After visiting Bangkok’s big attractions, drop the itinerary and head to one of the city’s best theme parks to let your hair down. Some fantastic water parks are open too, for when you need to beat the scorching Thai heat.
Bangkok is packed full of unique tourist sights of historical and cultural significance, but sometimes you just want to forget all that and have a little fun. Fortunately, the Thai capital doesn’t disappoint when it’s time to let off some steam. From hairy-scary theme park rides to cartoon-themed days out, and – perhaps most appealing of all – water parks to cool you off, unfettered entertainment is easily taken care of in and around Bangkok.
If you thought shopping was all there is to do in Bangkok’s malls, think again. Two branches of the Fantasia Lagoon water park are hidden on the rooftops of The Mall Bangkae and The Mall Bangkapi shopping centres, providing a great day of fun in the sun. While some may find Fantasia Lagoon is more geared towards children, its numerous pools, slides and themed water play areas still provide plenty of opportunities for the young-at-heart to enjoy some splashing fun! Another advantage to these slightly out-of-town locations is they provide a more local vibe, with far fewer tourists than you’ll typically find elsewhere.
Siam Park City is Bangkok’s biggest water park, and also its oldest. Located on the outskirts of the capital, to the north-east of the downtown area, it’s been in operation since as far back as 1980. That means that some parts of the park are looking a little more worn-in than you might expect from more recent openings, but Siam Park City is nevertheless a great place for a day out. And make sure you really do allow yourself a full day – with several distinct zones, this place is huge, meaning there’s no end of slides, pools and non-water-based rides to get a thrill from.
Cartoon Network Amazone is actually located outside of Bangkok, not far from the eastern Thai resort city of Pattaya – but this 2014 opening has become a real mover and shaker. In fact, spend any length of time in Thailand and chances are you’ll see photos of the water park pop up somewhere on your social media feeds. The park is modelled on the popular kids’ TV channel, meaning you can expect slides and rides based on the network’s iconic shows. There’s also a wave pool, surf pool, and regular Cartoon Network-themed shows. Occasionally, Cartoon Network Amazone even transforms into the venue for adults-only gay circuit festival parties!
Definitely one for the youngsters, Kidzania Bangkok is a play zone located in Siam Paragon – arguably the Thai capital’s most famous and prestigious shopping mall – which is focused on encouraging learning opportunities through educational play. The concept here is innovative to say the least: the idea is that, on entry, children pick a career for themselves – anything from journalist to doctor and firefighter. They then deck themselves out in uniform accordingly, earn and save money from their jobs, and use it to pick up souvenirs on the way out.
One of Bangkok’s most famous theme parks, Dream World is located in Thanyaburi district of neighbouring Pathum Thani province. If you’re looking for some pretty hair-raising rollercoasters, this is where to head. What’s great about Dream World is that there’s plenty on offer for thrillseekers of all ages, who are catered to with themed play areas and meet-and-greets with fairytale characters. There’s even a Snow Town, where those who live in tropical climes can get a feel for what it’s like to be in a winter wonderland of their own.
Pororo is the new name for what was formerly Leoland Water Park. Pororo is conveniently located in a Bangkok shopping mall, this time Central City Bangna in the capital’s eastern outskirts (towards Suvarnabhumi airport). The water park sits on the sixth-floor rooftop of the shopping centre and, while it’s a distinctly family-friendly site, there’s also plenty to keep adults amused. Aside from the slides, tubes and pools, there are sunbeds for a touch of relaxation, and even go-karts for something dry but equally action-packed.
One step removed from the conventional idea of a theme park, Safari World Zoo and Park is well worth a visit to discover an animal park that has a better reputation than many in Thailand. This is your opportunity to embark on a safari exploration, taking a drive through the enormous grounds that encompass a zoo, bird park and marine park. The former is the most impressive: a full-on safari experience where you’ll spot lions, tigers, bears and more, all in impressively free and spacious surroundings.
This is the kind of ‘theme park’ that could only possible be in Asia – and especially in Thailand, with its love of the cartoon emoji-like sticker characters (known as LINE Friends) synonymous with the regionally-popular LINE messaging app. Located inside Siam Square One shopping mall in the downtown Siam neighbourhood, LINE Village Bangkok is billed as the place ‘where your favourite LINE Friends characters come to life’. Expect a host of different interactive setups featuring characters from the app, with particular prominence given to selfie opportunities!
Somewhere between museum and theme park, Art in Paradise, which also has locations elsewhere around Thailand, including in Chiang Mai and Pattaya, has long been fascinating visitors with its interactive ‘trick-eye’ 3D exhibits. Pose in front of one or more of the elaborate backdrops, which encompass everything from flying carpets to precarious bridges across waterfalls in front of stupendous castles – and you’ll suddenly become part of the scene. It’s all with one particular end goal in mind, of course: crazily believable selfies.
The Marvel Experience Thailand at Mega Bangna shopping centre is making waves as a great place for Marvel fans to be fully immersed among all the franchise’s iconic characters. It’s all set within a deliberately low-rise shopping centre that’s easily reached from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. As a result, it’s a perfect way to spend an extended stopover or to kill a few hours before your outbound flight. The experience itself features heaps of interactive rides and selfie spots, and – with the use of 3D technology – even the chance to become one of the Marvel crew yourself.