Category Archives: Bangkok Day Trips

Wat Takien Floating Market in Nonthaburi

A good excursion to do at the weekend is to visit one of the many floating markets that are within easy reach of Bangkok. The one that I visited last weekend is called Wat Takien Floating Market which is in Nonthaburi Province, to the Northwest of Central Bangkok. From Samut Prakan it only took us about 40 minutes to drive there along the Kanchanapisek Outer Ring Road. But, if you are coming from Bangkok, you can get there via the Rama V Bridge.

The floating market at Wat Takien is relatively new. There used to be a much older one nearby called Bang Ku Wiang Floating Market. However, that has long since closed due to the modernization of transportation during the last century. Once the roads and highways were built, people went from getting around by boat to travelling by car which is obviously quicker and more convenient. However, there is a growing trend these days to revive some of the old markets. That is why the local community opened this market at Wat Takien.

Many of these markets open early in the morning. However, even though we arrived there after 9 a.m., many of the stalls were still being set up. So we explored the temple first. In front of the chapel there is a giant tiger’s head which has a doorway which takes you underneath the building. Inside there are a number of different shrines. Buddhists here were walking around these shrines in a clockwise direction while chanting. They were doing this to bring themselves good luck. The exit was through the head of a giant dragon.

The market is open every day from about 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. However, it is a lot more active at the weekend. Probably best to aim to be there by about 10 a.m. But don’t have breakfast before you leave home. Like most markets, the highlight for our trip was the food. You could just snack all day long. You can buy food from one of the boat vendors or from one of the stalls set up in the grounds of the temple. I had a very tasty crispy and red pork on rice. For dessert I had deep fried bananas and a coconut pudding. All prices were very good.

For me, a trip to a floating market is not satisfactory unless there is also a chance to go on a boat trip along the canals. Only by exploring this way do you get to see the daily life of local  Thai people, which probably hasn’t changed much in a hundred years. Even today, most of the houses that we passed are cut off from the road and people have to use boats to get around. Even the postman and garbage collector has to use boats.Some of the houses we passed were more modern but many, like this one, looked like they have been around for years.

I don’t think that many people go on these boat trips. We saw the boats there but we had a hard time trying to find someone who would take us out. I don’t think Thai people like going out in the heat of the day. We eventually found this guy who took us out for an hour long trip for a low 200 baht. If this was Bangkok we would have probably been charged 800 baht at least. For the whole time that we were at this market, we didn’t see any other foreigners at all. So, the vendors and local people were really friendly and happy to see us there. It is not a major floating market, but it is a good escape from the other tourist traps.

Map for Wat Takien Floating Market:

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5 More Floating Markets around Bangkok

It has become popular these days to revitalize some of the old riverside markets around Thailand. New floating markets are also being built to match this demand. This is part two of my comprehensive list of Thai floating markets that you can easily do as a day trip from Bangkok. Click here to read part one.

Bang Noi Floating Market

A short distance north of the famous Amphawa market is the Bang Noi Floating Market in Samut Songkhram Province. This is an old market that has been around for over one hundred years. Although it doesn’t get as busy as Amphawa, it still has a lot of charm with shops containing quality souvenirs and delicious food. It is a weekend market that is open from about 8 a.m. to late afternoon. You can also join boat tours here [MORE].

Bang Nok Kwaek 100 Year Market

Another old market, a little further north on the Maeklong river, is Bang Nok Kwaek Market in Samut Songkhram Province. Although it doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of its younger cousin at Amphawa, it certainly makes up for it with its old time charm and friendly shopkeepers. If you want to experience an old Thai riverside market without the crowds then its worth spending an hour or so here. Boat tours are also available [MORE].

Ayothaya Floating Market

To the north of Bangkok there are two new purpose built floating markets in Ayutthaya Province. This first one is Ayothaya Floating Market.  It is conveniently next door to the Elephant Camp so you can do an elephant ride if you like before visiting the market. It is free to enter and wander around. There are shops with handicraft and souvenirs as well as lots of food. You can join boat rides and also watch scheduled shows [MORE].

Ayutthaya Klong Sa Bua Floating Market

The second purpose built floating market in Ayutthaya Province is Ayutthaya Klong Sa Bua Floating Market. This one is only open at the weekends and is more of a kind of “dinner theatre” than a traditional market. You first buy food that you want from vendors on boats and along the bank and then sit down to watch one of the scheduled shows. Each one is different. This market has an entrance fee [MORE].

Bang Nampheung Floating Market

Another relatively new floating market near Bangkok is Bang Nampheung Floating Market in Samut Prakan Province. It is built along a canal that flows into the Chao Phraya River. It is a good place to buy food and local handicraft. You can also rent out boats to go for a paddle on the canal. It is a weekend market that closes by mid-afternoon. Best to go early to avoid the crowds [MORE].

I have more floating markets near Bangkok to add to this list. Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments below.

Day Trip to Farm Chokchai

If you have ever driven along the Friendship Highway on your way to Nakhon Ratchasima then you have probably noticed this giant cow. It belongs to Farm Chokchai which is in the heart of cowboy country in Northeastern Thailand. I now that sounds strange as we are not in America. Normally we think of rice fields and buffaloes roaming the countryside. Not cowboys on horseback herding cows around large estates.

Farm Chokchai was started by Chokchai Bulakul back in 1957. The farm began with beef cattle but later turned their attention to a dairy heard. Today the farm covers an area of 8,000 acres and has 5,000 head of cattle. In recent years, the farm started their award-winning agro tours where people can learn about the running of a dairy farm which also includes hands on experience of milking a cow, making ice cream, petting farm animals and watching a cowboy show.

I took Nong Grace there at the weekend for her first visit. The farm is open from Tuesday to Sunday. During the week they only have two scheduled tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. However, at the weekend they have six rounds starting at 9 a.m. and the last one at 3 p.m. We were advised to telephone in advance to book a tour. You then have to turn up about 30 minutes beforehand to pay for it. As it turned out, we were over an hour early and were lucky to be able to change to an earlier time. Tickets cost 250 baht for adults and 125 baht for children. During the week it is slightly cheaper. Incidentally, foreigners and Thais are charged the same price.

The tours start off with a short movie. Then you are taken outside to see the Machinery Museum where you can see the original vehicles used at the farm. Our guide only spoke Thai but there were signs in English. Our next stop was the Milking Parlor. Apparently, the Friesian cows have a high yield of milk and so they are milked three times a day. On my father’s farm, we only milked the cows twice a day. The milking procedure is fully automated with enough room for 192 cows to be milked at the same time. Our tour guide gave us a demonstration on how the machines work and also how to milk the cows by hand. If you are keen, you can change into some Wellington boosts and have a go at milking the cows.

We were next taken into the Dairy Plant. This is where they produce four milk products: milk, yoghurt, ice cream and milk toffee. Interestingly, the brand name “Farm Chokchai” was sold some years ago so they call their milk products “Umm…milk”! In the dairy plant we watched a movie which showed us how the milk is pasteurized. We were then taken on a tractor and trailer ride to tour the rest of the farm. Each tour is limited to 80 people due to the size of these trailers. This part of the tour doesn’t have any English subtitles so you just have to admire the views of cows grazing in the fields and farmhands working the land.

A short while later, we reached our first destination. A kind of Wild West Town.  In a small arena, we were treated with some stunts where a horseback cowboy lassoed a cow and then showed how they would then brand it. Another cowboy showed us tricks with a lasso and then one more impressed us with his dexterity with a gun. Afterwards, we had some free time to wander around. There are souvenir shops and shooting games to play. These cost 30 baht a game. For older children, there is a chance to ride a horse for 40 baht or to take your whole family on a horse and cart ride for only 100 baht. Unfortunately for Nong Grace, there wasn’t much for a 7 year old girl to do.

A little while later, were back on the trailer to continue our tour. A short distance away we paused by the side of the track to see a demonstration of how a sheep dog can successfully heard sheep into a pen and then up into a truck. We then moved on to our last and final stop. This was the petting zoo and animal show. This is a great place for the younger family members. They have smaller ponies here for the younger kids to try their hand at riding. In the petting zoo you can buy food to feed the animals. Here they have some camels as well as some deer and rabbits. You can also give some milk to the baby calves.

Nong Grace obviously loved the final stop as she could finally ride a pony and also feed the baby animals. She also enjoyed the animal show. In fact she enjoyed the whole day out even though it took us over two hours to drive here from Bangkok. My only complaint is that they put all of the activities for younger kids at one place. This meant that Nong Grace was rushed to ride the pony and feed the animals once she had finished watching the show. They should have had the pony ride at the first stop where she didn’t have so much to do.

I am not sure if foreign tourists would find Farm Chokchai of interest as it isn’t what you see as “traditional Thai”. However, the highlight of any stop here is the Chokchai Steakhouse which had the best steaks I have had in a long time. Whenever I drive to Khorat for a holiday, I always stop here on the way home. I think the tour itself is of more interest to Thai families and expats living in Bangkok. However, if you are on your way to Khorat then it might be worth a small stopover. They even have a boutique camp where you can stay the night in “tents”. If you do this then there are more activities that you can take part in including ice cream making.

Visit for more information, We have more ideas for excursions from Bangkok over at

Map showing the location for Farm Chokchai:

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5 More Bangkok Day Trips for Kids

Safari World and Marine Park

This is the continuation of my Bangkok Day Trips for Kids. Probably the most popular open zoo and theme park close to Bangkok is Safari World and Marine Park on the northern outskirts of Bangkok. I have taken Nong Grace here twice and she has also gone with her school. She keeps asking about going back again. The first section is the safari park where you can drive around getting quite close to the animals roaming free. Just don’t open the windows in the lion enclosure. Coach tours are available if you don’t have a car. There are a number of animals shows such as dolphins, birds and elephants. There is also a stunt show. Nong Grace also liked feeding the animals. When we were last there a combined ticket cost 700 baht

Samphran Elephant Ground in Nakhon Pathom Province

To the east of Bangkok you will find Samphran Elephant Ground. This is touted as the greatest elephant show in Thailand. In my travels I have seen many elephant shows and I must say that they are right! Here they showed the strong relationship between elephants and the Thai people. How they worked together in logging and also their important role in the wars with Burma. The battle scenes were definitely impressive though maybe a little loud for younger kids. There were also some lighter moments like a soccer match between elephants. At Samphran they also have a Crocodile Show. It was alright but I have seen much better. When we were there it cost 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children. There are also opportunities to have your picture taken with animals, feed the animals and also ride elephants.

Bangsaen Beach and Monkey Hill in Chonburi Province

If you want to take your kids to the beach then you will find the nearest one at Bangsaen Beach in Chonburi Province. It is just over an hour from Bangkok. Don’t go expecting white sand and crystal clear water as this is the point along the coast where mangrove forests turn to beaches for the first time. However, it is popular with Thai people who often spend the day here at the weekend. During the week you might find the place to yourself. The beach is a good place to eat some seafood. Other local attractions include an aquarium, a Buddhist Hell park and monkey mountain.

Khao Kheow Open Zoo

Another open zoo near Bangkok is Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi Province. It is out in the middle of nowhere and so it is more spread out compared to Safari World. I personally like this one better as you can take your time driving around to see the animals. There are car parks throughout the zoo so you can just stop where you like to explore a certain area. If you don’t have a car you can join tram tours or rent golf carts. When we went we drove around the whole place twice as Nong Grace wanted to go back and see certain animals again. You cannot do that at Safari World. There are plenty of opportunities to feed the animals and the prices for buying food wasn’t so bad. There is also a Children’s Zoo where the kids can pet the animals. We easily spent the whole day here and will probably go back again during the summer holidays this year. The admission price was only 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children.

Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo

Just to the south of Bangkok is the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo. This is in my home province and we have been here quite a few times. It has the usual crocodile wrestling show where they put their hand and head into the mouth of a crocodile. Other places have much the same show but I think this one is superior. They also have 1000’s of crocodiles of various sizes in different pens. You can buy buckets of chickens to feed the crocodiles. There is also an elephant show but it is not that exciting. But, the elephant ride here was only 50 baht when we went. There is a big lake where you can rent boats and you can also ride a train around the park. In addition the the elephants there are also zoo animals. However, their living conditions are a little sad. When we last went entrance fee was 300 baht for adults.

5 Bangkok Day Trips for Kids

Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi Province

These are some ideas for day trips around Bangkok that are good for young children or teenagers. I think the most popular one for Nong Grace was the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi.  She keeps asking to go back here every year. She likes feeding milk to the tiger cubs and also posing for photographs with the cubs and baby crocodiles. There are also shows featuring animals such as crocodiles, elephants, tigers and also pigs that seemingly can count. When we last went the ticket price was 300 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. It cost 150 baht to take your picture with the animals and 10-50 baht for food to feed the animals in the petting zoo.

Swimming Monkeys in Samut Songkhram Province

This day trip from Bangkok to go and see the Swimming Monkeys in Samut Songkhram is a little adventurous. However, it is definitely worth the time and trouble. I have already been a couple of times and Nong Grace came with me on my last trip. We rented a boat for about 500 baht and he took us through the mangroves where we saw about 3 or 4 groups of monkeys at different locations. It is a good idea to bring bananas as they will come closer to your boat looking for food. They are not aggressive but they might squabble among each other to get at the bananas. During the boat ride we also went out into the bay to see the fishermen huts.

Farm Chockchai in Nakhon Ratchasima Province

To the north-east of Bangkok is Farm Chockchai in Nakhon Ratchasima. This is popular with Thai families as you get a tour of a dairy farm, which to them is unusual. Although I actually grew up on a dairy farm myself, I still enjoyed the trip. You are taken around the farm where you can see how they milk the cows and also the dairy where this is processed. There is an opportunity to have a go yourself at milking by hand. During the tour of the farm there are two more stops. First is a kind of Wild West Town where you can ride ponies. There is also a rodeo show here. The next stop there was a petting zoo where you could feed the animals. They also had a short animal show here. When we went tickets were 250 baht for adults and 125 baht for children. Horse rides were 40 baht and pony and trap rides were 100 baht.

Dream World in Pathum Thani Province

Judging by our hits from Google, many people are searching for information about Dream World in Bangkok. This theme park has been around for quite a few years now. There wasn’t much the first few times that I went but there is enough for a decent day of fun now. But, don’t go expecting something like Disney World. There are rides for children of all ages. I first took Nong Grace here when she was only five but she still found plenty to do and have fun. The highlight for her was the Snow Town where she could play with “snow”. The temperature here was a very chilly -3 Celsius. In addition to the rides there is a Fun House and Ghost House. There are also shows such as an animal show and a stunt show. When we were there tickets cost 450 baht and allowed you to have as many rides as you liked.

Siam Park City in North-East Bangkok

The biggest water park in Bangkok is Siam Park City or Suan Siam as it is called in Thai. I hadn’t been there for years and was surprised how much the place had grown. There is now so much to do there that you will only scratch the surface in a day visit. We spent six hours there and didn’t do everything. The water park is the main attraction of course. There are a number of different pools of varying depths. There is also an action river, a giant waterslide and an artificial sea which even has waves. As well as the water park, there is also a theme park with numerous rides for children of all ages. If you wanted to, you can buy tickets just for the water park and for rides in the theme park as you go. When we went, a 600 baht ticket gave you unlimited access to both the water park and theme park. If you are planning on doing everything then that is good value for money. A yearly pass is also good value.

Come here for five more great ideas for day trips around Bangkok for children.