the go-kart track, or take little ones to the carousel in the middle of the complex. As darkness falls, book a ride on the 60-metre high Sky Ferris Wheel for stunning city views. The ultimate way to finish your family outing!

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