Special guided tours for families in Thailand
If you are interested in a trip to Thailand consisting
of the “Holy Trinity”: Shopping and temples in Bangkok,
a jeep tour in the north between the Golden Triangle and
the Long-necks, and relaxation in the south – the
classic, over-trodden road that everyone else has
travelled – you’re reading the wrong article.
But if you are interested in discovering a different Thailand, one only Thai people themselves know, one that isn’t overrun with tourists – This is definitely the article for you.
A three or four hour drive out from Bangkok you will discover wondrous natural parks, unique attractions, authentic and cheap marketplaces and Thai people who are still astonished to see westerners...
A good place to go for a one- or two-day trip is Nakhon Nayok Province.
After an hour’s drive from Bangkok you will arrive at a gardening market where typical Thai plants are sold (for example, orchids) and every possible garden decoration: Garden statues, plant pots, fountains, and so on. Unfortunately you may only be able to buy a few small souvenirs if you want to avoid having overweight bags on the flight back home, but it is fun to walk and look around the different stalls and drink good coffee at the small and ornate coffee shop right next to the market.
Less than another hour’s drive will take you to a military academy where you can tour, visit the military museum and even try your hand at a shooting range (ages six and up). The site is big, green and well-cared for, so you may mistake it for a botanical garden at first...
The main attraction of the trip is the biggest dam in Thailand which you can walk across on foot, ride a tour car along it, or the best option of all: sail the waters of the lake created by the dam all the way to its sources – a voyage in a tiny boat surrounded by breathtaking tropical scenery. I recommend stopping for short hikes to the waterfalls that converge with the lake. You can also swim in the small pools created by the waterfalls.
Of course, we can’t forget Buddha: Not far from the dam is a temple with the “Buddha’s footprint” in it. After climbing 230 stairs you will find yourselves in a small temple overlooking a beautiful view of green nature reserves. A fun custom which you might want to try is ringing the four big bells surrounding the temple.
A visit to a fruit market where you can taste unique exotic fruit and buy them for petty change makes an excellent ending to this diverse trip.
Nature lovers will want to stay in the province for at least another day and hike through nature reserves on special hiking trails among waterfalls and tropical plant life.
In the wet season, rafting is also an option.
If you have another day available, it is a good idea to use it for a day’s trip to Khao Yai, Thailand’s first national park and the second biggest nature reserve in the country which is considered an international heritage site. The reserve offers a great visitor centre, several breathtaking viewpoints, waterfalls, nature trails and a variety of animals.
Near the reserve is an adventure park called “Life Park” where there are many exciting attractions such as zorbing, a human slingshot that shoots you up 50 metres up in the air, a zipline 10 metres high, go-karts, an adventure rope park, and more. The place also offers more laid-back attractions for the whole family which are suitable for younger children and the less-brave...
A completely different trip, one day long and even closer to Bangkok (one hour’s drive each way) is a tour to the Ancient City. This is a huge open museum where you will find buildings typical to the country, replicas of temples from all over Thailand, a floating market, other marketplaces typical to the different provinces in the country, a petting zoo, and more.
The best way to visit the
park is on bike. You can choose to rent a single,
double, or triple-seater bike. It is also possible to
rent a golf cart.
This is an opportunity to learn about the Thai lifestyle and their different customs in an interactive and experiential way.
After lunch in the floating market of the park, a 40-minute drive will take you to a big, unique temple built in an authentic rural style where you will see the biggest reclining Buddha in Thailand (53 metres). You can even enter the hollow Buddha and climb up all the way inside him to see his golden heart.
Finish up the day with a visit to the Hundred Year Market, a marketplace that is authentic, simple, unique and completely free of tourists. Prices are especially cheap and again you will discover, so close to Bangkok, local Thai people who are excited to see foreigners in their local market.
You can go on all these tours and more with
certified tour guide who lives in Thailand, who is
extremely passionate about his work and gets everyone
else excited too, along with his local Thai assistant.
Together they will teach you about Thai culture,
language, tradition and foods in a once-in-a-lifetime
experience which you will never forget!
More information about Hananel’s tours can be found on his website.
More Thailand articles:
Animal Encounters for Families
The Jungles of Bangkok and the surrounding
Family Vacation in Phuket
Vacationing in Koh Chang
A Trip from Bangkok to Khao Yai Reserve
Family holiday in Northern Thailand with Private Guide
Family Holiday in Koh Samui
The Islands of Thailand
Vacations Trips and Luxurious Hotels in Khao Lak