Here’s how you can make Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, just outside Bangkok, super fun and interesting for your kids in 11 easy steps.
We’re ‘templed out’…
After hearing the term ‘all templed out‘ from another traveller (I cursed her silently in my head whilst shooting daggers with my eyes) my kids decided that they no longer wanted to visit any temples and that they were ‘all templed out’.
With that painful look on their faces they tried to tell me they no longer wanted to run around playing tag, touch old rocks, climb century old steps and search for wildlife. I knew it was rubbish so it’s a good thing we work on the tough shit rule in this household.
Because we’d already negotiated that I spend an entire day stuck in the apart-hotel (whilst they caught up on their pool time, playing in the sun, downloading mods, shrieking over Roblox and everything else they do) it meant the very next day we went on a day trip to Bang Pa-In Summer Palace and the old city of Ayutthaya.
Here’s our suggestions.
Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
Located on the Chao Phraya River and originally built in 1632 the palace was left for ruin by the 18th century. Renovations started mid 19th century with most of the present buildings being built between 1872-1889 by King Chulalongkorn.
The palace remains largely open to visitors as the current King and his family use it only rarely for banquets and special occasions.
How to make it more fun for kids?
Kids love a challenge so set them these ten tasks, reward them with the eleventh and they’ll have a blast. I found there was absolutely no more complaining about ‘being templed out’.
1) Hire a Golf Cart
The park is huge and Thailand is hot & very humid. You could nip around in super quick time with the use of a golf cart which are on hire as you enter the park.
We didn’t hire one and only managed to do about half of the park on foot before we’d had enough. I think they might be 200 baht (entrance is 100 baht for those over 1.2m).
2) Feed greens and asparagus to the giant fish
The authorities in the park sell bread for you to feed to the fish and turtles but please don’t, it’s not good for them.
The fish LOVE greens, carrots, fresh fruit and in particular asparagus. They’re greedy creatures with a voracious appetite which explains their behaviour when they’re fed.
3) Attract the turtles
With patience we managed to attract six turtles (see video at bottom). Feed them grass, greens and flowers, not bread please.
4) Find the mini houses
Find and explore the mini houses. Play hide and seek, run up the steps and pose for a photo with the red doors.
5) How many lanterns can you see hanging in the Chinese Palace (Wehart Chamrunt).
There are endless maths possibilities in here but the simplest would be to count the amount of lanterns. If you wanted a challenge for older kids it would be to estimate the amount of gold patterns on the beams.
6) Can you photograph all the bridges?
You’re given a map on entrance and we think we remember nine bridges in total but we might be wrong. How many can you find?
7) How many steps to the top floor of the tower?
Four flights up but how many steps? Can they count all the way to the top? How about up and down? Can they do two at a time or even three maybe?
8) Can you walk round the floating palace in exactly twenty steps?
This might keep them busy for a while! You can walk all the way around it but in twenty steps? Is it possible?
9) Find the islands
There are four islands but you might not realise where they are.
10) What’s your favourite topiary animal?
From herds of elephants to rhinos and could be dragons. Figure out which is your favourite.
11) Get an exit slushie
In the gift shop area is a cafe selling fresh fruit and ice slushies and they are a really welcome relief from the heat. 20 baht and we asked for no milk and no sugar in ours.