J was not excited about visiting another big city. You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy. We flew into Bangkok for 6 nights before we took an overnight train, bus and ferry to Koh Samui.
We stayed in Sathorn and thought it was a great location. We were about a 10 minute walk from the Lumphini MRT and Lumphini Park. Everything is well-connected in Bangkok and we found out later on into the trip that taxi’s were actually cheaper for our family than using public transport.
This was more convenient but during peak hours was such a drag as traffic is terrible in Bangkok. Transport is readily available and it is easy to get around.
Here are some activities we recommend for families in Bangkok:
Take a boat ride on the Chayo Praya River:
Taking a boat ride is a great way to see Bangkok. You will pass many of Bangkok’s major monuments including the Grand Palace. We caught the local ferry from the Pier near Sala Daeng station.
This was a great way of seeing Bangkok. (and a lot faster than driving) The kids were intrigued by all the long tail boats and everything that was being transported on the river while we enjoyed seeing many temples and attractions from the river.
When catching the ferry make sure you know what stops it will make as I assumed that the ferry we were on would stop at all the piers up the river, however the ferry switched sides of the river and deposited us somewhere totally different telling us the stop was the end of the line.
We had to catch another ferry and pay another fare to be delivered to the correct pier near Khao San Road.
If you are looking for an outdoor playground for children in Bangkok this is it! Wide open green spaces are hard to come by in this city but Lumphini park has lots to offer.
The park offers an outdoor exercise park, children’s playground, an artificial lake, bike path, gym and even a swimming pool. It gets very busy on weekends as many people flock to the park.
Locals also use the park to keep fit and you will see many people doing Tai Chi, or riding bikes along the bike path each morning.
My boys enjoyed playing on the exercise equipment more than playing in the playground, at least they were getting their daily exercise in.
Visit Khao San Road and eat Mango Sticky Rice:
Khao San Road is a short street in the centre of Bangkok. It is famous as a backpacker hub and you can find an array of affordable shopping, food, accommodation and tour tickets from this area.
When we visited Khao San Road it was a week day and not very busy. We enjoyed shopping down the street and seeing all the different street food on offer. We also bought the best Mango Sticky Rice from here and all agreed it was the nicest we have had so far. (And also the cheapest at 30 Baht – around $1.00)
Terminal 21 Shopping Mall:
We asked the kids to do some research online and find something that they wanted to do while we were in Bangkok and this is one of the things they found.
Terminal 21 is a shopping mall in Sukhumvit Bangkok. It is not an ordinary mall though. Each floor of the mall is a different country of the world and there is an icon or two recreated from that country.
The kids had fun spotting the different icons and we spent a couple of hours here one day. If visiting don’t forget to visit the toilets. The toilets are an attraction in their own right and we enjoyed checking out the toilets on every floor.
Although we didn’t visit on this trip it still makes our list as we will go back before we leave Asia for Europe. Kidszania gives kids the opportunity to try out a variety of jobs. On arrival each child is giving a atm card and at each job they complete they earn Kidszania dollars that they can spend in the complex on food or other things.
Some of the jobs on offer are Pilots, Fire Fighters, Photographers, Sushi Makers, Soccer players and many more. It is located in Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok. It is easily accessed by public transport.]
Our kids are excited to visit Kidzania and we have decided to keep this activity for Mo’s birthday in April.
Chatachuk Weekend Markets:
The Chatachuck weekend markets are amazing! The markets are very large and we think they are best market’s in South East Asia. There is an array of different things for sale from clothing, food and shoes to cutlery and homewares, There are many wholesalers of goods here too and we saw many things that we would have loved to buy. (Too bad we have no room in our 7 kg backpacks.)
The Chatachuck Weekend markets are open only on the weekends from Friday afternoon to Sunday. We visited late Sunday afternoon and only saw 1/10th of the market. We can’t wait to return so we can explore properly before we fly out to Europe from Bangkok in May.