Take the kids: Bangkok’s flower markets

There are so many wonderful things to do with kids in Bangkok, but for something cheap, educational and fun head to the Bangkok flower markets (Pak Klong Talad). The colours, smells and excitement of the markets are definitely a huge thrill for kids so it makes for a perfect pre-dinner family activity that everyone can enjoy.

Last time I was in Bangkok the markets were held on the street and it was crowded and close and a little overwhelming. But now they’ve moved inside and while it’s a different atmosphere from the outdoor location it’s much easier to navigate with children  and feels a lot safer and less chaotic. You can find the markets at Chak Phet Road near Saphan Phut or the Memorial Bridge.

Just jump in a tuk tuk and head down. Make sure you negotiate your price, you can ask at your hotel or guesthouse  – and take an address card too, to help you get back. If you’re lucky your driver will pump the sound system and you can sing Call Me Maybe at the top of your voices and record yourself on your iPhone as you speed along the Bangkok streets, just like us.

The market is so easy to wander around. Just take your time and look at all the different tropical flowers, the colours, the textures, and scents; the roses in coloured bunches wrapped in newspapers, the flower made into offerings for at Buddhist temples, the vibrant orchids and the elegant lotus flowers. Look out for people unloading and pushing boxes and buy yourself some flowers to enjoy during your stay.  If you want to add an educational element you can help your children learn about Thailand’s tropical flowers by making a list of five or so for them to spot at the markets and tick off a checklist.

Emily’s favourite part of the flower market was leaning how to fold lotus petals. It’s a fun challenge for kids and the flower looks so beautiful at the end. You can find instructions on youtube or search for lotus petal folding (otherwise you may just get origami instructions). Em loved it so much we bought six lotus flowers for 60 baht which we took home and Em obsessively folded all night.

You can then head to dinner or take a took took around the old city at night to see the Palace and temples alight in the darkness before heading home.

What: Bangkok flower markets

Where: Chak Phet Road near Saphan Phut or the Memorial Bridge.

When: The markets are open all day – but best times are during the day and early evening when it is not super chaotic