Thailand for Children

Thailand family holidays, festivals and family travel tips

Dinosaurs! Family Thailand Off the Beaten Track

Weird and wacky, this destination is way off the tourist trail. Hundreds of miles away from Bangkok, in Thailand’s northeastern region of Isaan you’ll find huge dinosaur statues towering over the park or alongside a temple. Dinosaurs even decorate the tops of some public lampposts as a shout out to the areas big lizardy claim to fame.

Several species have been discovered here. You’ll find bones and models in the museum. Want to get a little closer to the past? Visit current dig sites at Phuwiang National Park.

Phuwiang Dinoasaur Museum in Khon Kaen, Thailand
(Photo Credit: Wickanet / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0)

Exploring the Phuwiang attractions, your children will discover completely new dinosaurs they’ve never even heard of before.

Siamotyrannus is the Thai version of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The huge plant-eating long-necked Phuwiangosaurus, discovered in Phuwiang, Thailand, is like a brontosaurs. (I know scientists have gotten rid of the word “brontosaurus”, but it’s much cooler than “apatosaurus”; I’m keeping it.)

Siamosaurus looks kind of like a cross between a T Rex and a crocodile. It stands upright but it’s got a crocodile head (who knew you could make a T Rex look even scarier?!), and it wades in the shallow water looking for prey.

Siamosaurus – one of Thailand’s home-grown dinosaurs
(Photo Credit: FunkMonk / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0)
Sauropod bone from the first dinosaur discovered in Thailand. Found at Phuwiang in 1976.
(Photo Credit: Wickanet / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-3.0)
Dinosaur site at Phuwiang National Park
(Photo Credit: Wickanet / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-3.0)

The Phuwiang Dinosaur Museum is located about 30km west of the city of Khon Kaen at Phuwiang National Park. Here you’ll find life-sized statues of dinosaurs, exhibits about their life and environments in prehistoric Thailand, and exhibits about digging for dinosaurs.

Other attractions in Khon Kaen include interesting temples such as the shimmering gold-detailed 9-storey Phra Mahatha Kaen Nakhon. The weekend night market is also worth a shopping spree. The nicest hotel in town is the Pullman Raja Orchid Khon Kaen.

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As mentioned, this provincial city is well off the tourist trail. Unless you’ve been to Thailand before, have tons of time, or have children who are the universe’s absolute biggest dinosaur freaks, then to be honest your family might enjoy Thailand’s well-trod holiday destinations more so. But if you do have time to explore all of Thailand’s regions or to visit lesser-seen sights, Khon Kaen is a great gateway city into Thailand’s rural region of Isaan.

Thai Airways flies to Khon Kaen from Bangkok three times a week.

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