Navigating Bangkok with a Baby
Navigating Bangkok with a Baby

Tips, tricks, and destinations to make your Bangkok getaway a breeze—even with a little one in tow

There are many cities that don’t instinctively come to mind when one thinks of visiting them with a baby in tow. For us, it was more a case of entirely forgetting that there will be one traveling with us when we zeroed in on Bangkok for our early-in-the-New Year getaway. The irony that we were planning to go away for his first birthday will never grow old. And so it was, we decided to find a way to balance the buzzing energy of a city like Bangkok with all the manically mental and punishingly physical wrestling that traveling with a baby entail.

 

I recently read somewhere – only good parents have a tough time parenting. Such facetious platitudes is precisely why I hate the internet; displayed in a stolid font, like God would have appointed while writing down the Commandments, when, in fact, it couldn’t be further from reality. No parenting is easy, even the laissez-faire one; babies are tough, ruthless and unrelenting and there is no formulaic method of dealing with it.

 

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That said, one can find ways to assuage the assault. Arriving at Bangkok airport on Vistara was a good start. Between the journey in and out we surmised that 3-premium economy seats are better than 2-business class seats since it’s easier to splay the child out flat across three seats than to keep tossing him like a hot potato over the wide armrest of two couch-like seats. That said, the lie-flat feature is still great to have, even if it meant the baby mostly slept on it while one unlucky parent balanced on the edge at the foot end, enjoying the wide-screen entertainment experience from up real close.

 

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Next came the check in at The Sukhothai (in the tony Sathon neighbourhood of Bangkok) and there couldn’t have been a finer property to cradle the souls of two knackered parents getting off a much-delayed flight with an anxious and restless tot.

 

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The hotel doesn’t advertise itself as child-friendly (come to think of it, very few in the world do), but they should. Their rooms are appointed in a way so that a crawling (or walking) infant can’t bring much harm upon themselves by knocking things over and/or using them as props in their imaginative crusade. The flooring was either carpeted or wooden which again reduced chances of slips and falls. They had chefs who understood the needs (and tastes) of a baby and churned out dishes aplenty without us, the parents, having to resort to sugar or porridge. The clincher, they had a nanny service – run by their own in-house infirmary professional no less – which meant that we, as a couple, could plan and get away for a bit and enjoy more than a minute of solitude and peace while the lovely lady found ways to engage with the young ones, keeping them occupied while also watching over them.

 

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Finally, we stepped outside. Now Bangkok roads barely have enough space for their jostling traffic, let alone a baby’s pram so we had to leave that behind on most sorties. Carrying a 10-kilo living form of naughty antics and constant fidgetiness isn’t the most convenient way to tour palaces or temples so we had to be prudent about where we decided to go and what we chose to see. Many a top dining establishment too wouldn’t welcome kids below a certain age (especially for dinner) so that limited options. But imagine our surprise when PLU, a fine dining Thai outlet (Michelin-lauded no less) allowed our entourage in. We relished that meal, definitely more than our neighbouring diners.

 

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Two other stops we highly recommend (especially for parents who brought their offspring along) are the Husky Café – where one is welcomed by a pack of 37 of the fluffiest, no, wait, flooffiest huskies – and the Bangkok zoo, where one can ride inside a cage car and feed some wild animals as they prowl in their natural habitat. Yes, you read that right.

 

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We spent three quick nights in the city and managed our share of meals and visits. Sure we couldn’t do any cocktail bars or fine dining – and even our shopping was quite curtailed – but it still managed to be memorable in its own way.

 

To conclude, the city is definitely doable with toddlers, even babies. One just needs to plan extensively and also realign a bit on their expectations. And then, just for good measure, check into the Sukhothai while making a few excursion bookings as shared above. Anything else you manage to get done is pure extra credit.

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