Family fun reaches far beyond the beach in Thailand

Thailand’s natural affinity with water is undeniable. The country’s coasts and islands are framed by some of the world’s most picturesque seas, and the Kingdom also hosts the most enthusiastic and good-spirited national water fight on the planet every April, to celebrate Thai new year.

Perhaps it’s not so surprising then to learn that Thailand is home to quite a number of excellent waterparks – each one offering its own unique attractions for families looking to branch out from days on the beach.

Vana Nava, Hua Hin

The newest water park in the Kingdom is located in Hua Hin, a laid-back beach town about 3 hours from the Thai capital. Styled as a water jungle, Vana Nava also boasts over 200,000 living species across its 3.2 hectares of land.

Opened in December, the park comprises two zones: the Water Jungle Zone houses 19 slides and rides, including The Abyss, billed as largest slide in Thailand. It’s a 28m slide whose centerpiece is a massive funnel where riders will be spun around the walls at high speed.

Other park highlights include the 179m-long Boomerango, the longest slide in Thailand, and at 31m, the tallest man-made waterfall in the region. Then, as the name suggests, the Slide Jungle is where you’ll hear the most shrieks; rides include a taste-your-stomach drop on the Freefall, and a literally breathtaking vertical spin on the AquaLoop.

The second zone, Adventure Zone, features a ropes course, climbing wall, surf simulator, gift and games corner – the latter offering both arcade and carnival games. On weekends, the surf zone turns into beach club-esque venue complete with live DJ and LED-lit pools.

Cartoon Network Amazone, Bang Saray

Located near Pattaya and about a two-hour drive from Bangkok, Cartoon Network Amazone opened to great fanfare in October 2014 as the first Cartoon Network-branded waterpark in the world.

The 14-acre waterpark near the tropical shores of Bang Saray is divided into 10 different zones, of which The Omniverse, Adventure Zone, and Cartoonival house all the rides. The Ben 10-inspired Omniverse is home to the park’s most thrilling rides, while Adventure Zone’s three rides offer fun for the whole family. For an all around splashing good time for kids, the water play fortress of Cartoonival is packed with 150 water features themed by everything from The Powerpuff Girls to Chowder.

For a more leisurely way to enjoy the refreshing water, guests can float down a 335m river adventure or bob up and down in the giant wave pool. Park patrons can also get lessons on wave conquering from a champion Flowrider at Surf Arena.

Cabanas offer shaded reprieve from the sun, and the culinary offerings at Foodville – also branded – provide the necessary treats for some delicious downtime. There is also a planned spa zone.

Splash Jungle Waterpark, Phuket

The only one of its kind on Phuket, Splash Jungle Waterpark is located adjacent to Centara Grand West Sands on Mai Khao Beach.

Two of the slides – Boomerango and Super Bowl – are a favorite with older children, offering exhilarating rushes and exciting twists and turns. Younger guests, however, are well catered for with fun water bomb cannons and other interactive features at the aqua play pool.

Separate slides keep the thrills to a manageable level for the younger members of the family. Though the slides come in varying degrees of excitement and heights, one thing is certain – all rides culminate in a splash-tastic ending.

For a refreshing dip in the water without the adrenaline rush, the  335m lazy river offers a unhurried journey through the gardens of the waterpark, while a lifeguard-supervised wave pool provides a controlled alternative to floating in the Andaman sea.

Two on-site restaurants, plus a swim-up bar, offer tasty and rehydrating beverages. Patrons have access to complimentary locker usage for the day, but towels are rentable.

Siam Park City, Bangkok

Bangkok may be known more for its urban than its natural delights, but residents with kids are more than familiar with Siam Park City, an amusement and waterpark that opened in 1980.

At 120 acres, it’s one of – if not the largest waterpark in Southeast Asia, and boasts the biggest Guinness-certified wave pool in the world.

The park comprises five distinct zones; in addition to water slides, Water Park zone comprises a lazy river and a bubble spa pool. Dry thrills can be found at X-Zone, home to a roller coaster, giant drops, and a number of other amusement park rides.

The remaining three zones – Family World, Fantasy World, and Small World cater specifically to the younger guests, with merry-go-round and other carnival rides that will have the little ones squealing in delight.

Aquapark Chaweng, Koh Samui

More of a floating obstacle course than a traditional waterpark – Aquapark features a collection of giant inflatables, all floating in the sea off Chaweng Beach. The park is perfect for older kids and adults engaging in kids play while making the most of the warm tropical waters.

Climbing the inflatable walls may look easier than it really is, then sliding down from a height of 5 metres provides plenty of opportunities to make a big splash. With trampolines, human catapults, and rocking planets – it’s a rough and tumble day out in the sea.

Depending on your fitness levels, this course can be quite tiring for players. For extra motivation, if you complete the wipeout course there’s a prize to be had.

The park is located out on the open sea, so it’s best to call ahead and check if they’re closed due to rain and/or strong currents and high waves, which is more likely from October to January.


Check the Links

If you are looking for fun ways to get wet, it’s always best to check on opening times and entry fees before you set off on a waterpark adventure. Check the details and links below.

  • Vana Nava, Hua Hin: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Water Jungle Zone) and 9 p.m. (Adventure Zone), Fridays and Saturdays to 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. Water park tickets from THB 600 for kids (free for children under 90cm) and THB 1,000 for adults. Ropes, rock, and flow Rider at extra charge. http://www.vananavahuahin.com
  • Cartoon Network Amazone, Bang Saray: All-inclusive day passes from THB 1,190 for non-Thai residents, THB 890 for residents. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. http://cartoonnetworkamazone.com/en
  • Splash Jungle Waterpark, Phuket: All-inclusive day passes from THB 650 for children (free for kids under 5 years old) and THB 1,295 for adults. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. http://www.splashjunglewaterpark.com
  • Siam Park City, Bangkok: As the park is very popular with locals, it can get quite busy on weekends and holidays. All-inclusive day passes from US$25 for adults (with advance booking) and US$20 for kids between 100-130cm, the latter with access to Small World, Family world, and Water Park. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. http://www.siamparkcity.com
  • Aquapark Chaweng, Koh Samui: THB 300 per hour, THB 400 for four hours, and THB700 for seven hours. Open daily (weather permitting) from 10 a.m. to 6 pm. http://www.aquaparkchaweng.com

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Tina Hsiao
As the contributing editor, Tina is an experienced public relations professional and freelance feature writer. Based in Thailand, she regularly writes for magazines and websites on everything from travel destinations to hotels, restaurants and interior design. Her inquisitive nature and sharp, distinctive style always guarantee an enlightening, educational and entertaining read.