Is Bangkok worth visiting with your kids? I would 100% say YES! There are so many great reasons to love Bangkok and to take your kids with you when you venture to Thailand.
Why would you want to take your kids all the way around the world? I’ll share with you my top 3 reasons why quickly and then you can read more details below:
- You can afford to take your whole family and your budget will love Bangkok.
- Experience the unique Thai culture, some things have to be learned first hand.
- There are endless fun things to do with your kids in this great city!
You can actually afford to take your whole family.
I love Bangkok for many reasons, but my budget loves Bangkok because we can travel luxuriously for 1/4 of the cost of Europe or the United States. Hotels alone are a fraction of the cost. Especially when I am paying for 5 people, we need all the cost savings we can get.
Stay at some of the top tier hotels! I’m telling you, for the same cost of a Hampton Inn in the United States, you can stay at a nice Conrad in Bangkok. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hampton Inn and their breakfast waffles. I also love going to the night market and buying lots of souvenirs for a fraction of the cost.
It’s time to book your family trip to Thailand! We’ll get to more of this later. But just know that once you get to Thailand, things are less expensive than any big city in Europe and the US.
What costs to expect
|Flights||$600 to $2,000+|
|Hotels||$75 to $150 per night (4-5 Star Hotels)|
|Food||$30 per adult $15 per kid for each day|
|Transportation||$4 to $20 per day|
|Sightseeing||$10 per day per person|
Flights to Bangkok from the US are going to be around $600 (in December/January) upwards to over $2,000 (typically in July).
The best day of the week to fly out to Thailand is on Thursday. This is the cheapest and least busy day of the week for passengers. Trust me you want the least busy day. This will give you more seat options so your kids can spread out on the long flight and hopefully sleep. You might get lucky and have an entire row to yourself and your family. Even one extra open seat can make the flight more enjoyable.
The best day to purchase your ticket is on Saturday or Sunday. The reason for this is because demand is down so prices are down. Most business travelers have their agents book their flights for them. Most agents work Monday – Friday. So, as a leisure traveler, we get the added discount to book our flights on the weekends. Take advantage of this and grab some serious savings.
Use Skyscanner to see which time of the month is best for you to fly, this too will save you tons!
Your flights will be the most expensive part of your trip. Plan wisely, watch prices and book when it is cheapest. You may also think about cashing in some points to pay for the flights.
This is where you can really reap the benefits of South East Asia travel. If a luxury hotel is not on your priority list, this is where you can save big time. There are so many cheap places to stay in Thailand, Bangkok is slightly more than the other cities but you will still find great deals.
Disclaimer: you can find extremely cheap hotels in Bangkok. I’m talking under $25 per night. I would not advise you to stay in these hotels. They will not be up to the standards we are accustomed to. A good hotel will be at least $50 per night.
Holiday Inn has quite a few hotels in Bangkok, they are nice, and they will be clean. Most of them are 4-star hotels for between $60-80 per night. They are also in great locations.
This hotel below is $60 per night (the price is shown in Thai Baht) and it is in the heart of Bangkok. Easy walking distance to the train and many other sites. Convenience is key when you are traveling with kids.
Even luxury hotels are cheaper than you expect
If you’d prefer a luxury hotel, Bangkok has plenty of those to offer at low prices as well. One of my favorite hotels to stay at with our kids is the Conrad Bangkok. They have a hotel and they also have a Residence that has larger rooms and kitchens.
The prices range from $100-$150 per night. The benefits of staying at the Residence is that this price is for on a one-bedroom suite. So you have a living room and kitchen in your room.
When I’m traveling with my toddler, a kitchen is a must-have because she eats all the time! But also to keep her milk cold and easily wash her bottles.
I love the Conrad Bangkok because it has a great pool, an exceptional gym (one of my favorites in the world) and a fun playground for the kids. It’s also in a great location and attached to a mall with lots of restaurants.
**Pro-tip~ Join Hilton Honors so that you can get free wifi and free breakfast.
The biggest downside to this hotel is that they don’t have a play place for the kids. But the outdoor playground and huge pool made up the difference for my kids.
One part of town to avoid with kids
One popular area of Bangkok that I would not recommend staying in is in Sathon. It is a safe part of town and very convenient for a lot of things, but the traffic is horrible.
We sat in dead stopped traffic for over 45 minutes trying to get to our hotel. This was miserable with a wiggly 2-year-old on my lap. Every time we tried to get a taxi, we’d sit in traffic forever just to get out of that area.
You will waste so much time sitting in traffic, this area is not worth it. Especially when you are totting little kids with you that are constantly asking “how much longer”.
The best area to stay in Bangkok for tourists
What is the best area to stay in Bangkok for tourists? In my opinion, the best area to stay in would be somewhere along the river. My personal favorite place we have stayed in Bangkok is at the Hilton Milliumem hotel.
I loved the location of this hotel because it is surrounded by local markets, you are right on the river and it is right next door to the new Icon Siam mall. They call it the Jewel of Bangkok, and you will easily see why.
You can easily walk out of the hotel and wander the streets with shop after shop. You’ll find a mixture of locals and tourists shopping in the markets and you’ll be greeted with a wide variety of things. They have everything from food, clothing, souvenirs, textiles, fabrics, and so many other things.
Since this hotel is literally on the river, hopping on the free shuttle boat makes getting around the city incredibly easy. You can easily get on a boat and avoid the infamously awful Bangkok traffic. The views from the hotel are unbelievable. Make sure to go up to one of the top floors or the pool and look out at night.
Icon Siam Mall
The Icon Siam mall is out of this world. It is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It is so luxurious and the sheer magnitude of the place is a feat itself. You can linger in the mall and window shop, most of the stores were way out of my price range, or you can head downstairs for a fun surprise.
You must wander downstairs to the lower level. They have recreated a local Thai city, with a floating market and all. There is an entire city down there. You’ll find tons of great restaurants and even a local market. This was such a great surprise!
The location of this hotel is by far my favorite location, but the hotel is not the best for kids. It does cater to adults and especially business travelers. There is a nice pool that kids are welcome to use but the overall feeling of this hotel was not as kid-friendly as I normally like.
Once again, you can go really cheap on your food while you are in Bangkok. If you want to try out some local street food, you can easily eat for under $3 per person.
When I am traveling with my kids, I am not adventurous with my food. In fact, I am very cautious about our food. This is because we cannot afford sick tummies and I hate cleaning up kid throw up 🙂
So we play it safe when it comes to our food. So we spend a little bit more to make sure our food is handled and prepared properly. Even that being said, we typically spend around $7 per adult per meal.
If you are interested in trying Thai Street Food, check out this post from Global Treats about their adventures trying Thai Street Food.
Not all places have kids meals, so we typically just eat “family style” during our time in Bangkok. This also helps us save BIG. Luckily for us, our kids love Thai food!
Remember Bangkok is a huge city, compare food prices with other large cities and you’ll see huge savings.
The last time we visited Hawaii as a family, we had budgeted around $100 for the family for food each day. We had breakfast at our hotel so this was only for 2 meals.
We thought we were being generous because at the time we only had 2 kids. But we blew our budget out of the water every day. The food was so expensive!
We even tried going to the grocery store so that we could “pack” lunches. Even this we expensive, one loaf of bread was like $10.
Take a look at the chart below to see just how much you save on food. Keep in mind, Bangkok is a lot bigger than Denver but the food costs are still tons cheaper.
This is one of the biggest areas that you will save while you are in Bangkok. The numbeo chart above shows you a comparison of the average food prices of Bangkok to Denver.
You can see for an inexpensive restaurant you can eat for $1.97, but you need to make sure that its a place that won’t make you sick.
I know many people tell you to eat like a local. Well, the local’s stomachs have had years to get used to their food and hygiene standards. Just be safe and if you think it’s not safe to eat, move on.
There are plenty of other safe and cheap places to eat. Many of the markets still have great food setups that are sanitary and have not made my sensitive stomach upset.
My favorite restaurant in Bangkok
My favorite restaurant in Bangkok is in the Sathon district. It is called Naga Cafe and it is so amazing. Let’s just say, after we ate there once, we went back 2 more times on a 5-day trip. Check out their reviews on Trip Advisor here.
It is a great restaurant for kids, the food is not too spicy and the decor kept my kids interested for the entire meal. My kids loved that they make shapes with the rice. Food is traditional Thai food and appears to be family own and run.
The flavors at this restaurant are better than most of the really expensive restaurants in the city. We easily fed our whole family of 5 including drinks for under $20. It is also clean and won’t make you sick!
**Pro-tip~ Traffic can be very bad in this part of town. Try going for lunch at this cafe to avoid traffic and save yourself some time.
One of the top things to do in Bangkok is to take a local cooking class on how to make delicious Thai food. This can double as part of your food budget and activity budget. Plus you get to take with you the knowledge of a new recipe.
Transportation and Sightseeing Costs
Transportation is cheap in Bangkok! I would not recommend driving at all while you are in Bangkok or anywhere in Thailand. The road laws are very different and drivers do not drive as you would expect. They also drive on the left side of the road, and for many of us, we are not used to that side.
Our first time in Bangkok we hired a private driver. This made it easy for our first trip with kids. He picked us up at the airport and we would text him as we need and where we wanted to go. A private driver is also a good way to get out of the city and see some of the Unesco Temples or Elephant Sanctuaries.
So what are your options to get around? There are so many cheap options, your biggest task will be choosing which one is best to beat traffic. Traffic in Bangkok is AWFUL.
Grab car or taxi
The safest way to get around is by Grab car. Gab car is an E-hailing app just like Uber. You put in your destination and it will show you all the available drivers that are close to you.
I love using Grab in Asia because it shows you the price before you even book a car. So I don’t have to worry about being over-charged for a taxi fare.
Communication can be an issue with taxi drivers or other drivers, but with Grab you are in control of the destination. You put in your destination location. I also love Grab because it translates all your conversations for you automatically. So I can chat with the driver in English even if they don’t speak English.
To use Grab car, simply download the app on your phone before you leave your home country. You can try to put your credit card information before you leave but the app may not allow you to do this until you arrive in Thailand.
Once you have it downloaded and credit card info in, it’s easy to use and you’re ready to go!
Typical fares in the city are under $5 and a fare from the airport should be around $20 each way.
You can also hail a taxi off the street easily. Just make sure to arrange the price for the fare before you get in the car or make sure they turn the meter on. If they don’t turn the meter on you will want to ask how much!
My kids LOVE tuk-tuks. They are a fun easy way to get around Bangkok, but they are definitely not the safest. That being said, I don’t usually take a tuk-tuk for long distances.
I would recommend taking a tuk-tuk when traffic is heavy. They can travel down roads that normals cars/taxis can not fit and they are usually even cheaper than a taxi.
My kids love taking tuk-tuks at night. Typically they have lots of fun lights and music. It’s worth taking at least one ride during your stay in Bangkok. I’d plan on spending less than $3 for a ride in a tuk-tuk.
Water Taxi or boat rides
A great way to beat traffic is to take a boat on the river instead. It’s fun to see the city from the river and you won’t be sitting in traffic for hours.
You can even take a hop on hop off boat tour that will take you to all the sites for around $15 per day. We used this one day with our kids and it was so much better than trying to navigate taxis and traffic. It gives you a different perspective of the city too. The larger hop on hop off boats won’t make you motion sick or seasick if you tend to have that issue.
There are lots of different options for boat transportation in Bangkok. Hotels.com has a great article with all the different kinds of boats you can take. Do your research on these before you go so you don’t waste any time during your trip.
BTS- Bangkok Train system
Lastly, you can choose to take the train. The train in Bangkok is called the BTS. It is a really good train system and easy to use. Tickets cost less than $1 each way.
For more information about how to use the BTS and Thailand in general, visit my post here.
**Pro-tip~ If you are planning to use the train as your main transportation, make sure to book a hotel that is within walking distance of a station. Bangkok is super hot and you don’t want to be outside walking very far.
If you are planning to see all the great sites that Bangkok has to offer, you don’t need to budget a lot of money.
The big sites like the Grand Palace and all the temples, do charge a small fee. The Grand Palace entry fee is 500 Bhat. The current exchange rate is 30 Bhat to one dollar. So the Grand Palace entry fee currently is $16.
The Grand Palace is the most expensive. Usually, the temples charge less than $2 per person. Even the museums are typically cheap. You won’t need any money to wander the numerous markets that Bangkok has to offer.
**Pro-tip~ If you visit the Grand Palace, keep your ticket and make your way to the Dusit Palace. The Dusit palace gives you free entry with your Grand Palace tickets.
So unless you are planning to go to do some specific excursions, you won’t need hardly any money to see everything Bangkok has to offer.
Reason #2 to bring your kids to Bangkok- Thai Culture
Some lessons can not be learned from a book or a YouTube video; some lessons have to be experienced first hand. This is one of the main reasons you need to take your kids to Bangkok. To experience the Thai culture.
Tradition and honor are held with high esteem in Thailand. The Thai people are warm, kind, and inviting. It is an astounding experience to take your kids to this unique culture.
Family is central to the Thai people and this shows in the way they treat you when you travel around with your kids. The Thai people love kids and you can tell they put family first in their lives.
Take your kids to the temples
The majority of Thai people practice Buddism as their main religion. It is an eye-opening and humbling experience for your kids to visit the Buddist temples. Your children will see people paying respect to Buddha and even donating money and gifts.
The first time we took our kids to a Buddist temple, they were very confused by a few of the practices. Why are these people removing their shoes? Why are they giving money to Buddha? We had many questions to answer and I was grateful for the opportunity to teach them.
If we had not visited the temples, our kids would have never been interested in Buddism. I don’t think they would have taken a break from watching Hashtag Sisters or Paw Patrol and search for Buddist traditions.
But since they saw these things first hand, their interest was definitely peaked. They were intrigued and engaged in learning about this new religion.
This is why we have made traveling a priority in our family. It opens our eyes to the big world that is out there. It humbles you and teaches you that the people are people no matter where you go.
How to respect their culture as a tourist
The Thai people may seem like they are very easy going, but it is very important to them that you respect their culture during your time in Bangkok. They take offense very seriously.
Always greet each other with the traditional Wai and by saying hello in Thai. To say hello in Thai you say “sawasdee” and if you are a boy, you finish with “krap” so you say “Sawasdee krap”. If you are a girl, you will add “kha” so you say “Sawasdee kha”.
You can add the phrases “kha” and “krap” to almost any sentence. It’s a great way to show respect. You can also learn more about the Wai on my post here.
Feet in Thailand
Feet are considered the dirtiest part of the human body. Do not use your feet to pick things up or put your feet up on furniture. Do not use your feet to hold open doors either.
Showing respect in the temples
Always take off your shoes when entering temples.
Cover your shoulders and your knees when visiting temples. This is for men and women, dress respectfully. If you forget to cover one or the other, the temple will most likely provide something for you to cover up with.
If you plan on going to some of Bangkok’s beautiful (Wats) Temples, plan on wearing clothes that cover more. Guys no tank tops, but T-Shirts are okay. Shorts are also okay if they are knee-length. The same rules apply to women. With Bangkok being so hot, a light airy dress is a good idea on this day and makes for great pictures.
Do not yell in public
Thai people do not like to “lose face” or be embarrassed in public. Make sure you don’t yell at a Thai person in public. This will be incredibly offensive to not only the person you are yelling at but everyone around you as well.
The Thai people like to avoid confrontation at all costs, so if you escalate a situation, they could become very offended.
Reason #3 to bring your kids- there is so much to see!
Bangkok’s Floating Markets~
Find a floating market that is convenient for you. Make this easy on yourself because they are all great. Here is a great post by Travel Triangle showcasing 15 of the best floating markets in Bangkok.
2. The Pink Temple~
This is totally worth it! By far one of my favorite things to see in all of Bangkok. The name of this temple is Erawan Museum Bangkok. It is about a 30-minute drive from downtown Bangkok but your kids will love it! Your kids can run through the gardens that surround the temple. They will love going under the giant elephants that make noise when you pass through them.
How to get there: You will want to take a Grab car or taxi. The address is:99 Bang Mueang Mai, Mueang Samut Prakan District, Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand
Hours: Open every day from 9:00-7:00
Tickets: $2 per person, you can easily purchase tickets when you arrive.
Asiatique Night Market~
This is a great place to take your kids in the evening. There are lots of great restaurants, stores, fun activities for kids, and you can easily catch a boat for a night cruise from here. They also have musicals and dinner shows.
How to get there: BTS stop- Saphan Taksin. Then take the Asiatique riverfront shuttle boat.
Tickets: You do not need tickets for the market and the restaurants. You can easily purchase tickets for a riverboat cruise right at the riverfront.
Hours: 6:00 am to 11:30 pm every day
Bangkok – Sea Life Aquarium~
Sea Life Aquarium is a bit more expensive than the other outings I’ve mentioned. Tickets for Adults are about $55 USD and kid tickets are about $45 USD. If you have little kids that love ocean life, this is a must. My baby was 18 months at the time and she loved this, it was her favorite thing in Bangkok.
For my older kids, I would have skipped this attraction. My old kids were 9 and 5 years old at the time and they enjoyed it, but it was not worth $100 for them.
How to get there: BTS stop- Siam. It is located in the Siam Paragon mall on level B1 (basement one). From the BTS stop, just walk right into the mall and then go down to level B1.
Tickets: I would recommend purchasing tickets BEFORE you go you will save 25%. Purchase your tickets on this link. Adults will be around $55 and kids $45.
Hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm every day.
This is one of Thailand’s and Bangkok’s most iconic temples. It sits on the river and is easily accessible by boat, car, or tuk-tuk. This is a great place for kids and adults to take in the beauty of the architecture.
The Khmer style tower is decorated with millions of small pieces of colorful Chinese porcelain and stands over 80 meters (262 feet). This is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples and it sits just opposite the Grand Palace. Kids will enjoy climbing the steps and walking around the temple and the temple grounds.
How to get there: I would recommend taking a boat. The stop is Pier number 8. Or a Grab car, the address is 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Tickets: Tickets are easily purchased at the entrance to the temple. They are around $3 per person.
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm every day.
Bangkok River Cruises
River Night Cruise and Hop on Hop off Boat Tour. If you get tired of fighting Bangkok traffic or if you only have a short amount of time to see Bangkok, one of the best ways to see a ton of stuff is a hop-on-hop-off boat tour.
Many of Bangkok’s sites are along the river or just a short walk from the river. You can buy a 24-hour pass and use it to get to many places. The hop-on-hop-off boat tours close at 5:30 or 6:00 pm. If you want to see Bangkok at night from the river we recommend booking a River night cruise
The River night cruises leave from Asiatque. You will have a choice if you want to include dinner on your night cruise. This is up to you, but a night cruise was one of our favorite things to do with the kids as the boat played music we could enjoy the lights of the city and great view of the grand palace at night.
How to get there: The easiest way is to take a tuk-tuk or Grab car to the closest pier.
Tickets: 150 Bhat (around $5) for an all-day pass. You can easily purchase these at any pier.
Hours: 9:00 am to 8:30 pm; they run every 30 minutes
Neon Night Market and Food Market
There are a lot of night markets in Bangkok! You will find the usual souvenirs in all of them. But my favorite night market is the Neon night market. This is by far the best!
The vendors have a lot more hand made gifts and souvenirs. They also have a lot of customizable gifts. So you can take back handmade gifts to people at home with their name on it 🙂
The Neon Market is one of the newest in Bangkok. Some people say that it doesn’t have as much of the local feel to it as others, but we have found the food to be delicious and the market items similar or identical to those at any of the other markets.
I think part of the reason for this is that everything is newer and it does have a clean feel to it. They also have a great food market. This is a good place to get some street food that is prepared in a cleaner environment.
How to get there: You can easily take a Grab or Tuk-tuk, the address is 1087 Phetchaburi Rd, Khwaeng Makkasan, Khet Ratchathewi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10400, Thailand
Closest BTS stop is about a 10-minute walk and it is Chit Lom.
Hours: 5:30 pm to midnight every day. I wouldn’t go until after 6:00 or 7:00 because most vendors are still setting up until then.
Bangkok’s Best Mall – Icon Siam
As I said at the beginning of this post, this mall is unbelievable! You must visit it while you are in Bangkok. There is so much to do at this mall, I don’t even know where to start. We spent the majority of our time in the lower level at the indoor floating market.
But this mall has endless options of things to see. My kids enjoyed the light and water show at night and there are endless stores to satisfy all shoppers.
How to get there: The easiest is by boat, almost all boat tours will stop here.
The closest BTS stop is Saphan Taksin. If you take the BTS, you have to walk to Sathorn Pier and take the free shuttle boat across the river.
Hours: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm every day. The least busy time will be first thing in the morning.
The musical fountain and light show is at 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, and 9:00 pm every day.
Elephant Sanctuary –
Being up close, touching, and even feeding these majestic creatures is something out of a childhood dream. This is something the entire family will enjoy.
We ask you to please avoid elephant riding camps as they are not always the most humane and sometimes even abusive to these animals. Please look towards an elephant sanctuary for your experience. Many of the sanctuaries have rescued elephants from riding camps or logging camps.
Many of the elephants have injuries and have been left for dead if not for these sanctuaries. Although there are not many sanctuaries close to Bangkok they are worth your visit. If you have additional plans to visit other parts of Thailand, you might want to reserve this for when you are there.
Here are some of the closest sanctuaries to Bangkok.
1. Pattaya Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Distance: 2 Hours from Bangkok
2. Elephant’s World
Distance: 2 Hours 15 Minutes form Bangkok
3. Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
Distance: 3 Hours from Bangkok
Revered throughout Thailand, elephants have greatly influenced Thai culture, myth, and religion, and there is deep respect held for the elephant we hope that you to learn to enjoy and respect these amazing animals.
Thai Massage in Bangkok
Why should you get a Thai massage when you visit Bangkok? Because you can afford it!
Really massages in Thailand are generally very cost-effective or in comparison to the US, they are cheap. Besides being cost-effective, they feel great.
There are many places that you can go for a traditional Thai massage. You will see many that will offer a foot massage for 30-45 minutes. When you’ve been touring around and walking all day, pop into one of these places for a nice rest and foot massage. You won’t regret it. It was also a great experience for our kids. They felt like they were being pampered and treated like a queen.
So, why should you take your kids to Bangkok?
By now you have seen that Bangkok is a city that has so much to offer from history, culture, traditions and architectural beauty. Visiting Bangkok will be an exciting time and full of adventure. Visiting amazing temples, and trying delicious food and shopping at the markets.
Although Bangkok is a huge busy city, it has a relaxed vibe to it. You and your kids, if you decide to bring them, will love Bangkok but you will love the experiences that it allows you to have together.
Are you ready to book your family vacation to Thailand? Click the link below for more info on Thailand!