After the birth of my son (now 2 years old), I initially struggled to imagine how to spend quality time with him in and around Pattaya in Thailand. While my friends at home in Australia were out taking long walks with their children and having picnics in parks, I felt there were too many obstacles in the way for me to do something similar: pavements here aren’t built for pushing a pram, traffic and ‘soi dogs’, although mostly friendly, sometimes feel threatening with a baby, and the heat was too much to even entertain the thought of a picnic. However, once I shelved those ideas I realised there is so much more to do – too much some days! Here are some ideas to get you started…
Join a group
There are numerous playgroups in Pattaya that are welcoming and fun to be part of. You not only meet other parents and their kids but can enjoy a coffee and a chat. BAMBI, Wiggle Town and Kindermusik at Regents are just some groups that my son and I attend. I am sure that if you ask around, you will be able to add to the list!
Drive to the beach
It is warm here in Thailand - and sometimes simply too hot. By driving to the beach, be it in your own car or by taxi, you beat the heat and once there - slip, slop, slap – get building some sandcastles. Buy some fruit and a couple of fresh coconuts from a fruit seller and enjoy them in the shade of a palm tree.
Get busy at home
Make some play dough, fill up the paddling pool, bake a cake, make some instruments, do a drawing and some puzzles. Some days it is just nice to stay at home and play together. When you have made some connections, invite some friends to join you.
Fortunately, my son loves shopping so we go early in the morning while the streets and the supermarket are still quiet. He happily sits in the trolley while we walk around in the air con discussing the week’s menu.
One of our favourite things to do to spend quality time as a family is to go to our local Thai restaurant for dinner. Thais are very child-friendly and welcoming, and staff at our favourite restaurant spend more time playing with our son than he does eating with us!