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Bangkok: For Kids, You Know

September 11, 2013 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

BalloonWhen one thinks of Bangkok, Thailand, many things come to mind: a wild, sometimes chaotic tropical metropolis; the hub of not only Thailand but Southeast Asia, a gateway city; a city of contradictions, containing stunning temples and world-class nightlife; perhaps a city one can explore for years and never come close to really knowing.

But Bangkok a city for kids? Actually, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” There are literally scores of wonderful, fantastic, diverse, and above all fun places to visit and things to do in “The Big Mango.” Best of all, many of them are free or incredibly cheap, while the bigger, more elaborate places are world-class yet still reasonably priced.

The first step is to consider your kids; seriously, how old are they, what do they like to do, and what did you enjoy doing at their age? You may find that despite the changing times, some things never change, and young kids will love a short tuk-tuk ride through some backstreets, not to mention the awesome new subway system that is clean, cool, and convenient.

KZ Activity 13Let’s face it: toddlers will be thrilled exploring your hotel, with all its attractions: the amazing buffets, the huge swimming pools, even the elevators. But get them on Bangkok’s Skytrain and tour one of earth’s great cities from on high for a few bucks in air-conditioned comfort, and everyone will be smiling. Take the Skytrain to the end of the line at Saphan Thaksin, disembark, hop on a river taxi and the whole family will be laughing.

Exit the elevated railway from time to time to explore some of the city’s excellent attractions, malls, parks, zoos, or markets; then get back on when things get sleepy and pop back by your hotel for a rest stop. Bangkok’s excellent cinemas are perfect for this also, as are its always astonishing IMAX theaters, aquariums, or planetariums, a few of which we should specifically describe.

Get off your Skytrain ride at Siam Station and you descend into a whole area of activities, attractions, restaurants, shopping, or simply sight-seeing. Siam Paragon is a superb place to start, as it contains Siam Ocean World in the basement and a slew of theaters including an IMAX on the 5th floor.

Also on the top floor, Siam Paragon also boasts the latest, most exciting and innovative attraction for kids ever: Kidzania. Here children get to literally “try on” some 80 different jobs in extremely well-designed, lifelike settings. They don the appropriate uniform, be it a lab coat or a fire-fighter’s suit, then engage in their chosen profession. A brilliant idea, incredibly educational, and fun.

   Nearby Siam Center and Siam Discovery Center are a lot of fun to peruse and the recently opened Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is always a kick; if you haven’t been since you were a kid yourself, you’ll be surprised by all the local celebrities and Thai historical figures as well as the clever interactivity of the exhibits.

mbk03 yShould the shopper in you – I mean, your kids – still have some cravings, the world-famous MBK looms nearby, drawing many a clueless shopper into its own private world. Down the street, CentralWorld also has an ice-skating rink to occupy the kids once they tire of shopping, as does the Esplanade Mall on Ratchadapisek Road.

No roundup of kids’ activities would be complete without animals. Bangkok, this city of millions of people, skyscrapers, and world-renowned traffic, actually has plenty of green spaces, parks, lakes, trails, and even zoos. Dusit Zoo is probably the most famous, and has been around for over 80 years. It is worth a visit, especially since its recent renovation featuring a lakeside promenade and skywalk from which to view the lions, tigers, and lizards from above.

Safari WorldSafari World is another great adventure into the animal kingdom, and can be done from the comfort of your own car, or one of the zoo’s comfy coaches. There is a Wildlife Feeding Show and the adjacent Marne Park has hundreds of exhibits with 7 shows daily. There are 2 restaurants on the grounds with buffets and a gift shop featuring curious zoological memorabilia.

Moving to the outskirts of the city a bit, if you have older kids, they’re sure to enjoy Dream World, a full-blown amusement park with things named “Tornado,” “Snow Town,” “Hurricane,” “Grand Canyon,” and “Super Splash.” Then there are the shows: animals, Hollywood stars, street performers, and even SWAT teams. After all the excitement, chill out in the Love Garden, Fairy Tale Land, or Seven Wonders of the World.

Siam Park yTired yet? There are dozens more places we could mention, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Siam Park City – or Suan Siam, as it is known locally. What is it? A theme park, an amusement park, a massive water park, a dinosaur museum, and even a learning zone. Need more in one place? It is also an aviary, a botanical garden, and an open zoo. It is also one grand, fun day out for the family.

You get the idea. If you thought the kids would be bored in Bangkok, or need to be confined to the hotel, you can see that this is far from the case. It turns out that Bangkok is a playground for kids as well as adults, with something for everyone. Whatever you do, be sure the kids are not around when you open some of the links in this article – they’ll be enthralled and titillated, and won’t stop pestering you about going until you finally have no choice but to get up and go.

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