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  • K

Bangkok fun with the kids

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

When Covid-19 travel restrictions finally lifted, we hit travelling hard. We love to travel, and used to do it all the time, even when our daughter was a baby. Unfortunately our son was born just before Covid happened, so his travelling experience was limited to moving from HK to SG. So when we could finally start travelling in 2022, we started re-exploring South East Asia. One of our holidays was to Bangkok for 4 nights during half term. Since me and my husband have been to Bangkok several times in the past, we decided not to hit the usual tourist spots and to instead mix a bit of active activities with more kid friendly playtime. So here's a few things that we did. Hope it inspires you a bit!


Note we went when the kids were about 3 and 5 years old.

 

K's Cheat Sheet


1. Stayed at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel

  • Used to be the Four Seasons, but was taken over by Anantara. It's right in the heart of the city, and only a few minutes walk from the Bangkok Skytrain. It's also walking distance (about 10 mins) from Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Central World and lots of other malls.

  • Playroom, spa, buffet breakfast, outdoor playground and swimming pool.

  • We stayed in 2 interconnecting rooms, which worked perfectly! Almost better than a suite, as less of a need to sneak in and out quietly whilst they're sleeping (when one of us would run out for a walk, or a massage).

  • Note there are 3 Anantara's in Bangkok.

  • See more details below.


2. Tuk Tuk

  • Our kids loved taking Tuk Tuk's! And there are plenty of them around, so easy to waive down.

  • This (plus walking) was our main mode of transport around Bangkok, because the kids wouldn't let us take a taxi or train - they just wanted "Tuk Tuk! Tuk Tuk!". So being on holiday, we were happy to oblige, and honestly enjoyed it ourselves too. You can bargain a little bit with the price, but honestly it's about the same cost as a normal taxi or Grab.

  • It's really a personal preference on whether you feel comfortable taking them with the little ones, because there's no seat belts or doors. For me, we were fine with it.


3. Bike Tour

  • We booked a 5 hour day tour with Co Van Kessel Bangkok Tour

  • THB 1,990 (about SG$ 77) per person (12 years and older). Since our kids were riding on child seats on our bikes (rather than having their own bike), we didn't have to pay extra for the kids.

  • If you have a child that's 11 years old or younger and they want to get their own bike (so not on a child seat with you), then it will be THB 1,490 per child.

  • Helmets provided.

  • You can start at either 7 a.m. or 1 p.m. Since we didn't want to rush in the morning, we opted for 1 p.m. It actually wasn't too hot - a lot of the time you're in the shade.

  • You bike ride through the narrow backstreets of Bangkok, and also take a ferry and long thin wooden boat down the river, with the bikes in the back. So you get to explore the rural part just outside the city. We had an early local dinner (about 4 p.m.) cooked by a family in an outdoor kitchen.

  • It's a long day! But we enjoyed it, and the kids had fun.

  • Would advise that you only do this 5 hour tour if you're a confident bike rider. I definitely am not a confident bike rider - but I still enjoyed it! But had a few close calls since the bike paths can be narrow.

  • See more details below.


4. Snake Farm

  • It's relatively small but we all found it interesting.

  • It gets hot in the afternoon though, even in the indoor areas (no air-cons, only fans).

  • The snake farm was established to extract venom from poisonous snakes in order to create anti-venoms.

  • You can watch a venom extraction at 11 a.m. on Monday to Fridays (except public holidays)

  • They also have a snake handling live show at 2 p.m. on Monday to Fridays, and 11 a.m. on weekends (except public holidays). You also have an option to take a photo with a yellow boa snake.

  • The kids enjoyed the snake show - but you do feel a bit guilty, as you can tell they stress out the snakes a bit to get them to react a certain way (like to get the cobra to flare their hood).

  • There's a shaded area where you can grab a cold drink and snack near the ticket office.

  • The entrance ticket was THB 200 per adult, and THB 50 per child.

  • We spent about 1.5 hours there.




5. Playrooms and shopping malls

  • Something a bit different from what we do on our usual holidays, but we just had to check out the giant playrooms our friends had been telling us about. Apparently some of them are ginormous and are a kid's dream! And yes, I can definitely confirm that this is the case.

  • Harbourland at Icon Siam

  • Playmondo at CentralWorld shopping mall - this is 10 mins walk from Anantara Siam hotel

    • https://www.playmondo.com/centralworld-branch

    • I really liked this playroom. It was nice, with lots of things to do.

    • It was big enough to keep the kids busy, but small enough that you could still sit on the side to keep an eye on them without running around.

    • They also allowed me and my husband to tag team without paying extra - so my hubby stayed with them for the first hour whilst I went shopping, and then we swapped.

    • Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday.

    • It's on the second floor of the CentralWorld mall - on the opposite side of the mall from the front entrance nearest to Anantara Siam and the footbridge.


 

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel


This hotel was great. We booked 2 interconnecting rooms, and found the real joy of ordering room service for dinner. Usually on holidays were rushing around with grumpy, tired kids trying to get in dinner before they lose their mind. For this holiday, we just thought it wasn't worth it - we focused on eating out in the afternoon for lunch, and then for dinner we ordered room service and had a picnic on the floor. We laid out towels and all the food on the floor, kids had been showered and we were all in our pyjamas. Seriously - best decision ever. Even eating on the floor like a picnic was so different to doing room service on a table - kids could just easily feed themselves, were less fidgety, and just got a general kick out of it.


One really great thing I liked about this hotel was that you could download an app and place room service offers in advance through the app. So much better then having to call. Plus, it meant that I could order room service on the way back to the hotel, so that by the time we got back and the kids showered, the food would arrive. Usually in hotels when we order room service, it can take anywhere from 30 mins to 60 mins - and by that time the kids have become Hangry!


Breakfast was good too - they offer a breakfast buffet, and it's nice to sit outside in the courtyard. Range of food from western to eastern, and you can also top up with something from the menu. There's a little pong, bridge and mini waterfall next to the breakfast area - both a blessing and a curse. Nice for the kids to explore, but you also have to keep an eye on them as they try and weave around the tables sat next to the pond.


The hotel also has a swimming pool and playground, and and small but nice playroom. They're all on the same floor. The playground is small, but hit all the main tick boxes for our kids - swing, slide, and something to climb. Just remember to bring mosquito spray.


The kids loved the playroom. Although it wasn't big, the kids still found lots to entertain them. It's mainly a pretend play area, with also arts and crafts available. The kids made an owl out of toilet rolls with the lady who works there, and also played family with the shopping carts, play food, soft animals and so on. There are also a couple of mini seesaws. This is not a playroom for everyone, but it suited our kids who love to play pretend and to colour. Probably better suited for kids under 6.


I also had a chance to check out the spa. Was great, just what I needed. Not the best I've ever had, and definitely not the cheapest, but worth a visit if you want to go somewhere close.










 

Bike Tour - Co Van Kessel


So I can't take credit for booking this one - my hubby took the lead. I usually always book our tours, activities and excursions - but bless him for researching and arranging this since I just didn't have time.


We booked a 5 hour day tour, and started at 1 p.m. and ended about 6ish. You can also opt to start earlier at 7 a.m. Kids were a bit tired by the end, but overall had a great time.


Me and my husband also really enjoyed it. It gave us a chance to so something a bit different, see new parts of Bangkok we hadn't seen before, and to feel like we got a good work out.


There was a large group of us. If you're looking for an in-depth historical tour with lots of facts and information, then this wouldn't be the tour for you. But if you like exploring a city in a different way, and just looking around and absorbing it all - with some history and information thrown in (without it being the main focus), then this tour is for you. We saw narrow backstreets, river houses, rural areas and more.


I must confess that I'm not the best bike rider. I always joke with my hubby that every time I get on a bike whilst on holiday, I'm pretty much guaranteed to fall over. So this put me out of my comfort zone (I've never done a bike tour), and it involved navigating narrow paths and roads. But the 2 guides we had were great. We had a big group, I think at least 12 of us - and one guide was always at the front, and the other at the back. So none of us got lost. They'd also help to control traffic so we could safely cross the road, and would help me up and down steep slopes or to get over any steps.


I found the experience quite fulfilling and was very proud that I made it through - with only one fall at the very end. I was literally within sight of the bike centre, and feeling great about the fact that I hadn't crashed me and my son into a lake or a wall - when I misjudged how high the curb was that I was trying to get down. And of course - down I go. My legs literally were just not long enough to reach the floor when I was straddling my bike and stepping off the curb. Luckily, I was able to make the bike fall in slow motion - so my son was not injured (not even a scratch), just a bit shocked. So as I said - I'd advise this tour if you're either a confident bike rider, or want to push yourself. There are also shorter tours that Co Van Kessel offer, which you could check out.

All strapped in and ready! I'd advise having your little ones sit at the back if they're over 2 years old. My son was 3 at the time and tall - he loved sitting at the front, but definitely made trickier to steer and see around his head. But he loved it!

Exploring the side streets, and waiting to cross the road. The staff were great at stopping traffic and ensuring we always crossed the road safely and no one got lost.

The staff were helpful! Anytime there was a steep slope or a few steps where we'd need to carry our bikes - they'd always help.


Yep - I was a little bit nervous on this narrow path. Balance and riding in a straight line is not my forte. But I managed to stay on the path!


Riding along the river, with the bikes in the back.


Kids (and us) loved seeing a different side of Bangkok.

 

HarbourLand at Icon Siam


This place was legitimately insane! I have never seen (and probably never will see) a playroom like this ever. I think our kids lost their minds with excitement in this place. So the good news is the kids will love it, and it's so big that it will keep them occupied for hours. But the bad news is - it's big. So what does that mean? Us poor parents trailing after them, rather than sitting on the side lines for some R&R. They have staff scattered all over the place to help - but you really do need to keep an eye on your kids, if for no other reason then because they could genuinely get lost in there.


They have another Harbourland which is supposed to be smaller, and is actually walking distance from Anantara Siam (HarborLand Sindhorn Midtown Hotel). But we decided to go all out, and took a Tuk Tuk to check out the larger one at Icon Siam shopping mall by the river.


It had 3 levels, including a giant "volcano" to climb and slide down, a flying fox, dozens of slides all over the place (impossible to count how many), ball zones, tricycle riding area, art and crafts area (second floor), separate soft play area for the younger ones (on the second floor), and pretend play and puzzle area right at the top (3rd floor).


They had drop slides, race slides, tunnel slides, small slides, big slides...And the nice thing was that they were colour coded, so you knew which ones are appropriate for which age. But our favourite (for me and my husband at least) was this big "boomerang" slide, where you drag a big inflatable round tube up to the top, sit on it and then slide down super fast, and then go up the other slope to slow down your momentum.




I also really liked the arts and crafts spot on the second floor. They offer various arts and crafts for the kids to do for free, including choosing a clay figurine to paint, and colouring paper.


The place was so big, that the kids only got 15 mins at the puzzle and pretend play area at the top before we had to hustle them out.





There's also a separate trampoline park, which is great for the older kids - but which we didn't try out. We had more then enough in the main Harbourland play area.


Since the playroom is in a mall, there's also lots of places to eat and stores to check out.



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