Bangkok, with its chaotic veneer, can seem intimidating and overwhelming, especially with a baby in tow. Places are spread out, sidewalks may not be available…and what about the sweltering heat and germs?
In our experience, as long as you’re flexible and exercise a reasonable amount of caution, you’ll be fine. To help ease anxiety pangs, here are some tips on the most baby friendly ways of getting around in the city.
Hands down, the best modes of urban transport are the elevated BTS Skytrain and MRT subway systems. Well above the frenetic streets, the BTS turns travel into a streamlined, air-conditioned ride. It covers three major arteries, including Sukhumvit, Silom and Sathorn, and extends over the Chao Praya River in Thonburi. The MRT supplements the BTS, offerings access to points within and outside the city centre.
It’s best to take these trains during the off-peak hours, especially if you have a stroller, as they can get very crowded. At the turnstiles, the guard or official on duty will often open the emergency exit/handicap gate for you. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for help from an employee. Also, Bangkok commuters are generally helpful and friendly when it comes to babies; on the BTS and MRT, most will offer to help carry strollers up and down the long flights of stairs.
Taxis are also an easy way to travel short distances. It’s useful to have a light car seat for transporting very young babies, but be aware that most taxis will not have rear belts and buckles to properly secure your car seat.
As for other equipment, baby slings and carriers work well in the city – you’ll often find that the easiest way to get around with a baby is to wear them! Your baby can sleep comfortably while you run errands, have a meal or meet up with friends. Baby wearing also makes accessing the BTS and MRT a breeze.
If you prefer a stroller, opt for a lightweight model that folds and unfolds quickly to make the transition from car to sidewalk (and vice versa) easier. Such strollers are also easier to navigate through busy sidewalks and narrow sois.
Pack a light diaper bag to avoid strain on your shoulders and back. Only tote the most essential items, including your baby’s hat, sunscreen and water; if you forget something, there is almost always a drug or convenience store nearby that will have what you need.
When your baby gets older, there are more transport options that you can explore, such as the Chao Phraya express boats, tuks tuks, buses and vans. You can definitely cover more ground and discover wonderful new things, while bonding with your child.
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