With millions of people to entertain, the city of Bangkok offers something for everyone. This major city has the lion’s share of Thailand’s family attractions and there are two main amusement parks that are popular among Thai families.
A visit to one of the large and vibrant Bangkok amusement parks is a fun way to break up the constant walking and sightseeing of a Bangkok holiday, and is a sure-fire way to keep the kids entertained. Day trips to Bangkok amusement parks can be arranged easily from hotels or taken independently by hopping aboard a taxi or city bus.
More like an outdoor museum, the Ancient City is an intriguing and fascinating park where most of Thailand’s important monuments (including some that are no longer standing) have been re-created in scaled-down versions.
But these aren’t miniature temples and shrines we’re talking about here; they are sizeable buildings in their own right that can be explored inside and out.
Because of the scale of the place and the number of attractions inside – there are somewhere in the region of 109 points of interest – visitors can hire a bicycle or a motorised golf cart to get around more easily. This makes for a very pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon.
This is Bangkok’s largest amusement park and the one that most resembles an American-style theme park. Dreamworld features all the amusement park standards, including roller coasters, a haunted mansion, bumper cars and the Viking swing boat. The park is divided into ‘lands’, each having a different theme. They include: Fantasy Land, which features classic Western fairy tales brought to life with Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, and a beanstalk leading to a giant’s house.
One feature that gives Dreamworld a fun novelty appeal is its chilly winter-themed ‘Snow Land’, which has a massive field of snow and offers you and your kids the unique opportunity of building a snowman in a tropical country. A daily parade and a Hollywood action show also factor into the day’s events.
Many hotels offer packages that include transportation to Dreamworld and this is probably your best option as the park is located on the outskirts of Bangkok and may be difficult to get to, especially with kids.
Open: 10:00-17:00 (Mon-Fri), 10:00-19:00 (weekend). 62 Moo 1, Rangsit-Nakornnayok Road, Thanyaburi. Tel: (02) 577 8666, Email.
The heat of Bangkok makes Suan Siam – as it is locally known – a great place to cool down.
When the hot season is at its roasting height, this place is filled with families from Bangkok and surrounding areas looking to cool off. Families hoping to escape the heat of Bangkok for a day will do well to visit this fun, inexpensive amusement park.
The relatively small park features a giant pool complete with artificial surf, whirlpools, fountains and waterfalls, while the tall waterslides are also popular. Aside from the water park itself, Suan Siam also has fun amusement park rides, including a basic roller coaster and a rolling giant-pinwheel ride that is great fun.
Open: 10:00-18:00. 203 Suan Siam Road, Kannayao. Tel: (02) 919 7200, Email.
Samut Prakan Crocodile farm is another fun day out for wildlife fans. With over 60,000 crocodiles on the premises, those who like their large carnivorous reptiles will be well served here! The venue is also home to the largest crocodile currently in captivity, the six-metre long monster croc known as ‘Yai’, which means ‘Big’ in Thai.
Other animals in the zoo include snakes, monkeys and elephants and there are other activities held during the day, too, including an elephant show and a crocodile wrestling show.
Open: daily 07:00-18:00. Taiban Road, Samut Prakan. Tel: (02) 703 4891, Email.
The Thais are natural entertainers and have done well in recreating this African animal theme park in the middle of Asia, complete with lions, zebra, giraffe, ostriches and plenty of other fun and colourful creatures from all over the world. If you are visiting Bangkok with the kids, you won’t be disappointed with this one and it adds a nice surprise to the ordinary itinerary of beach loafing and elephant riding.
The park is split into several sections, including the safari park (which can be toured by enclosed vehicle only), featuring an eight kilometre ‘game drive’. There are also various water attractions, such as the Marine Park, Sealion show and Dolphin pool – always perennial favourites with the kids. The spooky Jungle Cruise is also fun, as are the colourful Bird show and the entertaining Orang-utan Boxing show. The animals are, on the whole, treated well and the park has great eating facilities with two restaurants and two fast food outlets.
Open: daily 09:00-17:00 (weekend: 09:00-19:00), 99 Panyaintra Road, Klong Samwa. Tel: (02) 914 4100-19, Email.