In need of fresh air, wide open spaces and verdant vistas? From beach break to jungle sojourn, Bangkok offers its residents a variety of wonderful weekend destinations. Below are our Top 5 choices for easy, kid-friendly getaways from the capital.
1. Hua Hin / Cha-am (190kms / 2.5hrs drive from Bangkok)
Hua Hin is a beachside town that perfectly juxtaposes nostalgic charm with modern conveniences. Here, traditional markets, temples and low key beaches co-exist with shopping centres, vineyards and amusement parks galore. Our recommendations:
- Black Mountain Water Park
- Black Mountain Wake Park
- Vana Nava Water Park
- Swiss Sheep Farm
- Santorini Park
2. Khao Yai (180kms / 2.5hrs drive from Bangkok)
A highlight of the Khao Yai area is Khao Yai National Park, an expansive nature reserve that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Khao Yai houses a variety of wildlife, such as elephants, gibbons, tigers and hornbills. It’s great for family activities such as jungle trekking, bird watching and hiking. Our recommendations:
3. Ayutthaya (80kms / 1hr drive from Bangkok)
A once formidable Siamese capital destroyed in the 18th century, Ayutthaya offers plenty of history and culture. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ayutthaya Historical Park features crumbling stone palaces, ruined temples and ancient Buddha images – perfect for a weekend of exploration. Our recommendations:
- Walking & cycling around some of Thailand’s oldest ruins
- Elephant riding
- Bang Pa-In Royal Palace
4. Kanchanaburi (130kms / 1hr 45mins drive from Bangkok)
Kanchanaburi is a sleepy little town best known for its role in World War II. Here, occupying Japanese forces built a rail route “Death Railway”, to Myanmar using captured Allied prisoners of wars (POW), among other labourers. Our recommendations:
- The Bridge over River Kwai
- Sai Yok Noi Falls
- Erawan Waterfall
- Lava Caves
5. Ko Samet (200kms / 3.5hrs drive from Bangkok plus boat travel)
Fringed by sandy beaches with dense forests in its interior, Ko Samet provides the setting for an idyllic escape. Part of a national park, Ko Samet is wonderful for kids – its shores boast fine white sand, rock clusters teeming with small marine life at low tide and calm waters. The secluded Ao Phrao is better for those seeking peace and quiet.
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