British Airways aside, most convenient overnight flights from the UK and the US arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in the early afternoon or late evening, respectively, so by the time you’re settled into your hotel, any kind of sight-seeing will probably be the last thing on your mind. To help beat jet lag, or at least lessen its effects, you’ll need to try and stay up until something approaching your kids’ usual bedtimes, so take a stroll around the local neighbourhood (fresh air also helps) to introduce yourselves to the sights, sounds and smells of BANGKOK. On a short walk along any street in any part of the city, you’re likely to see tuk-tuks whizzing by calling out for custom, Buddha statues with garlands of flowers hanging around their necks, markets full of fish and frogs and other unknown but apparently edible creatures, and street-food vendors chargrilling satay sticks or spooning out pungent curries. It’ll be a quick but thrilling taster of what Thailand’s all about.
TOP TIP If you’re in Bangkok over a weekend, it can be worth making room in your itinerary for a trip north of the city to the CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET (Sat & Sun 6am–6pm). There are over 15,000 stalls here, selling everything from paper umbrellas to jack-fruit trees and Siamese fighting fish to tribal handicrafts from Northern Thailand. It’s hectic and busy (mostly with local Thais), but there’s not another shopping experience quite like this in the entire country. To get there, you’ll need to take the Skytrain north from Siam BTS Station to Mo Chit (about 15min), walk to Chatuchak Park MRT Station (it’s directly below Mo Chit) and then take the MRT one stop west to Kamphaeng Phet. This exits out into the market, and you can then work your way through the stalls back to Mo Chit for the BTS Skytrain back down to Siam.
THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN
Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice
From jungle treehouses to floating bungalows – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Thailand
NEED TO KNOW
A handy overview of Thailand’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit
Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety, and how to get around
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