A Day out with the Kids in Bangkok

by Madeleine Spencer
Dream World

My family of 4 – Ella, three and a half with a broken leg in a cast and Frankie, one and a half and very excited spent a week visiting the key attractions in Bangkok during the holidays.

It was a busy week as any Mum of 2 children or more will tell you as they constantly need stimulating and entertaining but we saw the very best that Bangkok has to offer and I would like to share our experiences with other young families.

Bangkok Sea Life Centre

We walked deep into the ocean where some large spider crabs and a huge octopus were waiting for us. An impressive floor to ceiling 20 foot aquarium with seating areas allows you to sit and take in the beautiful colours and shapes of the myriad of different fish and aquatic animals.

After walking through Seahorse Village containing various different species you are led into the rainforest where frogs and snakes are waiting to greet you. Three cheeky otters and Jackdaw penguins wait to entertain you, and the scheduled feeding times with talks in both Thai and English are very helpful to understand and take it all in.

The turtles swim to the side of their tank to greet you and the Gentoo penguins have been given their own man made Antarctic environment with chills to match! The final aquarium really is, however, the ‘piece de resistance’. From shipwrecks to tunnel tanks, we have never been so close or seen so many full size sharks.

ocean park

You are inches away from their large teeth and glares, and are able to view them and their counterpart fish from many viewpoints. All displays are in Thai and English and provide impressive facts about the fish and their habitats.

For an extra charge you can also take a ride in a glass bottomed boat and take a behind the scenes tour. A great day out!

Dinosaur Planet

Located beside Benjasiri Park in Phrom Pong the Dinosaur museum is the best place to start off – with brilliant graphics projected onto various displays giving the history of dinosaurs on planet earth, leading to the different shapes and sizes of dinosaur eggs.

It was a busy week as any Mum of 2 children or more will tell you as they constantly need stimulating and entertaining but we saw the very best that Bangkok has to offer

The technicians in the laboratory caring for the hatching eggs get a big surprise when the Mummy comes looking for her babies! This leads to Dinosaur Farm where the dinosaur models and animatronics are to scale and impressive, with moving heads, tails and accompanying sounds.

The Dino Eye is an extra charge giving great views over the surrounding area. Next comes a 4D simulator complete with 4D glasses buried deep in the mines. Raptor Extreme is an interactive mission to find secret codes to escape through the compounds emergency exit, a race against time before the Raptors come to get you! In the 7D cinema whilst standing on the stage projected images on the screen in front are positioned to interact with the audience, a real delight for the children.

dinosaur Planet

For an extra charge at Dino Farm children can ride on moving dinosaurs, and play in the sandpit excavating fossils. The live exhibition shows do not start until the evening but promise to impress and enthral all that come to visit.

Safari World

We arrived and started off on an air conditioned Safari Bus which drove us around what felt like the real Savannah. With trees resembling Acacia or Baobab and ponds with bullrushes, the pure expanse of the area feels as though you are on the African plains. The environment is stunning but the animals themselves are outstanding.

Whilst common in most zoos to see two or three maximum of the same animal, Safari World houses multiples of tens or more of the same animal – with rhinos, zebras, over 200 giraffes and cranes and pelicans aplenty. We were lucky enough to see a newborn zebra with the sack still attached, a memory we won’t forget. Tigers, lions, deers, wildebeests, buffalos and bears came next and we were fortunate to see them playing, fighting and eating in their own environments.

The rest of the park is on foot through Marine World. The scenery and atmosphere Safari World have created is truly magical. Rainforests, flowers and greenery adorn the walkways overhead and sideways, as do animals-parrots, birds and owls scattered in and around the pathways and restaurants.

Safari

The highlight of the day is the Dolphin Show which gets very busy and lively and is housed in a huge arena! There are other shows performed daily which all have raving reviews. Giraffe feeding was a highlight where for a 20B charge you buy bananas and hand feed the giraffes who are all very pleased to see you!

There are many photo opportunities with animals such as a baby tiger cub, orangutang, dolphins, where again for an additional charge you get a once in a lifetime experience by getting up close and personal. Safari World is not to be missed.

Expect to be amazed, wondered and awestruck – not to mention thoroughly tired out by the end of the day!

Dusit Zoo

The zoo is tucked away but has an amazing site. A tiger train drove us round the perimeter allowing us to take in the pretty scenery with much greenery and a vast lake in the centre. Regular stops allow passengers to hop on and off as they desire.

We started our foot journey with elephants, wombats and koalas, then penguins and seals. For a small charge you can be entertained by the seal show where the seals have been highly trained to perform with hoops, balls and other props.

Applauding themselves at every opportunity! The farm section was a big hit with the children as for a small charge you can hand feed the goats with carrots. The spider and squirrel monkeys adjoining are curious to see who is walking past them every day. The Nocturnal House homes the nighttime animals and is a refreshing break from the heat.

Zebras and giraffes share an enclosure and you are then met by troops of monkeys, swinging, playing and chasing each other around their enclosures. The tigers, leopards and white tigers all relax in their environments allowing you to view either from above or on street level.

The reptile enclosure houses the most enormous crocodile, with many turtles, snakes and lizards keeping it company. There is a chance to hire boats to pedal around the lake, and hire bicycles to get around the large site. The oldest zoo in Thailand, due to be moving soon, this zoo is definitely worth a visit now before it moves. The animals are well looked after with interesting factsheets to inform and educate – you will enjoy this experience.

Dream World

This theme park is full of unique and quirky zones and attractions, complete with well manicured gardens and scenery. A Love Garden when you arrive allows for photo opportunities, and the 7 Wonders of the World provide miniature versions of the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Stonehenge amongst others. There is a specific Phototopia zone providing many props, statues and figures for photo opportunities, as well as many others around the park.

A cablecar takes you across the park whilst providing spectacular views. There is an animal farm where for a small charge you are able to hand feed lorikeets, rabbits, goats and deer. You can get into the enclosures with the pigs, goats and puppies. The animal show provides entertainment particularly for young children with goats and dogs jumping through hoops and fetching props.

There is a tourist train and monorail suitable for young children, and classic cars which families can enjoy driving. A giant log flume and the Grand Canyon river rapids where both riders and spectators can guarantee a soaking. There are a couple of rides suitable for young infants such as Flying Fish and the Racing Track cars, the rest are suitable for older infants or young teens.

Snow Town is a unique and impressive indoor zone complete with real snow, minus degree temperatures and slopes to slide down in inflatable boats. Figures of snowy animals, Christmas trees and a sleigh allow for photo opportunities and this zone makes for a very nice break from the heat outside! There are boutique and market style shops, many restaurants and food stands and ice cream and smoothie outlets throughout the park.

A trip on the Chaophraya

We were lucky to have seen the capital’s famous river with the Supatra Boat Charter service provided by the Chao Phraya Express Boat Co., Ltd.The uniformed staff greeted us onboard at Maharaj Pier and got us settled before embarking into the frenetic pace of the river in mid morning traffic. Large tugs towed huge barges up and down river and the myriad of small boats with commuter and tripping passengers darted across back and forth across the river. We were taken to the National Museum of the Royal Barge in Bangkok Noi Canal taking in all the sites and views on both sides of the river.

You really needed a video camera on both sides of the boat to take in all of the sites, sounds and smells one encounters by this impressive water limousine service. This spacious boat, was safe and comfortable to accommodate up to 16 adults and children.

Then to Wat Arun The Temple of Dawn which was a carnival in itself and one could have spent many hours just people watching, taking in the sights and discovering the history.

Then the staff who supplied us with never ending bottles of iced water took us up the river to take in the sites  before delivering us back to Maharaj Pier where we took lunch in one of the many restaurants serving the constant
supply of tourists. No trip to Bangkok is complete without a river trip.
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