Tag Archives: Amusement Park

Siam Park City

There are a number of amusement parks around Bangkok that are ideal for families of all ages. These include Safari World and Dream World which I have recently visited. Another large amusement park that I went to this week is Siam Park City (Suan Siam in Thai), a short distance north-east of Bangkok. It is very similar to Dream World with its rollercoasters and other rides. However, a large part of the 120 acre park is taken up with a water park. I went there with young Nong Grace to do a site inspection. I haven’t been here for about ten years and I must say that I was impressed with the large variety of things to do to keep everyone amused for the whole day.

We arrived at the park shortly before 10 a.m. when it was just opening its doors for the day. If you go at the weekend then it will open earlier at 9 a.m. The entrance to the park is through a large recreation of a Disney-like castle. At the ticket office they give you a bilingual map of the park where you have to make a decision of where to go first. Even if you stay all day until the park closes at 6 p.m. you will probably find it difficult to experience everything. However, as many of the rides weren’t open when we arrived, we decided to catch a ride on a golf cart for 10 baht each to the large water park on the other side of the park.

There is no doubt that for many families, that the water park is the highlight of any day at Siam Park City. In fact, you can easily laze around here all day. You don’t even need to feel pressurized to get your money’s worth by playing the other rides. This is because you can buy an admission ticket that includes only the water park. This is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. When we arrived we weren’t planning on doing any swimming. However, when Nong Grace saw how much fun people were having splashing in the water we had to go to the shop to buy her some swimming gear. Apparently you can also rent. There are a number of different areas to the water park. Some were ideal for younger children who cannot swim as the water wasn’t that deep. However, it is advisable to keep an eye on young children as there are some rock pools and they could slip and hurt themselves if they get too excited.

The water park has three main features. First is the action river which flows around the park like a real river. Nearby is a giant waterslide with several levels depending on how brave you are feeling. The largest area is taken up by the artificial sea which even has waves. One area has shallow water with water fountains and waterfalls for the youngsters to play. The artificial sea section starts shallow but gets deep quite quickly by several meters. This area isn’t safe for young children to play alone. There were quite a few lifeguards on duty and one kept calling out in Thai to young kids who tried to play there alone. If your children are competent swimmers then you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. But, I fretted a little with Nong Grace as she is only five years old. She kept running off. There is actually a fourth feature which is the 3-storey high spiral slide. However, this was still closed after an accident earlier this year when 28 children were hurt, four of them badly, when a section of the slide broke and they fell two metres to the ground.

We spent nearly three hours at the water park. There were plenty of places to eat and buy food. You can even rent a deckchair for the day for only 10 baht. I think it is nice to come here for the day just for the swimming. However, there is also the theme park and amusement rides. If you bought an entrance ticket for the water park then you can pay as you go with each ride. The prices for these ranges from 30 baht for a boat ride for kids up to a whopping 300 baht for the Vortex rollercoaster where you are hanging beneath the tracks. The boomerang rollercoaster is 150 baht and Giant Drop is 120 baht. These are all new rides from 2007 and weren’t here during my last visit. If you are planning on doing a lot of rides you can buy a Silver or Gold combo ticket for 350 baht and 500 baht respectively. These give you discounts on many of the rides. However, the best value ticket is the Day Pass for 600 baht which gives you access to the Water Park and unlimited rides at all attractions. If you want to play everything then you should go for this one. However, if you are planning on coming more often then you should consider a Year Pass which is only 1,000 baht which gives you unlimited access for the whole year.

A new section that has just been opened this month is Africa Adventure. Nong Grace was really excited to go and see this one as she liked the drawings on the map. However, once on the boat ride, she kept saying, “They are not real”. But, she still enjoyed the boat ride through the jungles of Africa. The highlight was the waterfalls with the hippos and elephants. The most puzzling section was the African village where a white man was being burned alive over a fire. I am not sure what the story there was. At the end of the boat ride, we then switched to the train which took us around the jungle again. However, this time we had an unobstructed view of everything which made it easier to take pictures. The problem of the boat is that it has a low canopy and it was difficult to see anything high up. From my side of the boat I only saw the feet of elephants.

Near Africa Adventure there is a large building called Dinotopia. This is a kind of a dinosaur museum but it was a bit poorly maintained and really not worth a visit. We also felt let down by the Jurassic Adventure. Here we took a jeep ride through a park much like the movie of the same name. However, the dinosaurs were a bit pathetic. There was a commentary but only in Thai. The nearby Big Double Shock is a bit like a Ghost House. But, as Nong Grace was scared stiff of the one at Dream World we didn’t go in this one. However, she enjoyed the rides for kiddies in Small World. The park has two rollercoasters, a Viking Ship, a swinging Flying Carpet and 75 meter Giant Drop. We didn’t go on any of those but we did go up the 109 meter high Siam Tower which gave us some grand views of the park and surrounding countryside. We could also see a new area of the park which apparently will open in 2009. Grace also enjoyed the two-storey high Merry-go-round and feeding the fish on the lake.

We finally left the park six hours after first arriving. I think she wanted to stay longer but I was exhausted. We did have a great day and I am sure we will return again next year. Nong Grace certainly wants to play in the water park again. You can go to the park by public transport such as Buses no. 60, 71, 96, 115, Air-conditioned buses no. 168, 519, and Micro Buses no. 8, 17. We drove there easily via the outer-ring road and turned off for Serithai Road and headed towards Minburi. The signs were easy to follow for the park. From the new airport, I reckon it is only 30 minutes or less. So, if you have a day to waste then you might consider going to Siam Park City for a swim while you are waiting for your flight. Just take a taxi to the park. It is easy to find one to take you back.

We wish to thank the management of Siam Park City for sponsoring our visit for the day at the park. If anyone reading this runs a tourist attraction or a tour in Thailand and would like to invite us on a site inspection, then please contact us through www.PaknamWeb.com.

Dream World, Bangkok

One of the major theme parks in Thailand is Dream World in Pathum Thani Province, just north of Bangkok. If you are on holiday in Thailand with your kids and are looking for an entertaining day out, then I would seriously consider Dream World. It is a bit out of the way but there is certainly a lot there to entertain kids and adults of all ages. However, if you are expecting something of the standard of Disney World, then you will surely be disappointed. It really depends a lot on what you have seen and experienced before. I have been to many theme parks on four continents and I would say that this one is good value for money. I took Nong Grace there last week. As she was only five I thought that there wouldn’t be much for her to do. But, that was far from the truth. She was kept busy literally all day exploring the park and going on some of the kiddie rides.

The highlight for Nong Grace was definitely Snow Town. Of course, for Europeans, this might not be such a big deal, but Nong Grace has never seen snow before and was really thrilled to play in the snow. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have appropriate clothes to enter Snow Town as you can borrow for free Wellington boots and a parka jacket. However, they don’t give you any gloves and I think the next time we go we might bring some along. Nong Grace wanted to throw some snow balls but her hands were so frozen. The temperature in this giant freezer was a very chilly -3 degrees Celsius. A drop in temperature of about thirty degrees. Really, the snow was more like frozen water and it wasn’t that easy to make snow balls. But, they did have fluffy flakes at Snow Town and you should have seen her face when it started to fall from above. It was a priceless picture moment seeing a child experience their first “snow” fall. For bigger kids there is also a sledge ride down an artificial hill. We spent about 40 minutes there and I think we were lucky that there weren’t that many people during our visit. I could imagine that there would be long queues for the sledging.

Some of the bigger rides include “Sky Coaster”, a rollercoaster where you are flying through the air, “Super Splash”, a boat ride where you will definitely get wet, “Grand Canyon”, where you go on a trip down some rapids, “Hurricane” which does somersaults and flips, and an old favourite “Viking”, which swings round and round. Most queues I saw for these only had a dozen or so people waiting. Most visitors seemed to be school kids. At weekends and holidays you will probably see more families. Other great rides include “Bump Boat” and the more traditional “Bumper Car”. There are even go karts. Nong Grace had plenty of gentler rides that she could play on. If you are bored with rides then there are more traditional fairground games where you can win teddy bears and other stuffed toys. Also for young families, there are plenty of photo opportunities in the Dream Garden and also Fantasy Land where you can see the Gingerbread House and the old lady who lived in a shoe. Nong Grace’s favourite building was the Giant House from the story Jack and the Beanstalk. Everything was extra big which included not only the chairs and table but also things like a box of matches and a spoon and fork.

When we first arrived at Dream World, we first took the cable car ride which gave a great bird’s eye view of the park. This took us more than halfway. We then went straight to nearby Snow Town which turned out to be a good idea as most people were still playing the rides. Afterwards, Nong Grace played on some of the gentler rides and also the Bump Boat. For lunch she wanted to eat at KFC. But there are also other food venues at the park. We spent the early part of the afternoon looking around that area. She tried the Haunted House but closed her eyes for the majority of the time. She also played a fishing game and won a small teddy bear. At 2.00 p.m. we went to watch an Animal Show. Nothing that unique as we had seen it all before many times, but she loved the performing dogs. Straight after this we had to go to the main arena to watch the Stunt Show at 2.30 p.m. At the weekend there are extra shows. It was worth watching but it was all in Thai. We then slowly walked back to the front gates, stopping here and there to take pictures. We had hoped to watch the Parade but it started to pour with rain.

Nong Grace had a great time and said she definitely wanted to go again. The park has a two price system; however, the foreigner’s ticket is actually better value for money if you play everything. The Thais have a choice of paying an entry fee of 150 baht and then pay for the rides as they go. These range from 20 baht to 80 baht. They can also buy a saver ticket for 365 baht which allows them to play everything once. There are several tickets for foreign tourists. The super value one is 450 baht and gives you unlimited rides on all the attractions. The price is the same for kids. I think that is good value for people who are planning on doing everything more than once. You buy your ticket from the Information Office instead of the normal ticket window. They speak excellent English and they will clearly tell you what is included or excluded for each kind of ticket. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. You can reach there by bus numbers 523 from northern bus terminal and 538 from the Victory Monument. You can also join tours to go there for about 1,000 baht each. Alternatively, take a taxi.

Click here to see pictures of Nong Grace at Dream World.

We would like to thank the Public Relations Department at Dream World for sending us a VIP Pass. We genuinely had a great day out and we will be going back again in the future. If you are a manager of a tourist attraction, then please feel free to contact us to arrange a site inspection. We are also interested in tours and homestays. However, we reserve the right to print negative reviews if we feel that the public won’t get good value for money.