Destinations

A Guide to Traveling to Bangkok with Toddlers

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Arial view of Bangkok cityscape with sun setting in background
Sunset from one of the Le Bua State Tower hotel balconies.

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. Hence it is also the most populated in the country. In this giant metropolis, travelers get a taste of traditional and modern Thai culture. With two international airports, Bangkok welcomes millions of visitors every year. Within minutes of arriving, its clear to visitors why this bustling city is on bucket-lists of many. Because of its food, culture, and shopping, visiting Bangkok with toddlers is a great destination choice because of its food, culture, and shopping.


Getting around Bangkok with toddlers

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Navigating the city’s congested neighborhoods can be overwhelming with small children in tow. If you’re traveling to Bangkok with toddlers, you will need to take a stroller and/or backpack carrier. Pedestrians, electric scooters, and cars pack the streets of Bangkok all hours of the day. For the most part, everyone is always on the move. While some areas will allow your kids to wander on their own, we found it most comfortable to utilize backpack carriers for our kids. It’s important to note that stroller usage is very challenging because the streets were uneven.

Toddler in stroller and toddler standing in a market.
gb Pockit stroller at the Chatuchak Weekend Market

We travel with the GB Pocket stroller because it is lightweight and folds easy. Taxi cabs and Uber are also readily available, but you should know that traveling in cars without car seats is the norm. If this is something you are uncomfortable with, Bangkok has a very clean and widely accessible transit system that is easy to use. Also, a favorite method of travel while in Bangkok is the Tuk-tuk! Tuk-tuks originated from the old-fashioned Rickshaw during WWII and are essentially a rickshaw with an engine. Without a doubt, they are a great way to experience the city and a must for all travelers and locals alike.

Eating in Bangkok with toddlers

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Food being prepared at vendor stall.

If you’re heading to Thailand, I’m going to safely assume that the cuisine was one of your reasons for doing so. Obviously, a foodie favorite, Thai food is cheap, delicious and everywhere. If you’ve got picky eaters, don’t fret, you can find anything on the streets of Bangkok from fruit to Scorpions. Basic foods are “Khao niao,” which is sticky rice; “lap,” a traditional salad with meat, onions, and chilies; and “mu ping,” a marinated, grilled pork on a stick. Some traditional Thai food is spicy with powerful flavors. However, you can ask vendors to adjust the spiciness of items. Peanuts are usedin a lot of Thai cuisine. Make sure you look closely at vendor stalls that are preparing the food if you have an allergy.

Our go-to dish was a simple stir-fried vegetable made with Pak Booing (Water Morning Glory; Water Spinach). Morning Glory is one of Thailand’s most popular foods. Not only is it cheap, but you can also get it anywhere. I recommend this to first-timers, and it’s almost impossible to find at restaurants in the West. Another favorite was “Pad Krapow Gai,” a basil chicken served with rice. This simple, familiar spice can be adjusted to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. Lastly, a common street food called “Pad Thai,” was our choice whenever we needed quick nourishment while exploring the city. This simple dish is perfect for any meal in Bangkok with toddlers.

Potty breaks in Bangkok

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Toilet instructions inside public bathroom at temple.

Traveling to Bangkok with toddlers who have not so much mastered the art of the potty can be tricky. While there are public restrooms available throughout the city, the kind of commode you get is what you get. Squatters are common in Thailand. Even so, they are confusing for a lot of Westerners and people visiting the country for the first time. I won’t go into the details, but for a more in-depth look into potty breaks in Thailand, check out this site. By the way, some public bathrooms require payment to the entire and the attendant will only give you a few squares of toilet paper. Bring your toilet paper.

Things to do in Bangkok with kids

Khao san Road

If you have ever read the popular 1990’s book, “The Beach” or have seen the movie, you probably remember, Richard, describing Khaosan Road as “the center of the backpacking universe.” He wasn’t lying! This lively half mile strip is lined with budget hotels, bars, restaurants, massage parlors, travel agents, vendor stalls, and so much more. Get there early if you are looking to shop before the party crowd shows up.

Shopping malls

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MBK mall from a walking sky pass

I have never seen anything like Bangkok’s massive shopping malls. No matter your taste, budget, and style, you’ll never be disappointed or leave empty-handed. In comparison to outdoor markets, air-conditioned malls in Bangkok are a more comfortable way to shop. Most of the shopping centers are easily accessible via the Skytrain (BTS) system and are pretty stroller friendly. The malls in Bangkok are very modern and are equipped with escalators and lifts, so a stroller is appropriate for a trip in any of the giant complexes.

Tour the Grand Palace

Constructed in 1782, this famous palace complex houses several magnificent buildings. Here you can find the Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Dating all the way back to the 14th century, this is also the home of Emerald Buddha. Even in the off-season, prepare yourself for the crowd. This site gets packed and you’ll want to see every inch of the grounds.  You will also make sure you need to observe the countries modest dress code here for men and women. Cover your shoulders and knees. Wear a pair of shoes that easy to slip on and off.

Child wearing

Here is a decent place for little ones to get in some walking time. However, there are a lot of stairs around the complex, and they vary in steepness. To get the most out of this destination, consider using your backpack carrier.Wear you little ones while touring this royal complex.

For more on what to wear to temples, download this free packing guide for Thailand.

Temple Tours

There are hundreds of temples (Wat) in Bangkok and are a very integral part of the city’s heart and soul. The temples in Thailand are famous for their architecture and intricate decor, made up of thousands of pieces of colored glass, gold and ancient teak. Don’t leave Bangkok without a tour of at least the most popular ones.

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Doorway inside of Wat Pho
Child wearing

The popular temples in Bangkok are very old and most cannot accommodate strollers. Some have narrow doorways, walkways and the steepness in stars vary. Leave the stroller at the hotel and opt for your backpack carrier

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Chatuchak Weekend Market covers 35-acres and houses over 8,000 vendor stalls. More than 200,000 people come here on any given weekend day. I am sure that just about everything and anything is on sale here. While the prices range varies, the vendors are always ready to make a deal. If you find yourself in Bangkok with toddlers on a weekend day, plan a trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market. Get there early before the crowds and make sure you have on a good pair of comfy walking shoes. For more information, check out the Chatuchak Weekend Market webpage.

Child wearing

Parts of the market are stroller friendly, however, this place gets crowded and the indoor walkways are narrow. We took a stroller and regretted it as the market got busier. Opt for backpack carrier, but if your little ones are steady walkers they can spend some time on their feet here.

How long to stay?

There is so much to do in Bangkok with toddlers! Depending on what your interests are, you could easily spend an entire vacation in the city. 3-4 days is enough time to see sights, eat food and shop. Finally, Bangkok is also a great stop before heading to any one of the beautiful Thai islands.

No matter how you decide to take on Bangkok, you won’t be disappointed. From food to temples to shopping, there is something for everyone.

A complete guide to Bangkok with toddlers
A complete guide to Bangkok with toddlers

For a complete packing guide for this trip and free downloaded list, check out:

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