Thailand has dozens of supremely luxurious resorts that will easily allow you to spend a month’s salary in a single night if you want to, from pool villas overlooking the Andaman Sea to tiny boutique hotels so exclusive they don’t even want you to have heard of them.
But hey, you’ve seen one run of the mill luxury villa and you’ve seen them all. If you’re looking for something more than sheer pampering and opulent surroundings, check out these extraordinarily fancy digs.
1. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai
One can imagine the conversations that go on between agitated high society ladies and their desperate-to-please courtesans floating down from business class in the plane ride north: “I don’t care how much it costs a night, I am not staying in a tent and that’s final.”
But once the bickering couple arrives at this Chiang Rai Four Seasons property, there’s likely to be a change of tune. These are tents on steroids, providing a magical and definitely luxurious oasis of privacy in the jungle — minus the soggy sleeping bags and collapsing tent poles. This is getting back to nature at its finest, with an all-inclusive policy towards food and excursions that means you can fully explore the jungle on elephant back and head into nearby Myanmar too.
The Tented Camp is also the place to come if you’re looking for peace and quiet. The tents are sans TVs, DVD players or anything else that can make a racket, although some guests have complained about the birds being noisy in the morning.
2. Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood
What do you think guests lucky enough to stay at Soneva Kiri, on the remote island of Koh Kood in the Gulf of Thailand, first rave about when they come back to the real world? Is it the rock-star start to their holiday (a private airplane transfers them from Suvarnabhumi directly to their enormous 2,000 square feet plus villas)? Or the surrounding lush jungle, powdery white sand beaches and beautiful coral gardens within which the Soneva Kiri resort is nestled? Perhaps it’s the gourmet food, personal Man Friday service, superlux spa, outdoor cinema and the state of the art observatory that lets you observe Saturn’s rings.
Wrong. These things are all great but, more than likely, the first anecdote from any Soneva Kiri guest will be the fact the resort has dedicated, always-open bars for both chocolate (served in blends of up to 95%) and ice cream, with over 60 varieties of freezing cold joy to choose from.
3. Rayavadee, Krabi
One of the most established hotels on Railay Beach in goregous Krabi, Rayavadee hotel has seen the area grow in popularity with the once tranquil area now invaded by daytrippers and backpackers. But not to worry, Rayavadee’s three private beaches are patrolled by security guards to keep the riffraff out, while there are always the huge two-floored pavilions and pool to retreat to if the daytime visitors become too much.
Those willing to step out of the compound can explore the local restaurants and bars further along the stunning beaches, but what makes this place truly unique is the Grotto, the Rayavadee’s subterranean restaurant among the stalactites and stalagmites of Krabi’s limestone karsts.
4. Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi manages to outshine its revered Bangkok namesake by being not just a place to stay but an immersive experience in Thailand’s Lanna culture. Beyond the expected impeccable service, exquisite rooms, spas and restaurants, the Dhara Dhevi showcases the work of hundreds of local artisans in recreating Lanna-style architecture and furnishings.
The grounds of the Dhara Dhevi cover some 60 acres and the level of service from staff means that kids are particularly well catered for as they can run riot in the hotel’s rice plantations and jungle thatches and get up close and personal with a baby elephant and their mahouts. Disneyland looks pretty lame in comparison.
Parents will have time to explore the on-site Lanna museum, which details the stunning artistry of northern Thailand and its Burmese heritage. Like Jim Thompson’s Thai silk empire, the peculiar irony is that it’s taken the interest of foreigners to help rekindle one of Thailand’s most spectacular monuments to its own history.
5. Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay, Krabi
The Ritz Carlton’s first Asian project under its Reserve brand, Krabi’s Phulay Bay features the usual suspects of personal butler service, gourmet food and beautiful villas. Where Phulay Bay sets itself apart is its boutique, contemporary feel — a hip hotel with traditional notes set against the Andaman Sea.
While it may be chic, Phulay Bay isn’t minimal. It prides itself on over the top luxury like four metre wide beds. The hotel’s villas are widely spaced apart too so you can pretty much avoid seeing other guests if you want complete privacy. Strangely, for such an opulent beach hotel you can’t actually swim in the water as it’s so rocky beneath the waterline, making the ocean the ultimate designer accessory as it’s just there to look pretty. Still, with outdoor Jacuzzis and plunge pools there’s little reason to deal with all that terrible sand and salt and stuff.
Not always thought of as the most family-friendly city, Bangkok has a lot to offer under-18s.Rather than a necessary stop on your way to the islands or the cultural north, the Thai capital will be firmly on your itinerary after you discover these 27 kid-centric attractions.From cultural shows to wet and wild water parks, as well as ‘edutainment’ centers, there are many points of interest to keep everyone from toddlers to teens occupied.Whether you’re traveling to Bangkok as a stop-over or coming to stay for a month – you’ll have at least 24 options for some family fun in the capital of Thailand!
1. Ride a Raptor – Dinosaur Planet Bangkok
Newly opened in March 2016, Dinosaur Planet is bringing the Mesozoic Era to downtown Bangkok. The “edutainment” center combines the thrill rides of a theme park with an educational slant.
One of the most popular attractions, the 4D Deep-World takes you underground on a 4D adventure where you’ll meet T-Rex! On the other hand, the ferris wheel lifts you high above the street level for a fantastic view of the Bangkok skyline.
Stars of Dino and Dino Farm are great for kids. Here you’ll be able to interact with a set of robotic dinosaurs and children can take a ride on their favorite gentle giant.
For a bit more education, head to Dinosaur District where you and your family can learn all about fossils, dinosaur eggs and the history of the dinosaurs.
Here’s a hot tip: be sure to stay into the evening. After the sun goes down, the Great Volcano and Extinction Live Show entertains audiences with a light show while dinosaurs fight for survival.
Here’s another hot tip: Because we’ve heard reports of long lines and busy attractions at the weekend, we definitely suggest you check out Dinosaur Planet Bangkok during the week.
Address: 544/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Getting There: The nearest BTS stop is Phrom Phong Station.
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM
Entrance Fees: Adult entry from 600 Baht / USD $17.36; Child entry from 400 Baht / USD $11.57
2. Feed the Barnyard – Alpaca View
An unusual and definitely family-friendly destination, Alpaca View is a petting zoo, karaoke joint, farm and restaurant all rolled into one.
Upon reaching the farm, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the Eiffel Tower.There are models resembling farm houses, Nintendo characters and elephants scattered throughout. Every way you turn, there’s something new to fascinate the children.Thai food is served in the restaurant, but the main attraction is the animals. Of course, there are alpacas galore. For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting an alpaca, be forewarned. They spit.
There’s also sheep, donkeys, goats, ducks, rabbits and piglets to see. For 20 Baht (USD $0.57) you can buy a bottle of milk to feed the piglets. Alternatively, spend 40 Baht (USD $1.14) and you’ll have food or carrots for the donkeys, sheep, rabbits or alpacas.
Finally, if this whole experience has put you in the mood to sing “Old McDonald Had A Farm,” head over to the karaoke booth where you can yodel the night away.
All together, Alpaca View makes an evening of fun for any family visiting Bangkok
Address: Lad Prao Wanghin Rd, Lat Phrao, Bangkok 10230
Getting There: Take the MRT to Lad Phrao Station then hop in a taxi to the address above.
Opening hours: 5PM – 2AM
Price: Thai Dishes from 150 Baht / USD $4.35
3. Soar Like An Eagle – Flight Experience Bangkok
If you’ve ever wanted to fly a passenger jet, Flight Experience Bangkok is for you. This aviation entertainment center offers visitors the chance to operate a Boeing 737-800NG flight simulator. For most of us, it’s probably as close as we’re ever going to get to flying the real thing.
This activity is recommended for both children and adults. You’ll be able to practice your take-offs and landings, fly from one city to another or fly around your choice of landmark. (Our vote goes to The Grand Palace.)
If you’ve done this before, add some extra challenges to your simulation such as landing in bad weather or programming the autopilot. This Boeing 737 simulator includes state-of-the-arc technology like a high-tech visual system with a high definition projection onto a 180-degree curved screen.
You can fly into any of the 24,000 737-capable airports during the simulation. This activity is recommended for children above age 11, but it’s sure to be a memorable experience for everyone. As a final note, the simulator can seat 3 people, so you’ll be able to watch your kids either soar like an eagle or crash and burn.
Address: 982/22 Gateway Ekamai Room 2112 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Ekkamai
Opening hours: 9AM – 10PM
Price: From 4,550 Baht / USD $131.25
4. Combine Learn and Play – Kids’ Edutainment
Sure, vacation is supposed to be fun for kids, but what if your kids could learn about the world while still having the time of their lives? Check out these imaginative playlands where your kids might just learn something new on their break from school.
4a) What do you want to be when you grow up? – Kidzania
At Kidzania in the Siam Paragon Department Store, kids are faced with a single question: what do you want to be when you grow up? With over 100 activities, Kidzania helps children discover various jobs. They can bottle coca-cola, learn to make hamburgers, roll sushi or fight fires. The possibilities are endless!Through this process, Kidzania hopes to help children learn financial literacy, social skills, mutual cooperation and respect.
Address: 991 Rama I Road | 5th Floor, Siam Paragon Department Store, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Siam
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM; Sat – Sun 10:30AM – 8:30PM
Entrance Fees: Adult entry from 420 Baht / USD $12.12; Child entry from 700 Baht / USD $20.19
4b) Hands-on Fun – Children’s Discovery Museum
Similar to Kidzania, but for a younger age group, Children’s Discovery Museum encourages children to discover how the world works through hands-on experiences. It’s a great place for inquisitive young minds!
Check out the science gallery to create giant bubbles while you are on the inside, or dig up dinosaur bones like an archaeologist. Just make sure you leave enough time for all the activities!
Address: Soi 4, Kamphaeng Phet Road | Chatuchak,Bangkok, Thailand
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Mo Chit.
Opening hours: 10AM – 4PM
Entrance Fees: Free
4c) Take Advantage of Technology – Imaginia Playland
A newly refurbished technology-centric children’s center located in Emporium Mall, Imaginia Playland strives for a ‘learning through playing’ experience. There’s a thorough range of activities from art to strategic thinking for toddlers all the way to teens.
If that isn’t enough, children can also play in the dinosaur excavation site, the rock climbing wall, the balloon pit, the soft ball battle zone or the crafts and cooking stations. For the adults, relax with a foot massage while your children play.
Address: Sukhumvit 63,Sukhumvit Road,Klongtoey Nua,Wattana | 3F Park Lane, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Ekkamai.
Opening hours: Mon – Thur 9AM – 6PM; Fri – Sun 9AM – 7:30PM
Entrance Fees: Adult entry from 130 Baht / USD $3.75; Child entry from 250 Baht / USD $7.21
5. Cool Off! – Bangkok’s Water Parks
We all know that Bangkok can feel like you’re living in a boiling pot of water. The good news is that you and your family can have fun, and cool off without leaving the city by visiting these awesome water parks!
5a) Bangkok’s Secret Water Park – Fantasia Lagoon Water Park
With two identical water parks on top of Mall Bangkae and Mall Bangkapi, Fantasia Lagoon Water Park promises an afternoon of cool fun in downtown Bangkok. The park is split into several different sections, with activities suitable to all ages. There are shallow pools for toddlers to splash around in as well as large water slides for the older members of the family. But if you’re like us, the Lazy River is perfect for hours of relaxation.
There’s even a Pirate Cove area with a pirate ship for exploring! Just don’t spread the word too far. Fantasia Lagoon Water Park is still a bit of a secret!
Address: The Mall Bangkae 275 หมู่ 1 Phetkasem Rd, Bang Khae Nuea, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok 10600 or 3522 Lat Phrao Rd | Klong Chan, Bangkok 10240, Thailand
Getting There: The nearest SRT-City station to the Bangkapi location is Ramkhamhaeng, and the nearest BTS station to the Bangkae location is Bang Wa. But you’ll need to use additional private transportation or a tax to reach either from the public transportation stations.
Opening hours: 10:30AM – 10PM
Entrance Fees: From 200 Baht / USD $5.77
5b) Slide Over the City – Pororo Aquapark
Previously known as LeoLand, Pororo Aquapark is located in Central Bangnga department store. The newly renovated water park includes 9 pools and 4 slides with areas suitable to both children and adults.
The most exciting part of this water park is its water slide which catapults you over the street. You feel like you are suspended over mid-air, but it quickly pulls you back in and deposits you back on the roof in the safety of a pool.While this water park may not be on the same scale as those found in Hua Hin or Pattaya, it’s certainly worthy of a day of cool fun in Thailand’s capital.
Address: 585 Bagna-Trat Road | Central Plaza Bangna, 6 th Floor, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Udom Suk. There’s a free shuttle from the station to the department store every half an hour.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10:30AM – 7PM; Sat – Sun 10AM – 7PM
Entrance Fees: Adult entry from 400 Baht / USD $11.54; Child entry from 280 Baht / USD $8.08
6. Play in a Winter Wonderland – Dream World
Dream World is a large amusement park located on the outskirts of Bangkok. The park has plenty of attractions for all ages.
Older children will enjoy the thrill rides. These include the Skycoaster, the Viking, the Hurricane and the Flying Carpet. All four have elements of fast-paced, stomach-dropping movement.On the other hand, there are rides like the antique cars, bumper boats and a sightseeing train for smaller children.
If you’re looking to cool off, there are two options. First, you might enjoy the water rides such as the Super Splash or the Grand Canyon. But the second option is our absolute favorite! Snow Town is an indoor play area, complete with real snow!
You can bundle up in provided jackets then take turns sledding down the hill or building snowmen. Who would have thought that you could play with real snow in downtown Bangkok?!At the end of the day, take a sunset ride on the cable cars. Then catch a lift back to your hotel as you reflect on all the fun you had at Dream World Bangkok.
Address: Moo 1 62 Rungsit-Ongkarak Road (Kilometer 7th) | Bueng Yitho, Thanyaburi 12130, Thailand
Getting There: Dream World is unfortunately not located near Bangkok’s public transportation systems. It is close to Don Mueang International Airport, and you can reach it through a complicated bus system. However, it is far more convenient to purchase a package which includes transfers from your hotel.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10AM – 5PM; Sat – Sun 10AM – 7PM
Entrance Fees: From 1000 Baht / USD $28.85
7. Get Your Next Profile Picture – Art in Paradise
If you’ve every wanted to be a part of a painting, you can do just that at Art in Paradise. This easy-to-reach interactive art gallery features 2 stories of 3D masterpieces. These are painted on the walls and floors with superb accuracy and shading to make it look like you can just walk right into them!
As a visitor, you’ll be invited to participate in upwards of a dozen scenes including Stairway to Hell, the Coronation of an Emperor and Ride a Flying Carpet.
It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but the game is to find the best pose for each scene. There are hundreds of possibilities and you’ll see that every guest is trying to get the best pic. On most of the paintings, arrows have been placed to show the best angle and pose. The results are stunning!So, if you’re ready for a new profile picture of you and your family, get yourselves to Art in Paradise.
Address: Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng,Din Daeng, Bangkok, Thailand 10400
Getting There: The nearest MRT station is Thailand Cultural Centre.
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM
Entrance Fees: Adult entry from 300 Baht / USD $8.65; Child entry from 200 Baht / USD $5.77
8. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth – Mr. Jones’ Orphanage
Perhaps the most delectable entry on this list of family fun activities in Bangkok, Mr. Jones’ Orphanage isn’t exactly your typical orphanage – it’s actually a really cool cafe!
This cake shop has an astounding array of sweets. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw all of the goodies!From the M&M Kit Kat cake to the strawberry sponge cake, we don’t know how you’ll pick just one cake to try. There are a couple dozen options, at least.
The “Orphanage” is overflowing with teddy bears and wooden trains, a childhood dream come true. Even the coffee comes out with a teddy bear design.Today, there are several branches of Mr. Jones’ Orphanage in malls throughout Bangkok. However, the original still holds a dear spot in the hearts of those who have been visiting Mr. Jones’ Orphanage for years. Try it on your next trip to Bangkok to start your own coffee and cake tradition.
Address: 251/1 Thonglor Soi 13 | G Floor, Seen Space, Bangkok
Getting There: The nearest BTS station is Thong Lo
Opening hours: 10AM – 12AM
Price: Cakes from 104 Baht / USD $3.00