Water Parks and Aquariums in and around Bangkok
Posted by Mark Philip
Bangkok is well-known as an ever-expanding, ever-changing urban mass of concrete, albeit chock-full of both standard and unique tourist activities.
Many of these activities and stop-offs often include sights of both historical and cultural significance, but sometimes many visitors to the humid Thai capital begin to get the feeling that they just want to escape from the admittedly edgy vibe of the city, and have a little light-hearted fun.
And seeing as the SE Asian tropical city often seems like one of the hottest places on the planet, with its built-up malls, high-rises, and all other manner of concrete constructs — fortunately there are a few other ways to cool off aside from drowning in cheap, cold Thai beer.
In fact, once you hit on the idea of water attractions and begin to do a little digging, you may just be surprised as to how many attractions there are in the city that revolve around water – and sometimes in unlikely places such as the roof of a shopping mall.
And if the water parks in Bangkok do manage to cool you off but you still fancy more by way of water-themed entertainment, then there are always the air-conditioned aquariums, some of which are rated as world class.
So allow us to take you on a journey in and around the Thai capital as we dive a bit deeper into some of the water parks and aquariums in Bangkok.
1. Sea Life Ocean World
Ocean World is a large aquarium by anyone’s standards – the size of 3 Olympic swimming pools to be exact — and can be found underneath the city central shopping hot spot Siam Paragon.
It’s an aquatic wonderland and is one of the largest and most impressive in the Southeast Asian region, comprising more than 30,000 aquatic creatures from various depths of the ocean and from various regions across the globe.
This is a great place for kids, and a few hours spent at SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is not only educational and memorable, but it is also a great way to escape the oppressive heat for a good few hours.
This huge Bangkok aquarium comprises various zones, and the underwater journey gets underway at the Weird and Wonderful zone, where you can encounter all manner of odd-looking marine creatures, like striped frogfish and gigantic spider crabs.
The Deep Reef and Living Ocean zones will allow you to encounter some of the most fascinating reef and deep ocean dwellers in the world, and in the Rain Forest and Rocky Shore zones you will witness displays of ancient African lungfish, blind cavefish, giant water rats and even penguins.
One of the highlights of this impressive Bangkok aquarium is undoubtedly the 270-degree underwater viewing tunnel where you can glimpse many varieties of sharks, and before you leave, you might stop off at the Sea Jellies zone to enjoy a musical symphony in which you will see the translucent invertebrates floating about in tanks lit with LED lighting – indeed a sight to behold!
There are plenty of shows on offer such as shark and penguin feeding, to name just a couple, but do be warned – extra charges apply for some of the activities that are not included in the admission price, which is not exactly cheap by anyone’s standards.
(And yes, you guessed it – here you will once again be subjected to the risable dual-pricing policy that Thailand still insists on implementing, meaning that you are paying sometimes as much as 10 times more than locals!).
To get into the aquarium, take Exit 5 from the Siam BTS Skytrain Station, which provides direct access to Siam Paragon, and Ocean World is down on the lower levels.
Location: B1-B2 Floor, Siam Paragon Building, 991 Rama I Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open: Daily from 10 am to 9 pm
Phone: +66 (0)2 687 2000
2. Flow House Bangkok
Flow House Bangkok is neither an aquarium, nor a large water park, but it does have as its centre-piece an artificial wave machine in which you can cool off with a bit of ‘urban surfing’.
Not exactly Bondai beach, but nevertheless this is a great way for the whole family to indulge in a bit of water-based activity right in the middle of the concrete urban expanse of the city, and possibly learning a new thing by way of ‘Flow-riding’.
Flow-riding is largely a hybrid of surfing and wakeboarding on a kind of inflatable ramp, onto which flowing water is constantly pumped up and over in order to simulate a perpetual breaking wave.
Experienced boarders will love it, as will complete novices and there won’t be too much of a problem for children to get straight into it. The staff on hand are there to guide beginners (with ropes at first) and generally encourage the more timid participants.
Location: 120/1 A-Square, Soi Sukhumvit 26, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110
Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm
Phone: +66 (0)99 083 8787
2. Zanook Wake Park
This is generally considered to be Bangkok’s most popular and busy wakeboarding lake, which comes complete with an inflatable, floating playground right in the middle of the lake.
Both experienced and first-time wakeboarders are welcome and accommodated in this Bangkok water park, which can make for a great day out for individuals, couples, or families.
Popular with locals, Zanook Bangkok is another top place to jump on a board and ride the water not too far from the somewhat limiting confines of the city centre.
It’s not exactly central in terms of the centre of the city, but it can be accessed in part by BTS as it is not too far from the Bang Wa BTS Skytrain Station on the Silom Line.
Location: 77 Thanon Bang Bon 3, Bang Bon, Bangkok 10150, Thailand
Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 9.30 pm
Phone: +66 (0)2 104 9053
3. Siam Amazing Park (Suan Siam)
Located on the outskirts of Bangkok, Siam Amazing Park (or ‘Suan Siam’ as it is more commonly known in Thai) is probably the most well-known water park in the region for both locals and anyone who has previously visited the Thai capital.
This is basically the Thai version of Disneyland, and the facility comprises a water park and an amusement park. Here you will find a variety of water slides, and a man-made beach complete with waves, which has provided city residents with an ‘ocean in the city’ for more than 40 years.
Needless to say, the park has undergone a few re-vamps in its time. We should note that even at present some of Siam Park’s amenities might be in need of something of an upgrade in terms of global standards, although the facility still provides a decent backdrop for a fun day out near the water for the entire family.
The amusement section of the park is divided into zones such as Fantasy World, X-Zone, Family World and Small World, and each area has its own range of rides and attractions to suit different ages and thrill-seeking levels.
Some of these attractions include roller coasters, a Log Flume, and Jurassic and African-themed adventure rides. There is even a ‘Small World’ section for really young children, which includes a smaller carousel, mini motorcycles, boats and rides.
Again admission prices are somewhat inflated considering the age of the park, with the usual dual-pricing policy being more than evident.
Address: 203 Suan Siam Rd, Khan Na Yao, Bangkok 10230
Hours: 10 am-5 pm
Admission: Child (over 130 cm) and Adult – 900 baht day pass/Child (100-129 cm) – 150 baht (day pass)
4. Bangkok Aquarium
The Bangkok Aquarium is actually the oldest in Thailand, having first opened in 1940. It is located in the grounds of a university known as Kasetsart, in the Faculty of Fisheries, and it is home to more than 500 species of freshwater fish and100 species of aquarium plants all native to the region.
Some of the main showcase species in this somewhat more low-key Bangkok aquarium include the Siamese Tigerfish, Siamese giant carp, and Chao Phraya giant catfish (all of which featured in our feature about fishing in Bangkok).
The facility has 3 floors, which encompass a 1st-floor Touch Pool, a 2nd-floor rare fish section and on the 3rd floor is the aquarium office.
Location: Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Bang Ken campus, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 10:00 am-16:00 pm
Admission fees: Adults 20 THB, Children/Students 10 THB.
Tel: (+66) 0 2940 5623
5. Fantasia Lagoons
If you thought endless shopping and restaurants was all there is to do in a Bangkok shopping mall, you might think again when hear about Fantasia Lagoons.
There are two branches of the Fantasia Lagoon, hence two malls, where you can find a water park hidden on the rooftop, namely The Mall Bangkae and The Mall Bangkapi shopping centres.
Needless to say, a great day can be had by all in terms of both shopping and a little fun in the sun. Fantasia Lagoon is geared slightly towards children, with its various pools, slides and themed play areas.
That’s not to say that adults can’t get involved and have some fun though, and these slightly out-of-town locations definitely facilitate a more local, rather than touristy vibe, meaning far fewer tourists than you are likely to find in any of the other featured locations.
Located in: The Mall Bangkae, 275 Petchkasem Rd, Bang Khae Nuea, Bang Khae, Bangkok 10160
Hours: 10:30 am-5.30 pm