These are some ideas for day trips around Bangkok that are good for young children or teenagers. I think the most popular one for Nong Grace was the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi. She keeps asking to go back here every year. She likes feeding milk to the tiger cubs and also posing for photographs with the cubs and baby crocodiles. There are also shows featuring animals such as crocodiles, elephants, tigers and also pigs that seemingly can count. When we last went the ticket price was 300 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. It cost 150 baht to take your picture with the animals and 10-50 baht for food to feed the animals in the petting zoo.
This day trip from Bangkok to go and see the Swimming Monkeys in Samut Songkhram is a little adventurous. However, it is definitely worth the time and trouble. I have already been a couple of times and Nong Grace came with me on my last trip. We rented a boat for about 500 baht and he took us through the mangroves where we saw about 3 or 4 groups of monkeys at different locations. It is a good idea to bring bananas as they will come closer to your boat looking for food. They are not aggressive but they might squabble among each other to get at the bananas. During the boat ride we also went out into the bay to see the fishermen huts.
To the north-east of Bangkok is Farm Chockchai in Nakhon Ratchasima. This is popular with Thai families as you get a tour of a dairy farm, which to them is unusual. Although I actually grew up on a dairy farm myself, I still enjoyed the trip. You are taken around the farm where you can see how they milk the cows and also the dairy where this is processed. There is an opportunity to have a go yourself at milking by hand. During the tour of the farm there are two more stops. First is a kind of Wild West Town where you can ride ponies. There is also a rodeo show here. The next stop there was a petting zoo where you could feed the animals. They also had a short animal show here. When we went tickets were 250 baht for adults and 125 baht for children. Horse rides were 40 baht and pony and trap rides were 100 baht.
Judging by our hits from Google, many people are searching for information about Dream World in Bangkok. This theme park has been around for quite a few years now. There wasn’t much the first few times that I went but there is enough for a decent day of fun now. But, don’t go expecting something like Disney World. There are rides for children of all ages. I first took Nong Grace here when she was only five but she still found plenty to do and have fun. The highlight for her was the Snow Town where she could play with “snow”. The temperature here was a very chilly -3 Celsius. In addition to the rides there is a Fun House and Ghost House. There are also shows such as an animal show and a stunt show. When we were there tickets cost 450 baht and allowed you to have as many rides as you liked.
The biggest water park in Bangkok is Siam Park City or Suan Siam as it is called in Thai. I hadn’t been there for years and was surprised how much the place had grown. There is now so much to do there that you will only scratch the surface in a day visit. We spent six hours there and didn’t do everything. The water park is the main attraction of course. There are a number of different pools of varying depths. There is also an action river, a giant waterslide and an artificial sea which even has waves. As well as the water park, there is also a theme park with numerous rides for children of all ages. If you wanted to, you can buy tickets just for the water park and for rides in the theme park as you go. When we went, a 600 baht ticket gave you unlimited access to both the water park and theme park. If you are planning on doing everything then that is good value for money. A yearly pass is also good value.
Probably the most popular open zoo and theme park close to Bangkok is Safari World and Marine Park on the northern outskirts of Bangkok. I have taken Nong Grace here twice and she has also gone with her school. She keeps asking about going back again. The first section is the safari park where you can drive around getting quite close to the animals roaming free. Just don’t open the windows in the lion enclosure. Coach tours are available if you don’t have a car. There are a number of animals shows such as dolphins, birds and elephants. There is also a stunt show. Nong Grace also liked feeding the animals. When we were last there a combined ticket cost 700 baht
To the east of Bangkok you will find Samphran Elephant Ground. This is touted as the greatest elephant show in Thailand. In my travels I have seen many elephant shows and I must say that they are right! Here they showed the strong relationship between elephants and the Thai people. How they worked together in logging and also their important role in the wars with Burma. The battle scenes were definitely impressive though maybe a little loud for younger kids. There were also some lighter moments like a soccer match between elephants. At Samphran they also have a Crocodile Show. It was alright but I have seen much better. When we were there it cost 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children. There are also opportunities to have your picture taken with animals, feed the animals and also ride elephants.
If you want to take your kids to the beach then you will find the nearest one at Bangsaen Beach in Chonburi Province. It is just over an hour from Bangkok. Don’t go expecting white sand and crystal clear water as this is the point along the coast where mangrove forests turn to beaches for the first time. However, it is popular with Thai people who often spend the day here at the weekend. During the week you might find the place to yourself. The beach is a good place to eat some seafood. Other local attractions include an aquarium, a Buddhist Hell park and monkey mountain.
Another open zoo near Bangkok is Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi Province. It is out in the middle of nowhere and so it is more spread out compared to Safari World. I personally like this one better as you can take your time driving around to see the animals. There are car parks throughout the zoo so you can just stop where you like to explore a certain area. If you don’t have a car you can join tram tours or rent golf carts. When we went we drove around the whole place twice as Nong Grace wanted to go back and see certain animals again. You cannot do that at Safari World. There are plenty of opportunities to feed the animals and the prices for buying food wasn’t so bad. There is also a Children’s Zoo where the kids can pet the animals. We easily spent the whole day here and will probably go back again during the summer holidays this year. The admission price was only 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children.
Just to the south of Bangkok is the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo. This is in my home province and we have been here quite a few times. It has the usual crocodile wrestling show where they put their hand and head into the mouth of a crocodile. Other places have much the same show but I think this one is superior. They also have 1000′s of crocodiles of various sizes in different pens. You can buy buckets of chickens to feed the crocodiles. There is also an elephant show but it is not that exciting. But, the elephant ride here was only 50 baht when we went. There is a big lake where you can rent boats and you can also ride a train around the park. In addition the the elephants there are also zoo animals. However, their living conditions are a little sad. When we last went entrance fee was 300 baht for adults.