There aren’t a whole lot of attractions in Bangkok meant to appeal specifically to the little ones, but there’s no lack of locals willing to provide attention. This means kids are welcome almost anywhere and you’ll rarely experience the sort of eye-rolling annoyance often seen in the West.
Kid Friendly Museums
- Children's Discovery Museum
Recently renovated kid-themed museum, with interactive displays ranging in topic from construction to culture.
- Museum of Siam
Although not specifically targeted towards children, the Museum of Siam has lots of interactive exhibits that will appeal to kids.
- Madame Tussauds
Siam Discovery has a branch of this famous wax museum.
- Ancient City (Muang Boran)
Outside of town, this open-air museum re-creates Thailand’s most famous monuments. They’re linked by bicycle paths and were practically built for being climbed on.
Parks & Playgrounds
- Lumphini Park
Central Bangkok’s biggest park is a trusty ally in the cool hours of the morning and afternoon for kite flying (in season – February to April), swan-boat rentals and fish feeding, as well as stretching of the legs and lungs. Nearby, kids can view lethal snakes becoming reluctant altruists at the antivenin-producing Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, aka the Snake Farm.
In addition to the animals, Dusit Zoo has shady grounds, plus a lake in the centre with paddle boats for hire and a small children’s playground.
It’s not exactly a zoo, but kids can join the novice monks and Thai children at Thewet Pier as they throw food (bought on the pier) to thousands of flapping fish.
- Play Centres & Amusement Parks
For kid-specific play centres, consider Fun-arium, central Bangkok’s largest, or the impressive KidZania. Alternatively, Siam Park City, Safari World or Dream World are all vast amusement parks found north of the city.
Many hotels offer family deals, adjoining rooms and (in midrange and top-end hotels) cots, so enquire specifically. Car seats, on the other hand, are almost impossible to find. Taxi drivers generally won’t temper their speed because you’re travelling with a child, so if need be don’t hesitate to tell them to cháh cháh (slow down).
For moving by foot, slings are often more useful than prams, as Bangkok footpaths are infamously uneven.
Nappies (diapers), international brands of milk formula and other infant requirements are widely available. For something more specific you’ll find the Central Chidlom as well stocked as anywhere on earth (there’s an entire floor devoted to kids). In general, Thai women don’t breastfeed in public, though in department stores they’ll often find a changing room.
Dining with children in Thailand, particularly with infants, is a liberating experience, as Thai people are so fond of kids. Take it for granted that your babies will be fawned over, played with – and even carried around – by restaurant waitstaff. Consider this a much-deserved break, not to mention a bit of free cultural exposure for the kids.
For the widest choice of food, child-friendly surroundings and noise levels that will drown out even the loudest child, you may find the food courts of Bangkok’s many megamalls to be the most comfortable family dining options. High-chairs are rare outside expensive restaurants.
Because much of Thai food is so spicy, there is an entire art devoted to ordering ‘safe’ dishes for children, and the vast majority of Thai kitchens are more than willing to oblige. Many a child in Thailand has grown up on a diet of little more than gaang jèut, a bland, Chinese-influenced soup containing ground pork, soft tofu and a handful of noodles, or variations on kôw pàt, fried rice. Other mild options include kôw man gài, Hainanese chicken rice, and jóhk, rice gruel. For something bland, big hotels usually sell their baked goods for half price after 6pm.
Rainy Day Fun
If you're visiting during the rainy season (approximately from June to October), the brief-but-daily downpours will inevitably complicate things, so you'll need a few indoor options in your back pocket.
MBK Center and Siam Paragon both have bowling alleys to keep the older ones occupied. The latter also has an IMAX theatre and Sea Life Ocean World, a basement-level aquarium. For those particularly hot days, CentralWorld has an ice rink. All of these malls and most others in Bangkok have amusement centres with video games, small rides and playgrounds (they’re often located near the food courts). Gateway Ekamai has an arcade and a branch of Stanley MiniVenture, a model-train-like miniature town.
- Bangkok Doll Factory & Museum
This somewhat hard-to-find museum houses a colourful selection of traditional Thai dolls, both new and antique.
Need to Know
- Bambi (www.bambiweb.org) A useful resource for parents in Bangkok.
- Bangkok.com (www.bangkok.com/kids) This website lists a dizzying array of things to do with kids.
- Thorn Tree Kids To Go forum (www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/kids-to-go) Questions and answers from other travellers with children on Lonely Planet’s community forum.