A part of Bangkok‘s allure is its bustle, but when you’re looking for a quieter, more introspective day, head to the Ancient City. About 40 minutes outside Bangkok by private taxi, the Ancient City is a beautifully manicured reserve that is home to more than 100 replicas of Thailand’s best-known monuments and architectural sites. With plenty of green space, kids will enjoy the freedom to run around, exploring the doorways, tunnels, bridges, temples and fountains that are part of the this cultural landmark.
Of particular interest to kids are the Thai junk ship (yes, you can run around on its deck!), the ornate Grand Palace and the Prasat Phra Wihan temple, with its many steps, fantastic little doors to run through and a beautiful view at the top. You could spend a better part of your day at the Ancient City and virtually nothing feels repetitive. Furthermore, you will catch a full dose of Thailand’s architectural history without having to visit every Thai province.
The grounds of the Ancient City are expansive and there are three ways to tour the site: via golf cart, bike or guided tram ride. With little kids, the smartest bet is to hire a self-driven golf cart, go at your own pace and stop to explore the sights that interest you the most. With older children, consider hiring bikes to traverse the grounds.
Be prepared to get some vitamin D, as the Ancient City offers very little refuge from the sun. Bangkok’s heat can be intense (particularly March through June), so plan to arrive when the park opens and take advantage of the cooler morning hours. Keep sunscreen, extra bottles of water and camera close by; they will all come in handy!
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Editor’s Note: Photos by Loren Braunohler.
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