Yes, it’s hot but there are so many exciting reasons to get out and about in Bangkok, especially during the school break. There’s a huge variety of places for families to spend hours discovering. Below are 10 of our picks.
1. Ancient City is a cool place to come and see everything Thailand has to offer: temples, monuments and so much more, all in one place. Located in Samut Prakan it’s well worth a visit with the whole family, young and old. Drive a golf cart or bike around replicas of many beautiful buildings and structures. Bonus: there is free admission over Songkran but extra charges (parking, golf cart rental, etc.) apply.
2. Wat Pho is the best temple for children to visit, mainly because there’s a lot to see in a relatively small place, and there’s shade too! The Reclining Buddha is spectacular but also check out over 1,000 Buddha images, stone animal figures and ancient trees on the premises. For those with more energy, you can easily get on a cross-river ferry (at the cost of a few baht) at the nearby pier, and explore the stunning Wat Arun.
3. Pororo Aquapark, located on the top floor of Central Bangna Plaza, is a great place for all ages but has some pretty sick slides if you want to push the limits of water parking. It’s safe, clean and there are many lifeguards on hand.
4. Flow House brings surfing to the heart of Bangkok, in Sukhumvit 26. Kids from age 6 and adults can ride the waves as well as relax in a plunge pool. Also, they have space for birthday parties, a great restaurant and bar, and a surf shop.
5. Dream World isn’t Disneyland, but this local amusement park offers a range of theme park style rides for patrons of various heights. From water fun and a splash area to snow (and everything in between), this is a true all round experience. Did I mention the Hurricane? Not to be missed!
6. Zanook Wakeboard and Aqua Park appeals to all ages and abilities. Activities for the family include water skiing, wake boarding and standup paddling (SUP) on a large freshwater lake. Safe, secure, fun – and just a 25-min car ride from Silom.
7. Queen Sirikit Park near Chatuchak Market was built to celebrate the 60th birthday of Queen Sirikit. Their amazing gardens are a wonderful place to explore – a much quieter alternative to the nearby Rot Fai Park, as there is no biking allowed here. Look for the colorful flower beds, geese, ponds and banana tree collection.
8. Koh Kret showcases some fascinating Thai traditional culture as it is home to the Mon people who create some spectacular terracotta pottery. The other speciality is Thai sweets. Take a boat to the island for a day of exploring.
9. Chatuchak Market has to be one of the most exciting sensory experiences for shoppers on every level. If you can’t find it at Chatuchak, you won’t find it anywhere. Older kids love it but be aware it gets hot and busy! Stick together and stop regularly for refreshments.
10. The Teak Boat Canal Adventure by Pandan Tour (pictured above) is a real treat – they will take you to the Thonburi side to experience historic and cultural gems as well as the lifestyle of local canal-side residents. If you take the tour on the weekend, you’ll catch a floating market with interesting and delicious food options. With a small, private group on a teak boat and an English-speaking guide, the trip offers an unforgettable journey with a mode of transportation that is now rarely used.
BONUS pick: Red Lotus Floating Market is just 60 kilometres northwest of Bangkok in Nakhon Pathom. It is a lovely and inexpensive day trip for the family, with boating on the lotus-filled pond and lots of stalls selling Thai street food and drinks.