Chiang Mai with Kids Itinerary – Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chedi Luang, Doi Inthanon National Park

Last month, we visited Chiang Mai and spent four days in the city. I’ve been to Bangkok several times but this was my first time to Chiang Mai – the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. Much to my surprise, it is full of friendly locals, incredible food markets, dozens of beautiful temples, a relaxed vibe, and beautiful landscapes. 😀

In addition, it has a lot of delicious Western food, cafes and bars all around the city, but despite that the “Thai-ness” of the city hasn’t gone away. A visit to this city will certainly leave you enamoured. And if you travel in December, like we did, you’d love it even more. The cool season (December to February) is the most popular time to visit Chiang Mai, weather-wise. During the day, the temperatures max out at a pleasant 28°C and drop rapidly after sunset, sometimes to as low as 10°C.

Now, let’s check out our suggested itinerary in Chiang Mai.

Things to See and Do in Chiang Mai

1. Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and its 309 Steps

This is a must-visit in Chiang Mai. In fact, when we were there, the temple was full of tourists and buses. We couldn’t even take a decent photo of ourselves, hahaha! 😆

chiang mai with kids itineraryHere we are standing in front of the 309 steps to reach the pagodas!

For those of you who have visited the Big Buddha in Hong Kong, you should have experienced climbing 268 steps. This one is 41 steps more! I almost fainted halfway through it LOL. Nonetheless, the good news is – you can take an electric tram up if you’re not keen to walk (with a small fee of 50 THB for foreigners).

Buds by Shangri-La: A World of Family Fun Awaits You at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

Buds by Shangri-La was opened on 26 Jan 2018. Spanning over 2,150 sqm in total (with 850 sqm indoors and 1,300 sqm outdoors), the immersive and curated play space allows children to learn through play in a creative, self-directed and experiential environment while bonding with their parents.

More and more hotels around the world are recognizing the importance of family play and bonding time. Thus, they are offering lots of super fun activities and play areas, each more awesome than the last. This is certainly good news for the parents. Hey kids, you are SO lucky! Now, let’s check-out Buds by Shangri-La – Singapore’s largest play space in a hotel.  😀

Buds by Shangri-la

Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is the first hotel in Orchard Road to design and build an interactive play space for children that caters to both hotel guests and non-hotel guests. Yup, you’ll be delighted to hear that you can bring your kids there even if you’re not staying in the hotel.

Outdoors, families can enjoy a luxurious sanctuary of lush gardens in a 40,500-square-metre property, a free-form pool and an outdoor playground with a giant pirate ship structure offering challenging climbs and slides, and a water play zone with splash pads.

Indoors, families can enjoy a huge play space that includes Explorer Zone (for kids over 4 years old without parental supervision), Toddler Zone (soft play for kids under 4 years old and their parents) and various themed activity spaces that encourages fun learning.

Overall, the play space includes a design incorporating themes of adventure, camaraderie, independence and embracing of nature. A picture is worth a thousand words. Without further ado, Iet me give you a pictorial walkthrough of this wonderful play space.

Indoor Play Area

The Explorer Zone for kids over 4 years – it has a big ball pit under a mesh cave, climbing structures, air blasters for shooting foam balls (at target boards, not at people hahah!), slides and sand play area.

Buds by Shangri-la

Sunday Family Lunch at Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Singapore

Seasonal Tastes is the main dining restaurant at The Westin Hotel Singapore. Located on the 32nd floor and surrounded by full-height glass windows, it offers a magnificent view of Singapore’s city skyline and the South China Sea. What’s more amazing is their Sunday Family Lunch, which is one of my favourite family feastings.

Seasonal Tastes Westin Singapore
Photo Credit: The Westin Singapore

Seasonal Tastes has been offering its Sunday Family Lunch since Apr 2017. I got to know this restaurant last year during my company’s departmental lunch. Since then, I’ve been patronizing this wonderful restaurant. Family feasting just got better with this kid-friendly Sunday Family Lunch. I’ll tell you why. 😀

Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit Review – Luxury and Convenience

Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit is a 5-star hotel in the heart of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Road with 325 luxury guest rooms, 3 restaurants and bar, a spa, fitness centre and large convention venue. It is ideally located near the Asoke intersection (connects both Asoke BTS sky train and MRT Sukhumvit underground station), and is just diagonally opposite Terminal 21, shopping malls, dining and entertainment areas. Perfect location, isn’t it?  🙂

Travellers to Bangkok often have different preferences when it comes to hotel selection. Some would prefer staying in shopping districts such as Siam and Pratunam, but some would prefer less crowded areas. But I believe most of us would look for one that is near the BTS or MRT. This hotel is near to both, thus making it the main reason why we chose this hotel.

Truth be told, this was the first time we travelled to Bangkok with Edison – even though we’ve been there several times during our single days (but hey, that was 10 years ago LOL). Naturally, we spent a long time searching for a good hotel. Having a plethora of choices can be mentally-draining too. Hahah!  😆

Our criterias are: 1) near BTS station, 2) 4-star and above, and 3) fits our budget of ~S$1300 for 5 nights. After some research, we found that a 5-night accommodation in the most basic room type in Siam area (Novotel Bangkok, Siam Kempinski, Pathumwan Princess, Mercure Bangkok Siam) would cost $1300 – $1400. Do note that we stayed during the peak X’mas week, thus the rates mentioned in this post were higher than average.

Thus, we began looking at hotels further from Siam and we came across Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit. With similar price range, we could get ourselves a Deluxe Executive Room with Lounge Access. It costs ~$1000 for 5-night stay in a normal Deluxe Room. Since I’m quite a big fan of hotel lounge, I choose the former with Lounge Access. Further read-up on traveller’s reviews on Trip Advisor sealed the deal. The hotel has good reviews from its guests in every aspect. 

Getting to the Hotel from Airport

There are many ways to get to Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit from airport. First, you might be tempted to arrange for a Limousine Transfer with the hotel. At this time of writing, it costs THB 1,700 per car/per way (~S$71) for a Toyota Camry that sits 3 persons.

We booked the Suvarnabhumi Airport Transfer from Klook and it costs half the price at only S$37.10. It’s very easy to find the driver, we simply followed the instruction on our booking slip to look for him at Arrival Hall between Gate 4 and Gate 3 holding a Klook sign.  😀

What I like most is the driver will wait up to 2.5 hours from our flight landing time. So, there’s no worry in the event of flight delay. And if you need a child seat, you can indicate your requirement in your booking. First child seat is provided for free, thereafter there will be an additional surcharge of THB200 per child seat, paid directly to the driver.

Our driver can speak English well, helpful and polite. The car was big and clean. We reached our hotel in approx. 45 mins. Overall, it was a hassle-free experience that I’d really recommend.  🙂

Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai – Great Location, Near Airport

Movenpick Suriwongse Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in downtown Chiang Mai offering 266 well-decorated rooms and suites. It was re-opened on 7 November 2017 after a revamp and rebranded from Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai (now under the Mövenpick hotel chain).

I read a lot on Trip Advisor whenever I’m searching for a hotel. This hotel has really mixed reviews, I guess mainly because it has two wings – one refurbished (new wing) and the other one not (old wing). Knowing that, I’ve specifically requested for a room in the refurbished wing in my booking.

There are two main reasons why we chose this hotel. Firstly, based on most travellers’ reviews, the hotel has a great LOCATION. Turned out, YES! It’s just right outside the night market. But don’t worry, there is no noise issues. Any activity you want to do in the city is only a short trip away. Almost all tours or day activities will do a free pick-up from this hotel – saves us lots of time and energy!

Secondly, most travellers also commented that the buffet breakfast is huge and plentiful (more on this later). Hotel’s breakfast service has always been one of our priorities, and so we were glad to shortlist this hotel for this reason. Price wise, this is a mid-range hotel that also fell within our budget. Considering that we’ll be out most of the day, we were not planning to stay in a luxury hotel.

Accommodation

We stayed 4 nights in a Deluxe Room with an average nightly rate of $160 (all-in with breakfast for 3 pax).

Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai
Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai | Deluxe Room

The Deluxe Room is 30 sqm in size, which is quite spacious. Available in King or Twin Beds configuration, the room can accommodate 2 adults + 1 child, or 3 adults. The room has an earthy tone with subtle Thai design elements.

Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai

Mövenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai

There’s a sofa seating area, coffee and tea, mini fridge and bottled waters. The bathroom, however, is slightly smaller than expected. To my dismay, there was no bathtub even though their website clearly stated that bathtub is available for this room type.