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Bangkok can be a tough city for any tourist. Between the shear size of the city, the oppressive heat, and the language barrier, the city can seem like a tough nut to crack. Being there with kids can be even more challenging! Planning kid friendly activities that are also fun for adults can make a family vacation come alive. Here are 4 activities that should be great for kids and parents alike. I tried to include a range of activities. Some of these are free and will can give you a taste of the culture while entertaining the kiddos.

NIGHTTIME FLOWER MARKET

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Flowers are a big part of Thai culture. They are used as offerings, for decorations and even air fresheners. We heard about a large flower market that really ramped up at nighttime. Since Jackson loves flowers we decided to venture out to see this.

The market really ramps up at about 10:00 PM, but we went at 7PM. That is as late as we could make it. It was a spectacle. There are so many flowers and colors. Many different types of flowers and it feels like a color explosion. There is also a clothing/shoe/junk market just adjacent to the flower market.  So you can get some of your bargain shopping done there too.

Go early on in your trip and bring home flowers to decorate your room.

We took the Sky Train to the river and took the ferry boat to pier 6. Once you get off go left one block and turn right. You will start to see flowers about 1 block down that street.

SIAM OCEAN WORLD

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No surprise here. Every list of activities includes this attraction, and for good reason. Located in the basement of the Siam Center-which is an enormous ultra-high-end mall- is a very good aquarium. They ocean creatures from all over the world. It is very well done with several themed zones. There are some of the biggest fish I have ever seen there! They sell food throughout the entire route so don’t worry about snacks. They also have a 5d movie which we didn’t see, but would probably be awesome! Great for at least a few hours and up to 1/2 day. Add on the actual Siam Center and you have a great day adventure!

You can buy discount tickets online from Siam Ocean World site directly. You will need 24 hour advance purchase and have to go weekdays before noon. I highly recommend this anyway because it can get very crowded in the afternoon.  If you buy tickets online be sure to have your passport and copy of your e-ticket when you go to verify your identity. They won’t issue tickets without valid ID.

Exit Siam off the Sky Train and go the Siam Paragon Building. It is in the basement.

BANG NAM PHEUNG FLOATING MARKET

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There are many floating markets to go see. These are like farmers markets, but on boats. Most of the big markets, like the one made popular by James Bond movies, are about 1.5 hours outside Bangkok. Since we didn’t want to spend 3 hours in a car with the kids, we opted for a smaller market just 15 minute taxi ride from Sukhumvit district. They had a market on the street selling flowers, crafts and traditional food.

The kids had a great time. They were taken in by the boats and the plethora of fish in the river. There are huge fish-like 3′ long-  literally jumping out of the river in places. Jackson got a beautiful hand carved flower made from soap as a souvenir. There is great food there as well.

If you go be sure to budget 1,000 baht for a private 1 hour boat tour of the surrounding canals. You will see other floating vendors and get a great feel for the area. We even saw a monitor lizard in the water.

BANGKOK BUTTERFLY GARDEN & INSECTARIUM

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OK…so we didn’t actually get into this attraction. We tried 3 times to go, but were shut out, but I think we will try to make it there when we leave. It looks really cool and we did make it to the outside of the building where there were literally hundreds of butterflies! This is more like a greenhouse with thousands of butterflies than a museum.

This is located inside the Rot Fai park, near the Chatuchak Weekend Market. This is a super-crowded street market, about 200,000 people visit each weekend! We found a bit overwhelming with the kids, but the park is great. You can rent bikes there and ride around the huge park. There are water features and paddle boats for rent as well. Bring a picnic or buy street food, bike around and check out the butterflies. If you are willing to brave the crowds go on the weekend and shop like a local!

There are so many fun things to do in Bangkok. Many are expensive, but there are unique adventures for all types and price ranges. We hope to be back through Bangkok a few times on this trip so hopefully we will get a few more experiences in.

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