The largest roller coasters in the world may all be in the United States and Australia whilst some of the most famous amusement parks are Disney World Orlando and Disneyland Paris. However, Southeast Asia is by no means lacking in theme parks. The region has plenty of amusement parks with a huge variety of attractions for every kind of thrill-seeker and even some for those simply looking for a day of wandering and discovering new things.
There are copious amounts of water slides to descend, roller coasters to ride, games to play, performances to watch, wildlife to explore and tasty treats to eat. To get you started below we’ve explored some of the best theme parks in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Thailand is primarily known for its pristine white beaches, turquoise waters, tasty rice dishes and wild backpackers’ parties. However it is a diverse country that has something to offer every kind of visitor; there are incredible temples to explore, a rich literary history, museums, art, music festivals and, not least, a thriving amusement park scene. Thailand is home to a surprising amount of theme parks, amusement parks and water parks offering fun-filled days out for kids, big kids and grown-ups. Here are just a couple of our favourite ones.
Siam Park City is a massive 300 hectare park in the region of Bangkok with over 30 major features. The park is broken up into five different sections; the Water Park has a spa, wave pool and a variety of water slides, the X-zone is home to various rides and roller coasters, Family World is an interactive space for all ages, Fantasy World is made up of rides based on surreal events and mythological characters and finally Small World is made up of mini-rides designed for younger children and toddlers. What’s more this is far beyond just a theme park as there are also banquet and seminar facilities as well as “scout camp”, a science based educational and fun camp experience for youngsters.
Ramayana Water Park in Pattaya is Thailand’s largest water park spanning over 45 acres with 21 major water slide rides varying in their vigour from gentle to adrenaline-surging. There are rides to cater for all ages, including the Free-fall and Aqua-loop where riders are nestled into a launch capsule as well as 600 metres long ‘Lazy River’ complete with waves, waterfalls and bubbles. There are also plenty of places to eat, a floating market, real life elephants and perhaps most amazingly the remnants of an ancient city to be explored. The water park was built on top of an ancient city, the ruins and relics of which still stand and feature as one of the park’s attractions.
Despite Malaysia’s relatively small size it has more than its far share of theme parks. The Legoland theme park franchise is far-reaching with parks in Europe, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and now also Malaysia. Legoland Malaysia is the country’s first international amusement park and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The park is virtually a small village with its own hotel, shops, eateries and even a cinema showing the latest Lego blockbuster. The theme park consists of various Lego worlds, including Lego City, Lego Ninjago World and the Land of Adventure plus there is a water park in the grounds with slides, cafes and a Lego boat building station.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is located in the Selangor state only a short drive or train ride from Kuala Lumpur and yet once you arrive it is like you’ve been transported into a different world – or into six different worlds to be precise. This gigantic amusement park has something to suit all theme park tastes. The Nickleodeon Lost Lagoon is the perfect spot for family recreation, set in 10 acres of rainforest land the lost lagoon is made up of a whole host of child-friendly activities and rides both on land and in the water. Take the drop down one of the immense waterslides, explore the jungle canopy from elevated walkways or simply spend your time with some of the network’s most loved characters. The rest of the park is made up of a Water Park, Amusement Park, Wildlife Park, Extreme Park and Scream Park.
The Berjaya Times Square Indoor Theme Park its located in Kuala Lumpur and is the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia. Covering over 130,000 square feet this theme park boasts a range of activities, including bumper cars, the ‘DNA mixer’, which is a large gondola that swings its riders in all manner of directions, a turbo-charged merry-go-round and an 800 metres long ‘Supersonic Odyssey Rollercoaster’. For those wanting to take things a bit slower, there is also a video game arcades, several places to eat and a fantasy garden within which you can follow the botanic trail, go to the theatre and hop aboard a flying bumble bee.
The Philippines sit at the eastern side of Southeast Asia and are made up of over 7,500 islands with stunning stretches of coastline. However if you’re bored of relentless sunshine and beach time or perhaps the kids are getting fidgety, check out some of the Philippines’ many amusement parks. Kidzania Manila is an indoor theme park, which is created entirely for children. It is essentially a town made small so that children can become the adults, and in this town children are given the opportunity to try their hand at various different grown-up occupations. They can have a go at everything from being a fire fighter, police officer, shop attendant or chocolate factory worker (with real chocolate) and many many more. It is super interactive with various games as well as cafes and restaurants for grown-ups to sit and keep watch from.
For the slightly older crowd there are lots of theme parks to choose from. Enchanted Kingdom is a large amusement park in Santa Rosa, Laguna, that aims to give its visitors a truly magical experience. Aside from the many roller coasters, dodgems, water park, carousel, laser tag and so forth, there are also performances, events, games, shops and restaurants. Star City in Pasay is part of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines Complex in Bay City: a large and widely acclaimed area bustling with entertainment along Manila Bay. The park itself has activities to suit all ages, including Star Frisbee – a thrilling ride imported directly from Italy – and an adventure zone with zip lines, wall climbing and paint balling.
Manila Ocean Park is the Philippines’ most prominent marine themed amusement park that aside from offering many entertainment options also has a focus geared towards education. The entire park is water life themed from the H2O hotel to the sea-life experiences that include a chance to swim like a mermaid, become an “aquanaut” and have your feet nibbled in the fish spa. As you can imagine, the park is also home to a whole host of marine animals for you to ogle at, including penguins, sharks and stingrays. There is also an incredible vibrant light show where the lights are encased in large jelly-like sculptures and a nightly symphony performance in which water-fountains, high-tech lights and music are used to create stories about creatures from the deep.
Some other great options
- If you’re in Singapore you must check out Universal Studios in Sentosa Resorts World on Sentosa Island. This Hollywood movie themed amusement park has vast rides, cinematic experiences, 3D experiences and recreated iconic streets that seem as though they’ve dropped straight out of New York and LA.
- All of these water slide rides and child-friendly activities are great for a fun family day out but what if you’re a thrill seeker looking for theme parks with the biggest exhilaration. Although Japan is not actually in Southeast Asia, we could not help but to mention that it is home to two of the world’s ten tallest roller coasters both tall enough to satisfy any adrenaline junkie’s fix:
– Steel Dragon 2000 in Nagashima Spa Land stands at an incredible 318 ft.
– Thunder Dolphin in Tokyo Dome City Attractions stands at 262 ft.