If you’ve checked out the majority of Bangkok’s major kid-friendly destinations, the following five attractions offer a unique and ever so slightly wacky alternative to the mainstream fun.
Playing golf with clubs will seem oh-so-humdrum after a round at Sawang FootGolf. As the name suggests, the aim of the game is to play with your feet — it’s basically golf played like football. Players kick a football on 18 specially designed holes, and games last around 1.5 – 2 hours. The course is located at Sawang Resort Golf Club in Petchburi province — around a one-hour drive from Bangkok on the way towards Hua Hin.
2. Chang Chui Plane Night Market
This thriving creative hub/shopping destination in Thonburi is great fun to explore with its jumbled, Instagram-worthy collection of buildings made from recycled materials. Attractions include funky cafes, concept restaurants, a theatre-cinema, an art gallery, an exotic garden and a collection of wacky sculptures and urban art pieces. But the real showstopper is the enormous disused aeroplane at the heart of the market, complete with its own gallery (currently housing a curious taxidermy display) and spiral slide!
3. Noodle Soup at Wattana Panich
Wattana Panich is a classic, barebones shophouse whose legendary noodles warrant a special visit. At the front of the restaurant sits a huge pan of bubbling broth with soft chunks of beef and Chinese herbs, including star anise and cinnamon. The smell is heavenly. And because the broth bubbles away 24/7, the flavour is intense and the cubes of braised beef melt-in-the-mouth good. Match your soup with your favorite noodles, than grab a spot inside the old-school dining room – furnished with worn tables and chairs, and dusty antiques hanging from the walls. It’s far-removed from the gleaming shoppping mall food courts, and all the better for it! Wattana Panich is located just after the entrance to Soi Ekkamai 18.
4. Snake Venom Milking at the Bangkok Snake Farm
Reaching new levels of weirdness, the Bangkok Snake Farm at the Red Cross Institute offers visitors the chance to watch some of its deadly inhabits milked for their venom. Fear not, you’ll be perfectly safe! Far from a tourist-attracting spectacle, the extraction process is performed to produce snake-bite antidotes used both in Thailand and the rest of the world. The venom extraction (with English-language commentary) takes place every day at 11am.
5. Suan Aharn Kraton (The Flying Chicken Restaurant)
The food is something of a sideshow to the bizarre evening performance at this Thai restaurant on the edge of the Bang Na Trat Highway. Diners are treated to a show involving a cooked chicken being catapulted across the restaurant to a man on a unicycle, who then attempts to catch said poultry on his head with a spiked helmet. It’s completely surreal, but strangely compelling. Especially when the chicken is swapped for increasingly smaller, difficult-to-catch food items. The kids will love the spectacle, and the menu features plenty of crowd-pleasing Thai dishes.
Image credit: Chang Chui