Several things come to mind whenever Bangkok is mentioned (such as bars and gorgeous lady-boys, among others) and nightlife, clubbing, and definitely all kinds of shenanigans happen after dark in this playground for adults. But that doesn’t mean that kids can’t have a good time in the city too!
There are many activities and attractions that are perfectly kid-friendly in Bangkok. And if you’re travelling with children in tow, it’s good to be on the lookout for family-friendly places where you can stay. The Holiday Inn in Bangkok is one of the most popular hotels for families. Here, you can even request to stay in a Kid Suite, which comes with a Playstation. The Banyan Tree Hotel is the most luxurious place that you can stay in while on vacation. Cribs and infant beds are free of charge, and best of all, they offer babysitting services just in case the grownups want to get away for a few hours.
Here are the top kid-friendly destinations and activities to do if you’re travelling with kids in Bangkok.
1. Golden Buddha and Lucky Palace Temples
Rent a tuktuk for the day and ask the driver to stick around while you visit the temples. You may have to pay him a little extra for that, but in the end it’s more convenient that way for you and your little ones. You can take some food and water with you to stave off hunger pangs and meltdowns, and make sure that everyone will wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Your kids will be fascinated by the monks, the incense, and everything you’ll see inside the temples. This can also be a learning opportunity for your kids as you point out the different temples and their significance to Thai culture.
2. Siam Ocean World
This impressively humongous aquarium can be found at the basement of the very chic Siam Paragon Shopping Center. Consider it a lesson in compromise: the kids get to see the sea creatures after mommy and daddy shops. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Siam Ocean World has everything from sharks to penguins, which will surely fascinate your little ones. Here, kids can feed the fish, go through a rain forest, and stick their feet in giant tubs and have small fish nibble away at the dead skin on their feet. Kind of gross, I know, but oddly fascinating at the same time. Siam Ocean World is open daily from 9AM to 10PM.
3. Safari World
Go gaga over the animals here at Safari World with your kids. Here, you can check out the lions, rhinos and giraffes from the safety of your car. If you don’t have a car, the park offers bus rides through the zoo so you and the kids can take a gander at the animals. Just beside Safari World is Marine Park where you can look at more animal exhibitions and live shows. Safari World is open daily from 9AM to 5PM.
4. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
OK, technically this isn’t located in Bangkok, but it’s only a short drive away from the city. No Thailand vacation is complete without experiencing the charms of the famous floating markets! You can rent a boat for your family, but make sure to negotiate with the driver before you get on the boat. The price for boat rental can be ridiculously high if drivers think that you’re desperate or uncomfortable with haggling.
Once that’s out of the way, enjoy eating all the delicious food from the neighboring boats. Make sure to save some room for some sticky rice and mango, a sweet treat that’s sure to be a hit with the kids. Your boat driver can also take you to one of the large water-front huts to sample some free sugar cane juice and sugar cane candy.
It’s a fun word to say, and an even more fun place to visit. Say it with me: Funarium! This is a huge air-conditioned venue where your kids can let off steam by climbing walls, swimming in ball pits, jumping on trampolines and swinging on rope swings. There’s also a cycling circuit where you can rent bikes, tricycles and helmets. And if the kids aren’t tired yet, there’s a basketball court, an outdoor sand pit, a paddling pool, and an area designed exclusively for babies and toddlers. And while the kids are playing, adults can relax in the parents’ lounge area. Your kids are guaranteed to have a great time, and they’ll be out like a light even before you reach your hotel.
6. Mansion 7
If you’re the kind of family that adores Halloween above all holidays, this could be the best place to visit for you and your kids. This boutique mall is designed to look like a spooky old mansion, and creepy installations add to the hair-raising vibe. There are shops and restaurants, and of course, a haunted house called the Dark Mansion that you can tour. Every food, retail and drink outlet has its own unique concept, and many of the venues are owned by Thai celebrities. Mansion 7 is open from Monday to Thursday from noon until midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place stays open until 2AM.
7. Hajime Robot Restaurant
Ever been in a restaurant where robots serve your food? It sounds like a plot from a cartoon or a sci-fi movie, but at Hajime Robot Restaurant, this is all for real. At this Japanese restaurant, the robots not only bring your food, but they perform dance routines as they make their way down an enclosed runway.
To get your food, tap your order on the computerized screen at the table. Then minutes later, a robot will come by to serve you. Older kids might also get a kick out of cooking their own food at the table, and they can choose to do it hotpot or barbecue style.
8. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Ok, quick question. Where in the world can you meet Madonna, George Clooney, Adele, Lady Gaga, Kate Winslet and Serena Williams all in one place, and take selfies with them? If you answered in your dreams, you’re probably right. But you can also meet them, or rather, their wax versions, at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Entrance fee is about $24.00 for adults, and $18.00 for children ages 11 and below. Admission is free for children under three years old. The museum is open daily from 10AM to 9PM. It takes about two hours to complete a visit, but you can certainly stay longer than that. More selfies for you and the kids.
Travelling with kids can be quite challenging even to the most experienced of travelers, but it can be an enjoyable experience if you plan your trip well. Make sure that you always have the essentials on hand before leaving the hotel, such as a change of clothes for each child in case of accidents, bottled water, sunscreen, hats, and snacks. Let older children carry their own stuff in a small backpack, and as an added precaution, have all children wear an item that has your contact information on it, such as a nametag affixed to the inside of their shirts. If you’re travelling with babies or toddlers, make sure that you pick a stroller that is lightweight and can be folded and unfolded with one hand. Take enough baby formula with you and extra diapers and baby wipes just in case.
Next time you have the time and energy for a family vacation, choose Bangkok for a fun and exciting time. I promise you, it’s worth it.