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Bangkok for 3.5 days with Kids: Ayutthaya day trip or stick to Bangkok?

Bangkok for 3.5 days with Kids: Ayutthaya day trip or stick to Bangkok?

Old Nov 28th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Bangkok for 3.5 days with Kids: Ayutthaya day trip or stick to Bangkok?

We are going to be in Bangkok (first time for all of us in Thailand) with our 3 kids (11, 11, 8), from Dec 24-27, and trying to decide if taking them to Ayutthaya for the day is worth it. They are adventurous kids and good travelers, and we aren't going to Angkor Wat so am thinking this would be a worthwhile day-trip for us. Want to make sure we still have time to hit highlights in Bangkok (Grand Palace, Wat Po, Chao Praya, floating markets, etc).
Thus, my 3 questions:
1) Is Ayutthaya worth a day trip? If so, any specific tour guides people recommend for a family?
2) Any must-sees in Bangkok with kids those ages that I might not know about? Don't want to do things they can do anywhere (amusement parks, etc), but want them to have a good feel for a bustling Asian city, and more specifically, a sense of Thai culture.
3) Will sights be open on Christmas Day? I realize that Christmas isn't a big holiday there, but want to make sure we are planning for any closures, etc.
Emily_S29 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Ayutthaya is a day trip; but there is soooo much to see and do in Bangkok, I wouldn't be so sure about leaving the city for an entire day! With your arrival on 24th and departure on 27th, that gives you two full days to see the city??? Or are you not travelling on 24th and 27th?

Things are open on Christmas day, yes. It is not a holiday but it is celebrated (think super decorations) big time. The Thais love to go to Central World (mall) for example, and take their pictures in front of the many decorations there.

I have not done 'kid' things so can't really make any suggestions in that regard. Others may chime in though.

My family will also be enjoying Bangkok for the holidays... an annual trip for us. We have a fantastic time each year!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we always do.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Thanks, Carol. We get in late the evening of the 23rd, and then take off for Chiang Mai on the afternoon of the 27th, so I figure I have 24th-26th, and then AM of 27th to see as much as we can - while still recovering from jet lag (coming from San Francisco).
Emily_S29 is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Just reread your title to see that you have 3.5 days. I would still stay in Bangkok.

Your family would probably enjoy a klong tour. that entails a ride through some canals on a boat called a long tail. There is a spot where you can stop and feed some fish (carp maybe?) some chunks of bread. huge throng of fish!! Klong tours can be arranged at the river, just a few steps down to the docks from the Saphan Taksin sky train station. YOu get an interesting glimpse at canal life.
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Last time I was in Bangkok, one of the guests at the hotel we were staying at (the Old Bangkok Inn) took their children (11 and 9) to a Thai cooking class nearby suggested by Nantiya, the Englsih speaking owner of the inn. They said their children really enjoyed it. The Inn is about 5 minutes from khao San road so maybe the cooking school was nearby?
usernameistaken is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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We were there with our kids when they were a little older - 10 and 13. You can check out my report by clicking on my name

Day 1 - Grand Palace, the wats, etc., walk through Chinatown, massages at hotel
Day 2 - Klong tour, Jim Thompson House, MBK mall - I'm not a fan of malls, but the kids liked the electronics and the food court, also liked riding on the Skytrain.
Day 3 - We were supposed to do Tong's "secret place" tour, but had to cancel because of an ear infection. Some friends who are now traveling around the world with their 10 and 13 year old said the secret place tour (with someone other than Tong, but booked through her company) was a highlights of their entire trip, and they've been all over the place - www.tourwithtong.com

Those friends, who are filmmakers, have been posting incredible short videos...and this one about the "Risky Market" intrigued me, seems fantastic for kids because you could go by train - I've been meaning to ask here if anyone has been to this place is, 50k from Bangkok, sorry we missed it:


We had also planned a bicycle tour through http://www.realasia.net/ which sadly we also had to cancel.

Make sure you allow down time at the hotel - The kids loved the pool and their foot massages!
crosscheck is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 07:27 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Oops, sorry, posted with a million typos.
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Old Nov 28th, 2012, 07:57 PM
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We did the tour with tong to her secret place, the floating market, the train market, and a temple to make merit. Tong is fabulous and I can promise you that she will delight both you and the kids if you can book her.
dgunbug is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2012, 11:07 PM
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Thank you to all! I'm going to email Tong in the morning, although from her FB page (I've heard of her a couple of times, so happy to have confirmation she is great), she is pretty booked. Fingers crossed! Love the idea of the secret place tour.
Emily_S29 is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2012, 12:04 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I would suggest staying in Bangkok. We have, in the past, traveled with our kids at those ages and we just returned from Thailand. We went to Ayutthaya for a day, and were pleased we did so, but...given that this is your first stop, learning curve time, and acclimation to the heat, etc., I would stay in Bangkok and slowly enjoy it. Chinatown is fun, foot massages-yes, visiting the flower market, etc. Unless your kids are true history buffs, maybe next time. We struggled with this decision, too, so we can appreciate the dilemma.
virginiafish is offline  
Old Nov 29th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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We fell for the oldest scam...the Palace was closed for lunch. I knew it was a scam, but did not insist. They took us in our boat to the Snake Farm/Zoo. It actually was the highlight of the trip for the kids, 5 and 8 years old. There was a small but well-kept zoo with the animals close-up. The snake exhibition was amazing and the kids played with the snakes, handlers very nearby. Ice cream was bought and eaten on shaady terrace. On the way back, the carp at a temple were fed by the kids. I think we went thru a lock? And then we went to the palace which was now "open". Bangkok is great and we did not need to leave during our 3 days there.
Elainee is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 12:11 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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A friend and I were at that train market in 2007. I was just mentioning it to someone last week. Now, I can send them the link to the video as they couldn't imagine such a market.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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