Bangkok with children – Part 2

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Tash & elephant screenResponding to a recent inquiry about kid-friendly places to stay in Bangkok made me realise I didn’t have a post on this site about Banglampu. This part of ‘old Bangkok’ on the arc of the Chao Phraya River is well known as a backpacker desination–Khao San Road is situated there–but it’s also a good budget option for families.

We stayed a couple of times at the New Siam II Guest House, located in Trok Rong Mai lane off Phra Artit Road. The rooms were simple but comfortable and good value, considering there’s also a pool with jacuzzi and a good open-air restaurant on the ground floor. Slightly more upmarket is the New Siam Riverside, five minutes walk down the lane and across Phra Artit Road, which as its name suggests overlooks the Chao Phraya. Regardless of where you stay, the buffet breakfast on the terrace at the New Siam Riverside is recommended, the passing river traffic guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained.

Heading down Trok Rong Mai lane away from the river takes you a leafy street that backs on to the grounds of Wat Chana Songkhram. We had breakfast here one morning and watched squirrels tight-rope walking along the powerlines above our heads. The temple grounds are a good place for a morning stroll.

A promenade runs along the river parallel to Phra Artit Road from the Pinklao Bridge. Follow it north past the Phra Artit ferry stop (Thai Phra Artit) to Santichaiprakan Park. This pretty, leafy park is built around the Phra Sumen Fort, part of what were once the fortifications of the old city, and also contains one of Bangkok’s last remaining lamphu trees from which the area takes its name. We were too busy soaking up the atmosphere to take photos when we visited, but there’s a nice one here. It’s a great space for running around or sitting in the shade.

Banglampu’s downside (for some) is that it’s a long way from the Skytrain or subway. But it’s easy and enjoyable to get around by ferry. It’s only a few ferry stops from Banglampu to Thewet, for example, where the kids can join in a fish-feeding frenzy at the pier, followed by a visit nearby Dusit Zoo–see here for more details.

For family friendly eating in the area, the restaurant at the New Siam II is a pretty good option, with decent Thai and Western options and a fish tank containing weird shrimp-like creatures.

Shal & Tash at the Old Phra Artit PierBut my personal favourite is The Old Phra Artit Pier, an ambient wooden place right on the river with hot Thai food, cool music and cold beer on tap. The staff were great with Tash and they even sold Nancy Chandler colouring books at the bar. The only drawback is you have watch that the kids don’t run out of the restaurant and along the old pier into the river.

You can see how that might happen in this photo of Tash at the Old Phra Artit Pier with our friends Shal and Randy, taken in April 2008: in the distance behind them you can see all the way across the river to the lights on the other side.

Stay tuned for a post on staying with kids around Sukumvit…

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One Response to “Bangkok with children – Part 2”

  1. Bangkok with children – part 3 « Oh, the places you’ll go! Says:

    […] Oh, the places you’ll go! The adventures of Tash, Ang & Roo « Bangkok with children – Part 2 […]

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