We returned to Bangkok after two months away. It almost felt like coming home. We love the city. Our teenagers love this city. When it was time to leave for Sri Lanka, we were all a bit sad, not know when the next time we would return to this amazing city. Here are some things our teenagers enjoyed doing in Bangkok.
Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho
Experience a bit of Thai art and culture. Also, it’s a great place to take selfies.
Ride the Chao Phraya Express
Riding a boat is a fun way to get around Bangkok. And it’s cheap. Go to any pier and wait for an boat with an orange flag (sometimes there are yellow flagged boats during rush hour or boats with no flag, just don’t get on the blue flag boat. That’s the more expensive tourist boat. It’s more fun to travel with locals).
Get a fish spa
Let little fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Teenagers (and adults) find this hilarious. After walking around Bangkok for a few days, you’ll be grateful for this live animal pedicure.
Go to the mall
Terminal 21 is especially fun with its international city themed floors bathrooms.
MBK has a whole floor of souvenir shops and a yummy food court.
Central World has moderns stores and the best soup dumplings outside of Taiwan.
All the malls have movie theaters that show movies in English. We timed our flight to Sri Lanka for the day after The Force Awakens came out, so we could see it in Bangkok.
Take a walk around Lumipini Park
This park is a green oasis in the big city. There are great city views here and if you are lucky you will see a monitor lizard or two. My kids loved playing on the exercise equipment in the park.
Eat street food
Wander the street and eat whatever looks good at the food carts. For hygienic reasons, we prefer carts that cook the food when you order it. We also only eat fruits that can be peeled. Other that that go crazy. Pad thai, fried chicken, chocolate banana roti, mango sticky rice, quay teow soup, and more.
Explore a wet market
Awesome ick factor and you wander through the day’s offering of fish and fresh butchered meat. You’ll often see pig heads, live frogs, intestines and other unusual animal parts as you slosh through the puddles on the floor that give the wet market its name. Go in the morning before the smell gets too strong.
Shop ‘til you drop at Chatuchak Market
This huge outdoor market is a bargain hunter’s dream. Walk past hundreds of stalls looking for the perfect cheap souvenir to bring home. Scarves, elephant pants, jewelry, wood cravings and more can all be found here. If you aren’t in Bangkok for the weekend or you want more shopping head to the Asiatique in the evening for a nice array of souvenir shops.
Visit a floating market
Khong Lat Mayom is just over the Chao Phraya river on the Thonburi side of the city. It offers delicious snacks and seafood, sold at the land market and from boats on the canal. When you have eaten your fill, take paddle boat ride through the canals and a lotus pond.
See a puppet show at Baan Silapin (The Artist house)
Also, on the Thonburi side (perhaps combine with a morning trip to the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market), this artist house has Thai puppets shows every day at 2pm. Call ahead to confirm as the day we tried to go there was no show. But we had fun looking at the art upstairs and feeding the fish in the canal a huge bag of colorful fish food puffs.
Bangkok may have reputation of being a seedy city where gap year twenty-somethings come to party, but if you stay away from the ping-pong shows and Khao San Road, you’ll find a culturally interesting city with all kinds of fun activities for teens and their families.