Reasons Why You Should Visit Thailand (and Why You’ll Love It!)

May 20, 2022
by BKKFamilies
Activities, Local Attractions, Special Events

From our recent poll at Bangkok Expat Families fb page, we learned that there are a A LOT of reasons to love Thailand. If you’re looking for the best places to visit (or maybe, live!), good food, and lovely people, one country you should not miss out on is Thailand.  Thailand is also known as the “land of the free” since they are known as the only Southeast Asian country not colonized by a foreign power. There are a lot of things to do and visit!

Here’s what to expect when you go there:

What You’ll See

Thailand is comprised of a variety of amazing places to visit. You may choose from temples, beaches, lagoons, forests, and even wildlife parks. You can also check out their floating markets and city life. From our recent Bangkok Expat Families’ poll, here are some of the top attractions in Thailand you may go to when you visit:

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Similan Islands
  • Pak Khlong Talat
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Simon Cabaret Show
  • Maya Bay
  • Ko Phi Phi Le
  • Phang Nga Bay
  • Khao Phing Kan
  • Grand Palace Bangkok
  • Railay Beach
  • Coral Island, Phuket
  • Monkey Beach
  • Pileh Lagoon
  • Big Buddha Phuket
  • Chao Phraya River
  • Safari World
  • Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park

What You’ll Feel

Thailand’s Tropical Climate

Thailand’s tropical climate has three seasons, with changes brought about by monsoons. From March to mid-May, Thailand experiences the hot season, and it’s really hot (and humid)! Southwest monsoon comes from mid-May to October, making these rainy months. November to February, the northwest monsoon brings a cool and dry season. The coasts and the south part of the country still experience hot weather during winter. 

Fun-loving nature of Thai People

Thailand isn’t called “The Land of Smiles” for no reason! Though the Thai smile can mean many different things, it does help to make things more comfortable on the surface. You’ll always feel at ease because you’ll see everyone wearing a smile. They are also helpful and accommodating, from asking for directions to different recommendations. You can also feel their genuineness and hospitality during your stay. In Thai, as they would say, mai pen rai (don’t worry about it)! You’re in good hands. 

You will also enjoy their taxis that can bring you to different places. You’ll see them everywhere you go, just when you need a lift!

What You’ll Taste

Thailand is rich in flavorful dishes and tropical fruits. If your palate is looking for something exceptional, tropical, and Asian, Thailand is one of the right places to go. The combination of sweet, spicy, sour and salty is one that can’t be beat!

Amazing Dishes

Thailand is famous for its traditional dishes. Though a lot of people associate Thai food with the world-famous Pad Thai, Thai cuisine offers you a really wide variety of options and flavors. You can check out the top recommended dishes below:

  • Spicy Shrimp Soup (Tom Yum Goong)
  • Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) 
  • Chicken in Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Kai) 
  • Red Curry (Gaeng Daeng) 
  • Thai style Fried Noodles (Pad Thai)
  • Fried Basil and Pork (Pad Krapow Moo Saap)
  • Fried Rice (Khao Pad)

Bountiful Tropical Fruits

You may have heard of durian and mangosteen, the king and queen of fruits in Thailand. Aside from those two, Thailand is also home to many exotic fruits you may love. You should never miss a chance to try and taste them! You can try these tropical fruits (with their Thai names in parenthesis):

  • Jackfruit (kanoon)
  • Lychee (linjee)
  • Mangosteen (mong-kut)
  • Durian (toorian)
  • Rambutan (ngaw)
  • Longan (lumyai)
  • Dragonfruit/Pitaya (gaeow mung-gon)
  • Guava (faraang)
  • Pomelo (som-o)

Similarly,  here are some of the more exotic fruits that find Thailand as their home:

  • Rose Apple (shom-poo)
  • Custard Apple (noi na)
  • Langsat (longong)
  • Snake Fruit (salak)
  • Sapodilla (la moot)
  • Coconut (ma prow)
  • Passion Fruit (sawa-rod)
  • Rambai (ma fai)

These are only some of the few dishes and fruits that will welcome you to Thailand. I am very sure there’s more to look forward to!

What You’ll Experience   

Aside from good food and lovely people, there’s more to experience in Thailand. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their fun festivals and relaxing massages!

Festivals

If you visit Thailand, you’ll quickly learn that they have a lot of famous and fun festivals. Thailand is a culture-rich country, and their festivals show many of them. Most of their festivals are based on Buddhism and the lunar calendar, but Thais are happy to embrace festivals from other countries as long as fun and food are involved! Below is a summary of some of their rich festivals:

  • Songkran (The Water Festival) – April 13 to 15
  • Loy Krathong (Festival of Lights) – the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, usually in November, and the exact date varies from year to year.
  • Yi Peng Festival – celebrated on the same day, somehow similar to Loy Krathong.
  • Magha Puja (Buddhist Festival, which honors the third lunar month) is celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month.
  • Visakha Bucha (Buddha’s Birthday)- mainly falls in May or June (usually based on the lunar calendar)
  • Royal Plowing Ceremony – beginning of the rice-growing season, typically falls in April or May (also based on the lunar calendar)
  • Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival – held on the full moon in May,
  • Phuket Vegetarian Festival- the first day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar and runs for nine days; 
  • Lopburi Monkey Banquet – to honor macaque monkeys that are believed to bring the locals good luck, usually held last Sunday of November
  • Chinese New Year or Spring Festival – based on the Chinese lunar calendar, but it generally falls in January or February

Massages

If you’re looking for something relaxing to do after your day tours, Thailand offers locals and tourists their very well-known “Thai Massage.” 

One of the most famous places for a Thai Massage in Bangkok is Wat Pho –  the Temple of the Reclining Buddha on the Rattanakosin Island in the older part of the city. This place is also considered to be a very traditional massage and medical school in Thailand.

I am sure that you will deserve a Thai massage after a very long day. At the end, you might want to say, “Sabai Sabai!” (I feel chilled and relaxed).

Why You’ll Love Thailand

Mentioned above are only some of the reasons you should visit Thailand, or even live there! They are just sneak peeks, and first-hand experiences are always the best. Some people might say, “there is no place like home,” but after visiting Thailand, I know you’ll get yourself thinking, “Why not Thailand?”  

See you there! 

Top 5 Museums for Kids in Bangkok

May 17, 2022
by BKKFamilies
Activities, Local Attractions

As the half-term break gets nearer and kids are getting excited to spend their breaks well, it is high time for parents to plan for their getaways to create more worthwhile memories. Get ready to learn, have fun, and appreciate science, culture, and art by visiting 5 of the best museums for kids located in Bangkok, the heart of Thailand. 

Children’s Discovery Museum

Located in Chatuchak District, the home of some of the biggest weekend markets in the world, is the Children’s Discovery Museum.  

Kids and adults alike are about to be amazed and learn all thanks to the different interactive and educational exhibitions present in the Children’s Discovery Museum. The museum houses two buildings: 

  • The Thor Tawan Building will tickle the fancy of your creative kids with exhibitions and activities in the Creative Space, Creative Science, Junior Thai Kitchen, Build Our City attractions, and much more. 
  • The Rainbow Building will let your kids enjoy the beauty of nature with attractions such as the Nature Playground and Big Backyard. 

Moreover, for your adventure-seeking kids, the Outdoor Activity Zone houses the following:

  • Water Play which has water jets, rain showers, and fountains;  and 
  • Jungle Adventure which has a multi-level climbing frame, and obstacle courses such as a suspension bridge, nets, and more. 

Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Admission Fee: Free

Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC)

Want to introduce your kids to the art scene? Well BACC should be part of your travel itinerary. BACC is an architectural landscape having 9 floors in total, with the first 6 floors offering a variety of retail options from local artists and more. 

The main gallery, located on the 7th- 9th floors, spans a whopping 3500sqm and it houses wonderful artworks from both the local and international art scene. The center will provide you with a well-rounded experience since they are offering programs encompassing all areas of art (art, music, theatre, film, and design) as well as a deep appreciation of Thai culture through various events. 

Operating hours: Tuesday- Sunday from 10:00 am- 9:00 pm

Admission Fee: Free, exhibitions additional

Madame Tussauds Bangkok

Get ready to meet your favorite stars and well-known figures up close and personal right here in Bangkok. Madame Tussauds is one of the most well-known wax museum in the world. 

You have struck your best pose and winning smile next to your favorite Hollywood A-list stars including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Will Smith as well as Asian stars, Jackie Chan, and Michelle Yeoh. 

Caught the singing bug? take selfies with some of the world’s well-known performers such as Beyonce, Madonna, and Michael Jackson.

This wax museum is not only about celebrities. Get to see and learn more about some of the world’s influential people in sports and politics. Let your imagination run wild and unleash the star in you.

Operating hours:  Monday- Sunday from 10:00 am- 8:00 pm (last entry at 7 pm)

Admission Fee: 

  • Adult (12 years and above)- 590 Baht
  • Child (3- 11 years)- 490 Baht

Science Centre for Education and Bangkok Planetarium

The Science Centre for Education has been present for 30 years now, with 4 main buildings making up the center. The buildings are as follows: the Planetarium, the Natural Science building, Science Museum, and Aquatic Life Building. 

The Planetarium, the Centre’s well-known attraction, was first opened in the 1960s and underwent refurbishment. In 2016, the new and improved Planetarium was made open to the public. The Planetarium houses theaters where children will enjoy stargazing thanks to the high definition 360-degree visuals and 5.1 surround sound. 

Other facilities include technology-oriented attractions such as interactive displays and robot technology rooms; natural world attractions like life-like dinosaurs and the world of insects; and also close to real-life attractions like a pirate ship and play supermarket.

Operating hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am -3 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10 am -4 pm.

Admission Fee: 

  • Thai subtitle
    • Adults- 30 baht
    • Children- 20 baht
  • English subtitle
    • Adults- 50 baht
    • Children- 30 baht

Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Also located in the Chatuchak district, the Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium are composed of a vast 2,038 square meter complex exhibiting all things butterflies and insects plus a lush walking path where you get to see over 30 different plants and butterflies species depending on the season. Get to appreciate nature and learn more about “nature’s angels”  by visiting Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.

Operating hours: Tuesday- Sunday from 8:30- 4:30 pm

Admission Fee:  Free

May 15, 2022

Amy Diener – BKK Families Interview

by BKKFamilies
Activities, , ,

BKK Families interview – Amy Diener 

I’ve personally known Amy Diener since 2013 when we worked together at The American School of Bangkok. Her work is amazing and her story inspiring. If you are also interested in her work or would like your kids to take some classes with her, please see her contact information below.

I recently got the opportunity to interview Amy. Enjoy her story below:

  1. Tell us about your background.

My name is Amy Diener and I am an artist and art educator based in Bangkok, originally from New York State. I moved to Bangkok, Thailand 9 years ago in 2013 to teach art at the American School of Bangkok. In 2020, I resigned from my full time teaching position to open up my own art company here. I offer art workshops in the context of private classes, after school activities at various international schools (KIS, Bangkok Patana, ASB, and St. Andrews), birthday parties, bi-monthly themed courses for kids and adults at my art space, and more. I also sell my original paintings, jewelry, and prints. I collaborate with many different international brands, showcasing my art on various product lines. 

  1. You identify yourself as a dot painter. Can you describe what this means to you? 

I specialize in vibrant dot paintings inspired by the colors and patterns from my travel encounters. I paint only dots in my work because I find the process to be extremely meditative, putting me in a space where all worries melt away. I enjoy dot painting, which involves dipping and dropping layers of acrylic painted dots onto a surface. I like each dot I paint to be perfectly round, therefore it requires me to concentrate and focus deeply. It’s a very repetitive practice that puts me into a zen state of mind. 

  1. Can you describe a couple of unique art projects you have worked on? 

Of course! 

One project was with the Elephant Parade. The Elephant Parade is a social enterprise that organizes the world’s largest decorated elephant statue exhibitions created by artists and celebrities. I was honored to have been chosen to complete my own full size baby elephant, “Hues of Siam” with them! In the future, she will parade in an Asian city and be auctioned off to the highest bidder! I also collaborate with the Elephant Parade for dot painting workshops, where attendees paint on 10cm Elephant Parade statues. 

Another project was an NFT artwork with TFAF (Thailand Digital Arts Festival.) I was one of two foreign artists in Thailand’s biggest digital arts showing, with my work featured on over 800 billboards throughout Thailand in the month of March. Below, you will find an example of my work showcased on the billboards of Parc Paragon at Siam Paragon. 

  1. Does art help you in other areas of your life?

Art has been a main savior in all aspects of my life. It has been a way to ground myself, and bring peace and joy to my mind, body, and spirit. I am so thankful to have such a passion for art and teaching art. 

5.   What is the purpose or goal of your work? 

My goal is to spread joy one dot at a time. I’ve had a long history of battling obsessive compulsive disorder, and use dot painting as one of my coping mechanisms to relieve anxiety. I strive to spread awareness and help to destigmatize mental health in Asia. I see myself as the gateway between my art and the mental health community. I want others to realize they are not alone in their struggles, and there is always support available no matter who or where you are in life. We can always encourage joy and positivity over suffering and hardship. 

6. Why is dot painting great for kids? 

Dot painting is a form of art therapy. The process of painting dots puts you into a flow state, where the only thing to focus on is embodying the present moment. It’s a great way to build patience and control. You don’t need to have any painting experience to explore dot painting. As long as fine motor skills are somewhat developed, typically from age 5 and over, dot painting is a great tool to relieve anxiety and depression. It’s also really fun to play with different patterns such as in the format of mandalas, animals, flowers, landscapes, abstracts, and other subject matters. Kids who have attributes of ADHD, OCD, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, PTSD, or depression will especially benefit from a mindful dot painting session! 

You can check out Amy’s beautiful work on her site at www.amydiener.com as well as on Instagram @amydienerpaintings. If you or your kids are interested in trying a private or small group dot painting class, you can see more information here, or check out her pre-organized workshops at this link! You can also contact Amy via whatsapp or line at +66.86.359.9104. 

May 6, 2022

Best things to Do with Kids in Bangkok during COVID-19

by BKKFamilies
Activities, ,

Why not spend time with your family in one of the best family-friendly vacation destinations in Southeast Asia? Bangkok, Thailand.

For expats and tourists alike, Bangkok has loads of family-friendly activities that even young children can enjoy. Thai people love to accommodate families visiting Thailand, making it the ideal place for family vacations. 

The weekend is rapidly approaching, and many kid-friendly options are now available in the City of Angels. But first for tourists, lets take a quick look at how current restrictions look in 2022.

What are the Entry Restrictions? 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are facing, traveling won’t be the same anymore and will require more effort and patience. 

Before going to Thailand, make sure your family is up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines because from May 1, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer require pre-arrival or arrival negative RT-PCR test. However, all travelers will be required to register for Thailand Pass prior to the journey and proof of insurance policy that covers treatment for COVID-19 for no less than US$10,000. 

With the following requirement met, they will be granted admission and will be free to travel across the country. However, for unvaccinated individuals, five-day quarantine is required before traveling to Thailand.

Also, don’t forget! Masks are expected to be worn in public, both indoors and outdoors. Those who don’t wear masks face fines.

Bangkok Family Outing Ideas

Bangkok has a significant number of attractions for children of all ages ranging from indoor and outdoor vacations so you can keep your family entertained for a whole trip. Below are some of the kid-friendly activities available in the big city. 

1) The Movement Playground

The Movement Playground

The Movement Playground is a great place to get the kids away from screens for a fit, friendly and fantastic fun! The can learn the basics of running, jumping, and climbing, or go deeper into things like parkour and health/fitness training. The community is warm and all of the coaches are trained in their respective practices. The kids really like the Ninja Camps that they run!

One bonus for the adults is that they have training programs for us as well. Get in a nice workout within a great atmosphere while your kids also stay active and healthy. With two locations on Sukhumvit and Decathlon Bangna, it’s a convenient place to visit.

Location: Sukhumvit 69 and Decathlon Bangna. Tel: 0928295262
Email: centermpg@gmail.com

Open: Call, email or message their facebook for the most up to date opening/closing times.

2) Sea Life Ocean World

Sea Life Ocean World is one of the largest underwater aquariums in Southeast Asia with a 270-degree glass underwater tunnel and an encounter with over 400+ marine species and 30,000 sea creatures from around the world. Witness species from 7 zones such as water rats and otters, ugly lions, stonefish, and plenty of deadly predators which you can feed with your own hands. 

Location: B1-B2 Floor, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Bangkok, Thailand

Open: Daily 10am-9pm

3) Siam’s Amazing Park

To cool off from the heat, waterparks are the best place for kids to splash, wade, dive, and ride down slippery slides freely, while their parents relax in the shade or join in the fun. The place also has its own amusement park with fantastic rides and a separate section showcasing Bangkok’s cultural heritage suited for all ages. 

Location: 203 Suan Siam Rd, Kannayao, Bangkok 10230, Thailand

Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

Final Words

Indeed, aside from being together as a family, Bangkok has a wide variety of choices for fun, travel, or even relaxation. Always plan your trip ahead and prepare an itinerary for your whole stay in Thailand to ensure that the family’s experience will be worthwhile.

January 5, 2020

Family Activities in Bangkok

by BKKFamilies
Activities, Camps

Bangkok is a multi-faceted city for all ages with many family activities in Bangkok for all kinds of tastes. While the capital of Thailand is notorious for its extensive nightlife and late night locales, those who are under the legal drinking age or prefer not to indulge can still find a plethora of exciting activities in and around the city. 

1.) Exhilarating hot pot at Shabu Lab Thailand

Hot pot may be an unknown concept to who do not reside in Asia. Simply put, customers are allowed to participate in the cooking process as a steaming pot is given, allowing you and your friends to choose how you want your food cooked. While there are many different hot pot restaurants around Bangkok, Shabu Lab Thailand is tops for a “family friendly restaurant bangkok” that assures exceptional quality every step of the way. 

Family friendly restaurant bangkok
  • 2.) Work up a sweat at Peppermint Bike Park

Touted as one of the most unique parks in the city, Peppermint Bike Park brings an extra air of excitement to bike riding and is a great option for family activities in Bangkok. Filled with many different twists, turns and obstacles, Peppermint provides enjoyable exercise opportunities for the whole family, furthermore, the Mint Café located right next to the park allows for riders to take a quick coffee break before either heading ride back into the park or capping off an exhausting day outdoors. For families, it’s the best bangkok bicycle park there is!

bangkok bicycle park

If you want to head to a theme-park in Bangkok, Siam Park City is the place to be. Filled with an enormous and varied amount of rides, the locale is sure to satisfy the most fearless of daredevils. Many of the rides are suitable for young children who may not be fit for the lengthy waterslides and daunting rollercoasters. 

Siam Park City
  • 4.) Authentic seafood experience at Farm Somjai Seafood

For those looking for the most delicious and fresh Thai seafood, Farm Somjai has got you covered. Located in Khlong Lang, an area neighboring the sea, the restaurant offers such classic Thai dishes as Tom Yum Goong and Thai Garlic Shrimp. In addition to great food, the restaurant provides beautiful views of the Thai countryside to compliment the dining experience. 

Farm Somjai Seafood

With the weather being quite humid year-round, a good way to cool off and enjoy a beach-like experience would be to visit the Flow House, allowing for people of all ages to ride artificially created waves in a safe environment. The establishment serves a good selection of drinks to cool off after testing yourself on the waters. 

Flow House Bangkok
  • 6.) Virtual Reality gaming at VR1 Bangkok.

Virtual Reality is a rapidly growing technology currently being used in the gaming industry, at VR1 Bangkok you can find yourself in immersive experiences ranging from sports, cooking, fighting and more. Both adults and children will find themselves enamored in how realistic some of these games have become recently, a must try for anybody looking for family activities in Bangkok!

family activities in Bangkok
  • 7.) Meet lifelike sculptures at Maddame Tussauds Bangkok.

Popular around the world, Maddame Tussauds features ultra-realistic wax figures of famous people far and wide including politicians, actors and sport stars. Bring your family and take photos to trick all of your friends back home!

Maddame Tussauds Thailand

BONUS: For some thing a bit more low key, maybe your family might enjoy a cooking class in Bangkok!

December 24, 2019

Activities – Cooking Class Bangkok

by BKKFamilies
Activities, Camps

Finding a cooking class Bangkok style has never been easier. You simply can’t visit let alone live in Thailand without learning how to cook a few Thai dishes. The food here is exceptional in every capacity, and there are many schools to choose from. If you want to take a Thai cooking class with your family, there are also many great options.

Cooking with Poo

The one that always comes to my mind is Cooking with Poo. I kid you not, that is the name. Though the name is memorable, the cooking experience is even more memorable! You get to experience a Thai market where you source locally grown ingredients for your class. You can pick up some Thai language during that trip, and get to experience what a real fresh market in Thailand is like. There are many different menus to choose from, and Chef Poo will happily guide along through the experience.

cooking class bangkok

Chef Leez Thai Cooking School

Chef Leez is known as a teacher, and this comes through during her classes. You’ll see repetition, clear explanations, and a format that is easy to understand and remember.

Each class has less than 9 people per group, and the class is done in a modern style kitchen. Each person receives a good amount of individual attention, and that is why Chef Leez likes to have relatively small class sizes. Students will learn how to cook a whopping 12 dishes during each class, and the first class begins at 10 AM. This is a cooking class Bangkok travelers will want to try out if they love Thai food!

Baipai Cooking School

Bai pai thai cooking school
Baipai Thai cooking school

At just 1600 Thai Baht, The Baipai Cooking school offers more bang for your baht. Located in a gorgeous traditional Thai setting outside of the center of Bangkok, it’s a beautiful place to hone your Thai culinary skills.

It opened in 2002, and is now accredited by the Thai Ministry of Education. They have half day classes, and grow their own herbs in their Thai organic herb garden. Everyone who enters this school boasts of the natural feeling, beautiful surroundings, and lovely smells of Thai food.

No matter where you go for your cooking class Bangkok style, let us know how it goes. We really appreciate feedback from our readers.

December 5, 2019

Summer Break in Bangkok

by BKKFamilies
Activities, Camps,
While many families that are studying in an international school in Bangkok travel during the summer, there are plenty of families who decided to stay in Bangkok during the summer months. This leaves the question, what to do in Bangkok with all of this free time?! Let us know your thoughts!
Summer Break in Bangkok