Siam Amazing City (in Minburi, 10 kilometers northeast of Bangkok) is a huge recreational park featuring various swimming pools, towering waterslides, whirlpools, fountains and a lake. The park's highlights are the 400-metre Super Spiral waterslide and the world's largest wave pool (according to the Guiness Book of Records). The largest water park in Southeast Asia, Siam Park has enormous artificial with a beach, playgrounds, gardens, an open zoo, an aviary, an amusement park. Among the amusement park rides are a huge pirate ship, a Jurassic Park ride, a loop-the-loop, a Vortex ride, a couple of excellent roller coasters and a haunted house. Hours Open: 10:00am-6:00pm (Monday - Friday); 9:00am-17:00 (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays). Admission: Prices start at 850 baht (around $24). Hotels often have specials so check at the reception desk before you go. Try to go on a weekday as it tends to get pretty busy on weekends and public holidays. Facilities include changing rooms, swimsuit rental and fast food outlets. Getting There: On the far eastern edge of town, 101 Sukhapibarn 2 Road, tell the taxi driver 'Suan Siam'. Website: Official website

Chonburi (100 kilometers southeast of Bangkok on the way to Pattaya) is a coastal province famous for its seafood and spicy fish sauce. Si Racha is the main town. Islands such as Ko Loi and Ko Si Chang are good place for a weekend escape from Bangkok. Fantasia Lagoon (on the rooftop of the Mall Shopping Center Bangae) has water slides and whirlpools. Also worth a visit is Fantasia Island, the adjoined theme park, where you can have great fun in air-conditioned comfort. Hours Open: 8:00am- 8:45pm Tel: +66 (0)2 173 1000, Admission: US$5 Leoland Water Park (on top of Central City Bangae shopping mall on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok) is another rooftop water park. set This fun water park features waterslides, tube rides and sun beds! Not exactly located near the centre, but worth the trip when you combine it with some shopping at Central. Location: Sixth Floor, Central City Bangna at Km.3 on Bangna-Trad Road Hours Open: 11:00 - 18:00 (Monday - Friday); 10:00 - 19:00 (Saturday & Sunday) Admission: US$30.

Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo (32 kilometers west of Bangkok on the way to Kanchanaburi) features The Elephant Theme Show and The Crocodile Wrestling Show. In the Elephant show complete with Surround sound system. The elephants are the stars of the show where they dance, race, play football and games, “Yutha Hathi”, a great royal battle scene, is even performed with the actors riding on the elephants. As for the wrestling show, the crocodile and the master crocodile catcher perform breathtaking stunts to their audience’s delight. Visitors can also check out a tropical garden and waterfalls on the elephant’s back, visit the orchid nursery, and sample a variety of Thai and Indian cuisine. The facility is accredited by CITES as “One of the cleanest and most impressive public displays of crocodiles in the world.” Hours Open: 08.30am to 5.30pm. Admission: US$17.50for adults and US$10 for children below 130 centimeters.

Rose Garden Country Resort (one kilometers south of Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo) is an exceptionally well manicured lush tropical garden. The brainchild of a former lord mayor of Bangkok, it contains a 24-hectare landscaped gardens with 20,000 rose bushes and a dozens of different kinds of orchids and a cultural village with handicraft exhibitions. There is also accommodation, restaurants, tennis courts, a golf course (reputed to be among the 25 best in the world), a kids playground, a swimming pool and an artificial lake where you can take a paddle boat ride. The rose garden near the town of Nakhon Pathom on route 4.

Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm

Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm (in Samutprakarn, 30 kilometers outside Bangkok) was started in 1950 and is now home to 100,000 crocodiles, including the largest crocodile in captivity, a six- meters (19 feet, 8 inches) monster named Yai that weighs 1114.27 kilograms (2465 pounds). The brainchild of Thailand’s 'Crocodile King’ Utai Youngprapakorn, the farm has been recognized as the world’s largest centre for crocodiles. In 1995 many crocodiles escaped om a flood.

In addition to being a zoo and hosting shows the Crocodile Farm aims to help preserve crocodiles by breeding them in captivity and acting as an education and research centre for the conservation of wildlife. In ‘Crocodile Wrestling’ show keepers putting their heads into crocodile’s mouths and vacationing school children are taught how to handle the crocs. There are also ‘acrobatic elephant’ shows, elephant and camel rides, paddle boats on a lake and a visit a “Dinosaur Museum” to the “Monkey Playground.”

Location: 555 Moo 7 Taiban Road, Taiban Sub-District, Amphur Muang, Samutprakarn, Thailand. Hours Open: 8:00am to 6:00pm. Admission: Admission for non Thai adults is 300 baht. Admission for children is 200 baht. Note that Thai nationals and people who look Thai pay 60 baht admission. Foreign looking residents of Thailand still pay 300 baht. Getting There: 1) take air-conditioned buses Line Nos. 7, 8, and 511, to the end of the Line. 2) To go there by Skytrain, go to the end of the line and get off at BTS Kheha. Take a motorcycle taxi here or walk six minutes to Tetsaban Bang Pu 46 Alley and take a short motorcycle taxi there. You can also take a taxi from the skytrain station. It takes about five minutes. Website: Official website /

Ancient Siam

Ancient Siam (near the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm) has been dubbed as the world's largest outdoor museum. Formerly called Ancient City and known in Thai as Mueang Boran, the park covers 320 hectares and features 116 structures, many of them copies of Thailand's famous monuments and architectural attractions. The grounds of Ancient Siam correspond roughly to the shape of the Kingdom, with each of the monuments lying at their correct places geographically. Some of the buildings are life-size replicas of existing or former sites, while others are scaled down. It is the brainchild of man named Lek Viriyaphant.

The replicas were constructed with the assistance of experts from the National Museum to ensure historical accuracy. Outstanding works include the former Grand Palace of Ayutthaya (destroyed in the Burmese invasion of 1767), Phimai Sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Wat Khao Phra Viharn on the Cambodian border. Meuang Boran is located on the old Sukhumvit Highway, about 33 km east of central Bangkok. Golf carts and bicycles can be hired for moving around the park, and private vehicles are also allowed at a fee.

The founder's original idea was to create a golf course with miniatures of Thailand's historically significant structures spread around the course. During his research he found most structures being severely damaged over time and decided instead of creating new miniatures to save the original structures when possible or re-creating them full size or scaled down.

Location: Bang Pu Mai sub-district in Amphoe Mueang district. Hours Open: 9:00am to 7:00pm. Admission: 700 Baht for adults and 250 Baht for children. After 4:00 p.m. the price is reduced to 350 baht/175baht. There is a two price system in which Thai pay half as much. Getting There: From Paknam Market, take a local Songtaew 30 or 36. It should take about 15-20 minutes and cost 8 Baht. From Bangkok, you can take the Skytrain on the Sukhumwit Line (Green Line) to BTS Kheha which is the lost stop. Then change to a local Songtaew (30/36) for the short 5 minute ride. The entrance to Ancient Siam is on your left just after a curve in the road. By bus, take the air-conditioned bus no. 511 (Pin Klao – Paknam) to the end of the line and take the local Songtaew 30 or 36 to Ancient Siam. Website: Official website

Dream World

Dream World (10 minutes north of Don Muang Airport) is a Disneyland-like theme park where kids can take sleigh ride and make snow angels in Snow Land, and ride a rollercoaster up Space Mountain. The park is divided into Fantasy Land, Dream Garden and Adventure Land and has roller coasters, a haunted mansion, bumper cars and a Viking boat. In Fantasy Land, kids can climb up a beanstalk to the giant's house, look inside Sleeping Beauty's castle, check out Cinderella's pumpkin carriage, or the pond where the frog turns into a prince. [Source:]

You can take the monorail around Adventure Land, or ride the waves at Super Splash, the White Water Rapids at Grand Canyon, or test your driving skills on the Go-Kart track. Snow Land has an enormous snow field where you can ride a sleigh, make a snowman and find out what an igloo is. There is also a daily parade where the kids get to meet their favourite cartoon characters and a Hollywood Action Show with spectacular effects.

Location: Dream World 62 Moo 1 Rangsit-Ongkharak Road (km.7) Thanyaburi, Pathumthani 12130, Tel: 66 (2) 2 577-8666, Fax: 66 (2) 2 991-6523 Hours Open: The park is open everyday from 9:30am to 5:00pm and stays open until 19:00 on weekends and holidays. Admission: Tickets start at 1,100 baht/1Person Getting There: It is a few minutes north of Don Muang Airport at KM. Stone 7 on Rangsit-Ongkharak Road. By air-con bus, take No. 538 Victory Monument - Don Muang - Rachamonkolk or No. 523 (Mochit - Kasetsart University). From Victory Monument BTS Station, walk through the skywalk to “Ko Din Dang” where you can take an air-conditioned bus No. 538 (Victory Monument – Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi). Get off at the “North Bangkok University” station. Cross the overpass. Walk straight for about 100 meters, and you will see a bridge on your right side. Cross the bridge and walk further until you see a shuttle bus stop. Dream World provides free Shuttle bus services from the entrance to the Ticket booth/ Information counter every day. The shuttle bus leaves every 10 minutes. Website: Official website

Safari World

Safari World (in Minburi, near Siam Amazing City) is said to be the largest open zoo in the world and is comprised of two parts: Safari Park and Marine Park. Unfortunately, you have to pay two separate entrance fees so, if you want to see both places, it can get quite expensive. At Safari Park you can drive your car on a seven kilometer drive past giraffes, elephants, zebras and other animals (75 mammal species and 300 bird species) . If you don't have a car, there's a bus you can take with a guide. The shows include an orangutan boxing show, a Hollywood cowboy stunt show, a Jungle Walk and more. [Source: Cassandra James, Yahoo! Network, September 3, 2009]

Marine Park has a lot of animal and marine life shows (sea lions, dolphin, polar bear) that kids will really enjoy. Also, don't miss Spy War, where a 'secret agent' has to evade enemy gunfire, and capture the bad guys - all done from the seat of a jet ski - a really exciting show to watch.

Location: 99 Panya Indra Rd, Sam Wa Tawan Tok, Khlong Sam Wa, Bangkok 10510 Hours Open: 9:00am-6:00pm Admission: 1000 baht for adults, little more than half that for children. Getting There: Best to avoid the organized tours as they get very expensive. Instead, take a number 26 bus from Victory Monument to Minburi and then a taxi or minicab from there will take you straight to Safari World.


NAKHON PATHOM (40 miles from Bangkok) is regarded as Thailand’s oldest city. It is the home of around 50,000 people and the world's largest Buddhist monument, Phra Pathamom, a 380-foot-high, orange-tiled structure that marks the spot, some say, where Buddhism was introduced into present-day Thailand 2300 years ago. To amrk the 2,500th anniversary of Buddhism in 1957, a 16-meter walking Buddha statue was built at a asite called Buddhamonthon. At the site there are also flower gardens, a Buddhist museum and meditation halls.

The first structure to stand here is believed to have been an Indian-style stupa built during the Dvaravati period in the A.D. 6th century. The present chedi was started in the reign of King Rama IV and completed under King Rama V. The Nakhon Pathom Chedi Museum houses a fine collection of stone, terra-cotta and stucco objects, mostly dating for the Davaravati period.

Also worth a look is Sanam Chab Palace built for King Rama VI between 1907 and 1912. Built next to a canal, it is an ecletic group of a dozen or so buildings that are heavily latticed and feature a number of European Renaissance touches. The king occasionally hosted plays and presided over religious ceremonies in four teak houses, built on 100 solid teak pillars. A two story red house is where a queen lived along with the king’s concubine. A covered bridge links a pleasure house with the other side of the canal. The palce is only open several days a week and even then not all the buildings are open.

Tourist Office and Website: Tourism Authority of Thailand, 2/1, 2nd Floor Amphawa Municipality City Hall, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram 75110, Tel. +66 3475 2847-8, Fax. +66 3475 2846, E-mail Address: . Accommodation: Because Nakhon Pathom is so close to Bangkok accommodation options are limited. Most visitors stay in Bangkok and come on a day trip. There are a few golf resorts and budget bungalows in Nakhon Pathom.

Getting to Nakhon Pathom

Only 100 kilometers from Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom can be reached easily by car, bus, or train in around 1 ½ hours. By Car: From Bangkok, drive along the old route of Petchakasem Road (Highway No.4) through Aom Noi, Aom Yai, and Sam Phran to Nakhon Pathom, or drive on the new route from Bangkok through Buddhamonthon and Nakhon Chaisi to Nakhon Pathom.

By Train: The State Railway of Thailand operates daily trains from Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom. There are regular trains departing throughout the day for the two hour ride from Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Station to Nakhon Pathom. For more information contact Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Railway Grand Station tel: 1690, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020 From Thonburi’s Bangkok Noi station to Kanchanaburi’s Nam Tok station it is possible to get off at Nakhon Pathom. Until recently, this twice daily service was a provided for the benefit of commuters, but because a portion of the line is part of the historic ‘Death Railway’, built by WWII prisoners of war during Japanese occupation, rates for foreigners have been set higher than for ordinary commuters, though its still an enjoyable way to make the day trip to Nakhon Pathom. For more information contact the Thonburi Railway Station tel: 0 2411 3102.

By Bus: From Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal on Boromrajajonnani Road there are two bus services. Old Route (Bangkok-Aom Yai-Sam Phran-Nakhon Pathom): There are several lines of 2nd class air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, and Bangkok-Bangli. There are also 2 lines of non air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok-Ratchaburi, and Bangkok-Suphanburi. New Route (Bangkok-Buddhamonthon-Nakhon Chaisi-Nakhon Pathom): There are 2 lines of 1st class air-conditioned buses: Bangkok-Nakhon Pathom and Bangkok-Dan Chang (blue bus). For more information, contact the Southern Bus Terminal on Boromrajajonnani Road. Non air-conditioned buses - tel: 0 2434 5557-8 and Air-conditioned buses - tel: 0 2435 1199.

Sights in Nakhon Pathom

Phra Pathom Chedi is the largest chedi (pagoda) in Thailand, some say the world. Standing 120.45 meters high and with a total diameter at the base of 233.50 meters, it was commissioned during the reign of King Rama IV in 1853 over an older chedi said to date back to A.D. 539. The construction of the new huge chedi was completed in the reign of King Rama V in 1870 after 17 years. The completed Chedi is a circular and features an Sri-Lankan-style, upside-down, bell-shaped Ched and houses Buddha’s relics. During the reign of King Rama VI, Wat Phra Pathom was renovated and later the temple became the royal temple of King Rama VI.

Within the monastery compound, there are various interesting historical items, including the Phra Ruang Rodjanarith, an image of Buddha bestowing pardon, enshrined in a vihara located to the north and in front of Phra Pathom Chedi. The head, hands and feet of the Buddha were brought from Muang Srisatchanalai, Sukhothai. The Wat Phra Pathom Chedi Museum houses artefacts and historical remains which were discovered during excavations in Nakhon Pathom. Among the more interesting objects are a coffin and funeral ritual set used in Ya-Lei’s cremation ceremony. Ya-Lei was a dog very dear to King Rama VI, that was shot and died. The King was much saddened and commanded to building of a monument for Ya-Lei as a token of his grief. The museum is open daily from 9:00am-16.30 except Monday and Tuesday.

Thai Human Imagery Museum (43/2 Mu. 1, Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi Road at km. 31, Tambon Kun Kaew) displays life-like wax/fibreglass created by Duangkaeo Thippayakonsilp and a group of Thai artists. The wax-museum-like figures include famous Buddhist monks, former Kings of the Chakri Dynasty. There are aso themed tableaux on Thai chess, the Thai family, and abolishing of slavery, among others. The museum is open daily (Monday-Friday from 9:00am-17.30, Saturday-Sunday, and national holidays from 8:30am-6:00pm). Admission for adult Thai is 50 Baht, a child fee is 10 Baht. Admission for foreigners is 200 Baht. For more information contact tel: 034 322-061, 332-109, 332-607.

Markets in Nakhon Pathom

Don Wai Floating Market (near Don Wai temple on the banks of the Ta Jeen River, Tambol Bangkratuek, Amphur Sampran, Nakornprathom) is centered around a Thai style cottage at the bank of the Ta Jeen River that still preserves the old style of living from the reign of King Mongkut. Don Wai is the center of growing area for many agricultural products especially organic vegetables and Thai desserts. Popular dishes include boiled carp in salt, pot-stewed duck, and boiled bamboo shoots with chili sauce.

At Don Wai Floating Market, there is a jukebox for visitors to make merit at the Rai King temple. All the songs are from Yordluk Salakjai (a famous Thai singer). There is also fan palm, a rare fruit that crops only every 50 years. Another attraction of the market is the floating restaurant and a boat cruising tour to see the both sides of the river. The market is open daily from morning until evening.

Bang Luang Market (in Bang Lane district, Nakhon Pathom) is a traditional marketplace on the Suphan Buri River where local residents still live and trade as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. A feature of the market are ancient wooden townhouses built during the reign of King Rama V. The market takes place on both sides of Chiang Rai road and stretches a about 200 meters. On weekdays, the place is relatively quiet, however the weekends it comes alive with crowds and vendors. Some have their own kiosks, while some roam around with pushcarts. Most of the goods sold here food items such as; pad thai, tua pab (sweet rice dessert with yellow beans), freshly made rice noodle crepes with shrimp and assorted vegetables. You may wish to try the food from houseboats to get the riverside atmosphere, or indulge yourself with a cup of coffee in one of the vintage coffee shops. When visiting Bang Luang market, most tourists are tempted to try chun pia, a traditional Teochew Chinese recipe. It consists of fried egg spring rolls stuffed with minced pork, dried shrimp and chive leaves served without any sauce.

Damnoensaduak Floating Market

Damnoensaduak Floating Market (40 minutes by boat from Nakhon Pathom) is Thailand's most vibrant floating market, intimately better than the ones located closer to Bangkok. The best time to visit is in the morning. Most of the sellers are old women who paddle their boats to the market before dawn. The market is located along the 32-kilometer-long Damnoen Saduak canal, which in turned is surrounded by more than 1,000 other channels.

Some boats are filled with fruits such as durians, rambutans, bananas and lychees. Others are packed with flowers. Yet others contain woodcarved elephants, hill tribe hand bags and other souvenirs. Some have stoves and gas cylinders and can cook up a noodle dish for you in a couple of minutes. Altogether there are more than 100 merchant boats stretched along an 800-meter stretch of canal. Sightseeing boats weave through them. Behind the boats are stilted buildings with yet more stuff. Louise Palmberg wrote in the New York Times: “vendors paddle past in wooden boats overflowing with goods: fruits, vegetables, noodles, spices, flowers. One vendor, now in her 80s, said she’d been serving noodles by boat here for 60 years.” [Source: Louise Palmberg, New York Times, June 1, 2020]

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is in Ratchaburi province. Photos of this vibrant market featuring many small boats laden with colourful fruits and vegetables and paddled by Thai women wearing bamboo hats, are among the most often published in travel magazines and brochures of Thailand. The Damnoen Saduak canal was built in 1866 under King Rama IV to facilitate boat travel between Ratchaburi and Samutsakhon Provinces. It was finished and opened to the public in 1868.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is quite popular with tourists. There is even a portion of it set aside for them, featuring souvenir-laden shops and souvenir-laden boats. The main 100-year-old market is at Talaat Tom Khem on Khlong Damneon Saduak Canal. Talaat Hia Kui, to the south on a parallel canal, Khlong Hia Kui, gets the most tourists. A third, less crowded market, called talaat Khuan Phitak, is on a smaller canal south of Damnoen Saduak. It can reached by water taxi. Taxis and rented boats can also be used to explore the canals and klong life.

Image Sources:

Text Sources: Tourist Authority of Thailand, Thailand Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books and other publications.

Last updated August 2020

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