Srilanka Adventure

A family trip through Thailand certainly differs from a more conventional visit to the country when children are involved. There’s so much more to Thailand that meets the eye – great towns, beautiful islands, fantastic beaches, and very friendly and warm people. With a bit of planning, it would make an awesome destination for any family holiday.
Last year, Ritika and Vidyuth Jaisimha took off for a holiday to Thailand for the third time, this time with Ritika’s family. Friendly, exotic and tropical, Thailand has a great culture and history, making it a good attraction for kids. “We think of it as more of a family holiday opposed to an adult destination,” Ritika said. “For the kids, there are Dream World, Kidzania, Siam Parragon, Ocean World, museums and planetariums. We went in May, so it was fun for all of us. Since we were there for a month, there was enough time to explore a number of different places, shopping and the famous Thai massages being the highlights. Apart from the kids, Vidyuth’s cousin and his fiancée joined us, as did my mother-in-law. This definitely added to the fun factor.”
On their last visit, they went to Pattaya, the seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand, about 150 km southeast of Bangkok. Pattaya is mostly famous for its beer bars and beaches, but local authorities have also made efforts to provide more family-friendly attractions and activities. “Personally, I prefer Pattaya to Bangkok as far as shopping is concerned, and Ocean World is breathtakingly beautiful. We went with the whole Jaisimha family, and the following year, we went to Phuket with the kids,” Ritika added.
“The people are quite friendly, and though there is a major language barrier, I could definitely get my point across if I wanted to say something. That’s how welcoming and friendly they are. Oh, and Thai cuisine rocks! The street food is as good as what you’d get at a fancy restaurant, so if you want to try the authentic Thai fare, stick with the street food. Pattaya is also a shopper’s paradise for cosmetics, shoes, clothes and curios.”
This time, the family stayed very close to the National Stadium in Pathum Wan district of Bangkok, where every evening, Ritika would visit the flea market and shop to her heart’s content. “We also found out that if you have to go to the malls, a better bet would be to take a boat, as it’s quicker than a cab. One can get stuck in a traffic jam, which is quite a common problem,” she said.
Kidzania is a great place for children – a business centre, yet one of the best places you could take your young ones, as Ritika revealed. “It’s where children can live out their fantasies and hopes, as every profession is simulated so that they are in realistic scenarios. They get insight into different careers. My daughter Vidhika thought she would be a very good forensic investigator, chef or makeup artist. My son Jai was fascinated playing the roles of firefighter, forensic agent and gas station attendant. They earned some money, too!”
Dreamworld is a theme park that even adults enjoy. “We had as much fun as the kids,” Ritika enthused. “Hurricane, Tornado and the sky rollercoaster were some of the rides not meant for the weak of heart. The Giant’s House from “Jack and the Beanstalk” was amazing, and the art gallery is a must-see. The paintings are beautiful; so are the sculptures. One could easily spend a whole day there!”
There are hundreds of malls in Bangkok; some of the best-known are Siam Paragon, Nine, and Terminal 21. One should dedicate a whole day for each of the several shopping complexes. And despite the hustle and bustle of Thailand, the Jaisimha family rates it as somewhere one should visit if ever the chance presents itself.                                                                                      ..... Rahul