Maybe not your first choice for a family holiday but unless you have a direct flight to the beaches you will fly in here. Don't worry, there is plenty of fun to be had!
Bangkok at first glance is not charming or quaint, it is a bit of an ugly sister. It will not break you into Thailand gently. It will be pongy, it will be loud and it will be busy. Really busy. Take a deep breath, relax, do not expect Western logic you are in full throttle Asia. Do as the locals do and smile. Head down the sois (side streets) on Suckumvit, or take a boat trip along the river. You never know what you might discover and as these areas unfold you realise Bangkok can be quaint after all.
Trip along the Chao Praya River
The River is a lovely way to spend a morning. There are several boats that can take you on your merry way. After your boat trip go and treat yourself to a lovely lunch overlooking the river at one of the hotels along the riverside.
Tiny Tip: If you are going onto the river, most boats will not have life jackets, so bring some child size ones with you (this goes for most boat trips in Asia).
This can be coupled with a boat trip, just choose a boat that stops at a temple pier. Cover your shoulders and take socks (you will not be allowed into the larger temple grounds without these). You can buy socks there (but they are not cotton and can lead to a sweaty foot experience – been there, done that and got the socks!). If you are visiting on a hot day please go early, the temple grounds can get very hot and busy - perfect conditions for a family melt down (in every sense). You have been warned.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
This is the worlds largest weekend market. FRIENDLY WARNING: If you have a child or a husband that does not like shopping, do not come here!! Leave them at the hotel and go by yourself. The easiest way to get here is the Sky train. However, if you are quite happy to have a family snoop around it is a really amazing experience. Firstly, buy a Nancy Chandler Map of Bangkok (available online and Asia Books bookstore in Bangkok). The Map dedicates half a page to this market so you can explore it like a local. Take a look at the map, see what your family would like to explore (there is nothing this market does not sell) and head out. Go early! Have a mooch around in the morning, have lunch there and then get out of there! This place gets very hot and very busy!
Tiny Tip: The easiest way to get around Bangkok is the Sky train. Air conditioned and simple to use, it is by far the easiest way to reach the piers of the river or Chatuchak weekend market.
This is one place I would recommend you get a taxi to. The Sky train leaves you with quite a walk to do and it is not that easy to get across the road. The park is great for some green space in Bangkok. There are snack and drink sellers there and you can go out on the lake on a peddlo and feed the fish. As with everything in Bangkok the early rule applies!p along the Chao Praya River: The River is a lovely way to spend a morning. There are several boats that can take you on your merry way. After your boat trip go and treat yourself to a lovely lunch overlooking the river at one of the hotels along the riverside.
Tiny Tip: Get out early, to avoid the heat of the day. Carry plenty of water. Bangkok is not pushchair friendly so get your baby carrier out.