This summer, explore the below places for face-to-face encounters with a variety of animals, both in Bangkok and nearby provinces.
To escape the heat, as well as the hustle and bustle of Bangkok streets, visit Siam Ocean World, a wonderful aquarium in the basement of Siam Paragon shopping mall. Highlights include a seahorse exhibit, rainforest zone and shark tank. However, toddlers will likely gravitate towards the interactive displays (with lots of buttons to push), playground and quirky tuk tuk fish tank.
Located in Rot Fai Park, the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium houses many species of butterflies, including rare varieties, in a lush greenhouse designed to resemble their natural habitat. Here, kids can get up close with and learn more about these gorgeous creatures.
To see a variety of wildlife, spend the day at Dusit Zoo (also known as ‘Khao Din’), Thailand’s oldest public zoo. There are zones for the African savannah, reptiles, primates, birds and more. Younger kids will love feeding the monstrous fish in the lake, getting close to the gentle inhabitants of the petting zoo and running around in the playground.
For a fun family trip, plan for Khao Kiew Open Zoo in Chonburi. It’s unbelievable how close kids can get to the animals here — they can hand feed deer, tapirs, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and more. The zoo also boasts an amazing aviary and unique wild animal show without staged tricks. Stay the night in an air-conditioned tent at the on-site Es-Ta-Te Resort, with its own herd of free-roaming deer; and enjoy other attractions, including the zoo’s night safari excursion and Flight of the Gibbon, a zip line adventure high in the tree tops.
For kids with an affinity for reptiles, check out the Snake Farm next door to the Thai Red Cross. Here, you can see a cobra being milked of its venom, which will be used to make snakebite antidotes. Wat Prayoon, an unusual temple on the Thonburi side, features Turtle Mountain, home to a vast population of turtles. Kids will be thrilled to feed these creatures, offering them bits of food impaled on a stick (so as to avoid getting nipped!).