A backpacking hub in Southeast Asia and a choice jump-off point to other destinations along the “Banana Pancake Trail”, Bangkok may strike non-backpackers as wild, rough, and not family-friendly. BUT! That is absolutely not the case. I was one of those who dismissed it as one that is only good for solo travelers or those adventurous groups of friends, but my recent visit proved that Bangkok has a pocketful of treats not only for solitary wanderers but also for those traveling with family.

The city is easily accessed via its main airport — the Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi). Numerous airline companies fly to Bangkok from Manila. I’ve flown from Manila to Bangkok (and back) via Philippine Airlines during my recent trip. PAL flies to Bangkok from Manila three times daily. It also offers a daily schedule for Cebu-Bangkok route. PAL’s wide-body aircraft, like the Airbus A330, normally serves this route because of the large volume of passengers.

Being a transportation hub, Bangkok is easier to navigate compared to the other neighboring cities. Aside from its accessibility, Bangkok boasts a wide selection of accommodations, from budget to high-end. The city is also brimming with shopping options, from side streets to big malls. And have I mentioned the night markets? All these and more make Bangkok one of the best choices for those wanting an out-of-the-country trip with the whole family. Here are some of those family-friendly attractions in Bangkok.

3D Art in Paradise

Marvel at optical illusions with the whole family at 3D Art in Paradise. Have fun taking photos and making the most of the five themes — Safari and Underwater, Classic and Famous Pictures, Fantasy, Nature and Scenery, and Modern Art.

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Location: Esplanade Mall, 4th Floor, Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400
Nearest Train Station: Bangkok MRT Cultural Center Station. Esplanade Mall, which is just beside Ratchada Rot Fai Night Market, is only a few minutes walk from this station.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE


Line Village Bangkok

Explore the world’s first indoor Line Village adventure park where you can meet famous Line characters including Brown, Cony, Sally, Choco, and more! Adults and kids alike will definitely enjoy the 23 themed rooms and the interactive experience. I honestly never thought I’d have so much fun here like I did!

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Location: Siam Square One Building, 338 Rama 1 Road, 1st Floor, Pathumwan, Bangkok, 10330
Nearest Train Station: Bangkok BTS Skytrain Siam Station. Take Exit #4 and walk towards the stairs. Line Village Bangkok is just a few steps from there.

DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE


Chao Phraya River Boat Ride

Bangkok’s transport system includes boat services. One of the popular activities in the city is the boat tour along the Chao Phraya River and Canals of Thonburi where you can see the temples built along the river, the National Museum of the Royal Barges, the local river dwellers’ homes, and some of the famous attractions like the Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, and Wat Po.

Boat on Chao Phraya River

Opening Hours: Public boats usually start operating as early as 6:00 AM and end as late as 8:00 PM. You can book a private boat tour, but make sure to deal with reputable tour operators/agencies only. Beware of scammers.
Location: Chao Phraya River
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin Station. The station is just across Sathorn Central Pier.

You can do the river boat tour via Express Boat River Taxis (Blue Flag Line for tourists), private long tail boats, free hotel shuttle boats, and river cruises.

If you want to indulge in a river cruise with a sumptuous dinner buffet offering, you can score a great deal when you book it via Klook.

RESERVE HERE


Wat Arun

Famous for its distinctive 79-meter tall pagoda-style structure that overlooks the Chao Phraya River and towers over the Yai district, Wat Arun has established itself as the city’s prominent landmark. The best part is that it is easily accessed by boat, so you can do the Chao Phraya river boat tour with a stopover at Wat Arun.

View of Wat Arun from the Chao Phraya River.

Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Location: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin Station. The station is just across Sathorn Central Pier.
Take the Express Boat River Taxis (Blue Flag Line for the tourist boats) or charter a private long tail boat.

You can definitely visit Wat Arun on your own, but if you don’t want to worry about navigating with kids, you can join a guided tour. If you want to visit both Wat Arun and the National Museum of Royal Barges via river cruise, Klook is offering a half-day cruise for the two destinations. You can choose to join a group or book a private cruise tour.

RESERVE A SLOT HERE


Ancient City/Ancient Siam

The expansive complex of the Ancient City showcases the historical and significant structures of both ancient and present-day Thailand (formerly called Siam). Thailand’s culture and heritage are resonated by the replicas of the nation’s significant landmarks (palaces, temples, ruins, etc.) dotting the grounds of the open-air museum. The park provides a glimpse of most, if not all, of Thailand’s prominent and famous attractions and destinations. Like a one-stop-shop!

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 296/1 Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoo, Samut Prakan 10280
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Bearing Station. Ancient Siam is located in Samut Prakan, about 30 minutes drive from Bangkok. The park offers transportation pick up at Bearing Station. Be there on or before 11 AM. If you want to go back to Bearing Station, the shuttle van will depart from the park at 3 PM.

You can either get discounted tickets for the Ancient Siam Tour only or get a combo ticket deal for the Erawan Museum-Ancient Siam Tour via Klook.

RESERVE DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE


Erawan Museum

Erawan museum is known for its mighty enormous three-headed elephant statue made of bronze greeting visitors as they enter the gates. The statue is prominent even from afar. As you get closer, it gets more intimidating, but in a reverent way. The museum displays artifacts collected by its founder, Mr. Lek Viriyaphant, who is also the brain behind the Ancient Siam heritage park.

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 99/9 Moo 1 Ban Muang Mai, Amphoe Mueang, Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10270
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Bang Na Station. From Bang Na Station, you can either ride a taxi or a bus (#25 or #511) that will stop at the museum’s entrance.

You can get discounted rates for the Erawan Museum tour via Klook. You can also score a combo ticket deal for Erawan Museum-Ancient Siam Tour.

RESERVE DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE


Madame Tussauds Bangkok

Don’t pass the opportunity to finally snap photos with your favorite celebrities (I mean, their life-size wax figures). Party with the A-list Hollywood stars, perform with the famous singers and entertainers, brush elbows with powerful political leaders, and play with topnotch sports personalities!

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: Madame Tussauds, Siam Discovery, 4th Floor, 989 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Siam Station. Take a five-minute walk from Siam Station to Siam Discovery, where Madame Tussauds is located.

GET DISCOUNTED TICKETS HERE


Ratchada (Train Night Market)

View of Ratchada Night Market from Esplanade Mall.

Cheap thrills are always fun, and the colorful rows of tent stalls of Ratchada (New Rot Fai Market) will never leave you wanting. It will absolutely fill your stomachs with the wide selection of affordable Thai cuisine and international dishes— snacks, street food, sweets, exotic delicacies, and milk teas! That’s not all. NAH-AH. The market also offers affordable clothing, accessories, shoes, and many more! The whole Ratchada area is divided into two zones (dining and shopping) for efficient and convenient shopping and/or food tripping.

Opening Hours: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM (Sunday – Friday); 8:15 AM – 2:15 AM (Saturday)
Location: 55/9 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Bangkok 10400
Nearest Train Station: Bangkok MRT Thailand Cultural Centre Station. Take Exit 3, then walk towards Esplanade Mall. Ratchada is located just beside the mall.


Chocolate Ville

Chocolate Ville is a European-themed mall, much more like a restaurant park. The whole complex does not only serve delicious gastronomic feast but also provide a visually delightful dining experience with its lovely landscape design. Go up the tower to see the beauty of the whole place or simply enjoy the relaxing feeling while eating outside near the meandering pond. Make the most of the picturesque place. Every corner is picture perfect. Even the public toilets!

Opening Hours: 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Location: Soi Nawamin 74, Yak 3-8, Kaset-Nawamin Road, Klong Kum Subdistrict, Bueng Kum District,
Bangkok
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Mo Chit Station or Bangkok MRT Lad Prao Sutthisan Station. From either of the two stations, it is advisable to just take a taxi. The fare is approximately THB 300.


Jim Thompson House Museum

Popular among foreign tourists, the museum complex sits in the middle of the city on a klong (canal). The house was built and designed by its former owner, Jim Thompson, an American businessman and architect. A visit here will reveal his fascination with Southeast Asian art pieces and relics, most especially his great love for Thai Silk. The property is now managed by The James H.W. Thompson Foundation.

Photo provided by Klook

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Location: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok
Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain National Stadium Station. Jim Thompson House Museum can be reached on foot in five minutes from BTS Skytrain National Stadium Station.

If you also want to visit Suan Pakkad Palace, another iconic structure in Bangkok, you can do both of these attractions in half a day via Klook.

RESERVE A SLOT HERE


Other Attractions: The Grand Palace, Wat Po, Dream World, Siam Park City, Cartoon Network Amazone, Vana Nava Waterpark, Upside Down World Salaya Bangkok


Extra: Shopping!

  • Chatuchak Weekend Market
    This is the Queen of all markets in Thailand. It is also the largest in the country.

    Opening Hours: 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Friday); 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (Saturday & Sunday); Closed (Monday – Thursday)
    Location: Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok
    Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Mo Chit Station (Sukhumvit Line) Exit 1 or Bangkok MRT Chatuchak Park Station.

  • Khao San Road
    This is the backpacking hub of Thailand.

    Opening Hours: 24/7
    Location: Khao San Road, Bangkok
    Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Saphan Taksin Station (Silom Line) Exit 2.

  • Platinum Fashion Mall
    This famous shopping destination in Pratunam normally do the bulk selling, but the stores can also do small quantity purchase.

    Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Location: 222 Phetchaburi Rd, Bangkok
    Nearest Train Station: BTS Skytrain Siam Station

Other shopping destinations: MBK Centre, Siam Paragon, Terminal 21, Big C


How to Get to Bangkok

As mentioned previously, being the choice jump-off point for Southeast Asia backpacking, Thailand, particularly Bangkok, is conveniently accessible as many developments (roads, airport, trains, etc) have been made to address the growing number of tourists flocking to the country. There are airline companies aplenty offering direct flight to the country’s main gateway, the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

  1. From Manila, there are cheaper fare options but they don’t include baggage allowance and meal in their published rate. Philippine Airlines‘ rate includes 30kg baggage allowance, in-flight meal, and other services such as onboard Wi-Fi and Duty Free purchase through its online and onboard PAL Boutique. Some of PAL’s aircraft flying this route, like the wide-body twin-aisle, Airbus A330, offer additional features such as personal in-seat screen (with movies, games, TV series, music selection, and USB port for charging phones.
  2. When you arrive at the airport, you can reach the city either by the Airport Rail Link or taxi. Airport Rail Link connects the airport to the city center via two BTS Skytrain stations — the Makkasan and Phayathai. Should you decide to take the taxi, the fare usually ranges from THB250 to THB350, depending on the traffic situation, plus THB50 surcharge and toll.

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This post is brought to you by Philippine Airlines and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

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Asta Alvarez

Blogger at PhilippineBeaches.org
Asta is the Managing Editor at PhilippineBeaches.org and a regular contributor to The Poor Traveler. She's also a mountaineer, production designer, and cineaste.
Asta Alvarez

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