Thailand is certainly feeling the heat this year, with last month seeing the longest heatwave in the country for 65 years. With Thailand weather heating up, we share the best ways to beat the heat in the capital, Bangkok.
Many countries across Southeast Asia are feeling the heat creep up with the reappearance of El Nino. Thailand is certainly no exception with temperatures reaching 42°C and over 70% humidity. Last month, many visitors could escape the heat with Songkran celebrations, Thailand’s yearly water festival. This month, however, there’s no excuse to throw buckets of water on each other. We share the best ways to escape the heat in Bangkok.
Hit the Shops
Your first point of action for keeping cool in Bangkok is to find air-con. Fortunately, the city has an array of malls which not only have a great choice of shops but delightfully cool temperatures. Browse over 2000 shops at the MBK Centre or visit the sixth largest shopping centre in the world, Central World. For those who aren’t into shopping, the malls have plenty more to offer; Siam Paragon alone is home to the largest movie screen in Southeast Asia and the largest aquarium in Asia.
Visit the Museums
Another great indoor activity is visiting Bangkok’s many museums. The city has a variety of museums to suit all tastes and interests, from the historic National Museum of Royal Barges to the eye-opening Corrections Museum, and the traditional Kamthieng House Museum to the impressive Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. All of these attractions are a great way to get out of the midday sun without having to hide out in your hotel room.
Take a Swim
As we all know, there’s nothing better than diving into fresh, cool water. Bangkok may not have miles of ocean coastline, but it does have a whole lot of waterparks. Most of these places can be found a little outside of the city centre, by they’re certainly worth the journey. Head to Siam Park City for exhilarating slides or Fantasia Lagoon for huge pools.
Relax in the Parks
Cooling down in Bangkok can be as simple as getting away from the stifling traffic and crowds. Escape the madness at one of the city’s lush, green parks. Lumphini Park is one the most popular spots in Bangkok for tourists and locals alike. It has an artificial lake where visitors can rent boats and plenty of evergreen trees for shade. King Rama IX Park is the largest park in Bangkok at almost 200 acres and has various features, including a botanical garden, museum and playgrounds, as well as ample shaded grass.
We all know that you need to drink lots of water to beat the heat, but what what about eating lots? Well, there are plenty of foods that can help you feel refreshed, especially food with high water content or fresh fruit. Fortunately, Thailand is full of delightfully refreshing desserts that hit the spot. We recommend Itim Kati, coconut ice-cream made with coconut cream, and Tub Tim Grob, a blend of water chestnuts and tapioca flour. Alternatively, wait until the sun has set and explore the food scene on a cooler evening street eats tour.
Hop on a Boat
Sometimes all you need to cool down is a fresh, river breeze. There are numerous canals and rivers to explore in Bangkok, many of them winding around some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as Chao Phya River which passes by Wat Arun. The klongs (canals), on the other hand, offer a much more unique window into Thai lifestyle, cruising through artisan villages and hidden fishing spots. A boat ride is one of the best ways to explore Bangkok without having to work up a sweat!
Take a Class
Getting hands-on in Bangkok doesn’t necessarily mean working up a sweat. There are many leisurely classes where you can learn a local skill without feeling like you’re melting. Try a cooking class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School or stop by an artisan village to try your hand at traditional Thai crafts.