“Hmmm … where should we go on vacation with teenagers?”
I guess Bangkok was probably not the first goal that came to mind, was it?
Thailand’s capital is known for luring greasy, overweight old men to the narrow, neon-lit streets lined with go-go bars and nightclubs. If you’re like me, that’s not something you want to do for impressive (and somewhat innocent) teenagers.
There is no doubt that this infamous element is there if you’re going to look for it But if you go beyond the clichés, Bangkok is a colorful mega-metropolis brimming with fun for teenagers.
A little over a year ago I had a ball with my teenage niece and nephew in Bali, so I decided to take her on vacation again, this time to Thailand, starting in Bangkok. We spent hours in multi-storey shopping malls finding activities that didn’t break the bank, explored historic Buddhist temples, watched a Muay Thai match, and filled our faces with more street food than you can imagine! Gosh, so we can bring you this list of 15 top teen activities in Bangkok.
I know. A real victim.
7. See how to find Nemo at SEA LIFE Ocean World
Of all the things you can expect in Bangkok's malls, an aquarium is probably not one of them. But that's exactly where it is SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is located in the basement of Siam Paragon shopping mall.
I suggest booking tickets on-line in advance to save a few cents and have time in line for tickets. Redeem your online voucher at the information desk and enter the aquarium to marvel at a number of tanks filled with colorful fish. Highlights include penguins on an ice playground, turtles, peaceful seahorses hiding between corals, a shark tunnel and rainforest species such as piranhas, poisonous frogs and giant catfish.
8. Meet film legends at Madame Tussauds
We took advantage of the ticket bundle up and visited Madame Tussauds wax museum after the aquarium. It was quite difficult to find as there are actually three multi-storey malls next to each other. While the aquarium is in Siam Paragon shopping mall, Madame Tussauds is in Siam Discovery Mallwhich can be reached from Siam Paragon by walking west Siam Center Shopping mall. This trip could only be more confusing if you are traveling with a shopaholic who wants to look into every shop that passes by. Luckily we didn't have any (wink, wink), so we made it to Madame Tussauds relatively quickly. We already had our printed tickets from the aquarium and went straight to the entrance.
Inside, we posed for photos with world leaders like Barak Obama and Queen Elizabeth II, hung out with Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein, threw hoops with Yao Ming, saved the world with Captain America, and danced with Beyoncé, to name a few, waxy celebrities in the Museum housed.
9. Drink mocktails at a sky bar
If Bangkok's endless skyscrapers have an advantage for visitors, it would be the plethora of rooftop bars. There is nothing better than sitting back with your favorite cocktail or a teen cocktail and watching the busy city life as the sun sets gently and turns the hazy sky from faint gray to semi-fluorescent gray-pink.
Some rooftop bars, such as the Red Sky Bar, have an age limit so people under the age of 20 are not allowed in. We visited Long tableThe hotel is located in the Column Bangkok Hotel and is open daily from 5 PM to 2 PM.
10. Visit the ruins of Ayutthaya
One thing I've always wanted to do from Bangkok is to visit the ancient ruins of the Kingdom of Bangkok Ayutthaya that seems to have jumped out of a scene from Indiana Jones. Ayutthaya was the second capital of Siam since AD 1350, before today's Thailand was founded. Until its destruction by the Burmese in 1767, Ayutthaya was a wealthy trading town with my niece and nephew so booked Withlocals' Day trip to Ayutthaya and the floating market with Guide Sammy.
Sammy and his driver picked us up from our hotel in Bangkok and drove 90 minutes north to Ayutthaya to explain the history of the ruined city while teaching us some Thai words. We visited the reconstructed ruins of 3 temples, all of which looked pretty much like the teenagers, but, if you ask me, were uniquely spectacular. With the great stupas of the temples, it is easy to see that the inspiration for Bangkok's Grand Palace and Wat Arun came from Ayutthaya. The highlight was without a doubt Wat Mahathatwhere winding tree roots have wrapped around the severed head of a Buddha statue.
But let's not forget Bangkok's reputation for its vibrant nightlife. If you want to spice up the icing on the cake of your teenage vacation building, you can spend a party night on Khao San Road. You will never say that you are uncool again.