Spice up you trip to Bangkok with some of the city’s hidden secrets!
Welcome to Thailand’s City of Angels! Bangkok isn’t necessarily lauded for its myriad of family-friendly activities, but the city boasts some surprisingly awesome experiences for kids. Most traveling families will check out water parks, zoos, safaris, and of course the magnificent shopping malls invading practically every street corner; however, those attractions can get pretty crowded. Here are a few lesser-known activities in Bangkok to avoid the masses and make your family’s trip unique:
Thai Aroma Culture Workshop
The Thai Aroma Culture Workshop blends art, tea, and scented flowers into a relaxing activity meant to teach you about Thai life and serve as a way to preserve your memories from your travels. The workshop host Nune believes that smells brings memories to life, which is why she takes you on a journey of Thai culture by combining various scents. In the workshop, you will create your personalized Thai tea of choice, as well as make your own potpourri and room spray, all of which you will bring home with you. Then, as the sunset spreads itself across the sky, you will sit, sip, look out across the skyline, and reflect on your trip in Bangkok thus far.
This workshop isn’t your everyday vacation activity, nor is it one you’ll come across in many other places. The workshop is a great family bonding activity, and can be found at the “Whole Soul Studio,” which faces the Bangkok Sundown Skyline. It costs about $50 USD per person, depending on the date and time that you book. There’s room for 6 people in the workshop, but you can also go alone and meet new people when you get there. There’s heavy emphasis on reflection here, so make sure to come with an open mind and a desire to open up!
Wachira Benchathat Park
Also known as Railway Park and Suan Rot Fai, this retreat from the busy Bangkok bustle can be found right near Chatuchak Market, but you won’t see tourists stumbling upon this hidden haven. The entrance fee is free, at which point you can decide from many choices of activity: cycling, tennis, paddle-boating, bird watching, golfing and more. If you’re just looking for a place to relax, the park is a spectacular spot for a leisurely stroll. If you happen to have a toddler with you, it’s the perfect place to push a stroller around as you explore! For an educational experience, the Park offers the only insectarium and butterfly garden in Bangkok. From a biking trip around the park to an old-school game of hide-and-seek, the amount of potential family pursuits will keep you busy for awhile.
Secret of Sacred Tattoo
Sacred tattoo, or sak yant (also referred to as yantra), is an ancient tradition originating amongst tribes in parts of China and Vietnam over 2,000 years ago. Artists etch sacred designs combined with lucky Pali (the language of early Buddhism) phrases, the combination of which supposedly offers protection for the person whose body sports the tattoo. This workshop boasts itself as a celebrity favorite, having catered to the likes of Brooke Shields and Steven Pearson, and is one you are unlikely to experience anywhere else. The sak yant ceremony is located in Samnak Arjan Neng on Niran Villa Street in a studio littered with statues of magicians. It includes standard Thai cuisine for lunch, a beverage, and a tuk tuk ride. Your workshop leaders will teach you how sacred designs are created and help you find the symbol appropriate for what you are aiming to achieve in life. Not to worry–you’re not actually going to come out with a tattoo, and neither will your kids! Of course, if you do want one, you can book a separate appointment and get a tattoo for an extra charge.
True Love @ Neverland
An ideal stop for your visit to Bangkok with kids, this café satisfies two of life’s main cravings: the desire for coffee and the overwhelming inclination to play with adorable dogs. While it may sound like something out of a Peter Pan special, True Love @ Neverland is just a regular old café with huskies roaming around everywhere! Try not to faint from happiness as you enter Bangkok’s dog therapy cafe, and get ready for all of your problems to melt away! Before you enter, you’ll receive brief instructions about café decorum: for instance, you can’t touch the dogs’ snouts or pick them up, and you’ll have to sanitize your hands before you walk in–then you can have at it! Play with the huskies to your heart’s content, and stay for a 12:30 PM or 3:30 PM dog show if you’re so inclined. The experience wouldn’t be complete without that requisite cup of coffee. You can choose from various drinks and desserts on the menu, perhaps taking the opportune time to nurse your coffee while your children are occupied by the dogs. The cafe is open in the afternoon, and is located at 153 Paholyothin Soi Ari Samphan 2, in Bangkok. You can get there by taking the BTS to Sanam Pao following with a short taxi ride to Soi 2, Ari.
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