If you've ever been to Bangkok during December or January, the following conversation might seem familiar to you.
"We're having record cold temperatures this month," someone might remark, as she pulls her shawl tight over her shoulders.
Another, wearing an actual winter coat, corroborates this assertion. "I hope it gets even colder so I can bust out the rest of my winter wardrobe!"
The official temperature? Probably around 55ºF.
The strangeness of this temperature being characterized as "cold" notwithstanding, most every Thai person you meet is thrilled when temperatures dip this low, something that happens only a few days every couple of years in Bangkok, if residents are lucky.
According to many Thais, winter is the ultimate exotic experience—some would have their honeymoon at the North Pole, if they could.
As it turns out, they might not need to travel so far now to get their fix, thanks to Snow Town Bangkok.
What is Snow Town Bangkok?
As its name suggests, Snow Town Bangkok is a place in Thailand's capital where you can go and see snow. As logic suggests, Snow Town Bangkok is an indoor, refrigerated environment and the snow is artificial, although it's of high enough quality that you might temporarily forget you're vacationing in the middle of the tropics.
Snow Town Bangkok makes up for its fakeness, however, with elaborateness. True to its name, designers have built up an entire "town" (albeit a fake one), which resembles several cities in Europe – according to designers, it's supposed to pay homage to Bruges, Belgium. True to its location in Asia, where characters and "mascots" are always all-the-rage, visitors to Snow Town Bangkok can hang out with Kamai, the town's cuddly "CEO."
Temperatures inside Snow Town Bangkok hover around freezing, so you'll need to bundle up when you visit. Didn't bring your coat to Bangkok? Not surprising. Winter weather gear is available for sale and for rent when you enter the park.
Or, if you're in the market for a new jacket or coat anyway, head to famous Bangkok malls such as Siam Paragon, Central World or the affordable Platinum Fashion Mall. In spite of Bangkok lacking actual winter weather all but a few days out of the year, you will find yourself surprised not only at the quantity of cold-weather gear available, but also its quality and likely its price.
Where is Snow Town Bangkok?
To reach Snow Town Bangkok, take the Bangkok SkyTrain (also known as "BTS") to Ekkamai station, which is ironically where you usually board the bus to tropical, seaside Pattaya. Instead of heading to Ekkamai Bus Station, however, you'll follow the signs to Gateway Ekkamai shopping center, inside which Snow Town Bangkok is located. In addition to the aforementioned malls, you can also shop for take-home winter weather gear at this mall, should you decide not to take advantage of the rentals available exclusively for Snow Town guests.
When is the Best Time to Visit Snow Town Bangkok?
Snow Town Bangkok only opened in July 2015, but barring some unforeseen circumstance that forces its closure, it is expected to remain in operation year-round for many years to come. In terms of operating hours, Snow Town Bangkok is open from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. seven days per week, which gives you plenty of flexibility in terms of when you can visit. The price of entering Snow Town Bangkok is 200 Thai baht, or around 6 USD.
There's no one better time of the year to visit Snow Town than others, although its icy temperatures will feel better during Bangkok's hottest period, which lasts from approximately March to June. You could also just as easily go in January, when temperatures can dip as low as 55ºF, although you might notice a conspicuous lack of Thai tourists, who are already cold enough outside.
If you happen to visit Snow Town between about July and October, however, do take care. Humidity and moisture outside, thanks to the seasonal monsoon, can make going into the frigid environment of Snow Town unbearable and indeed, might even subject you to sickness.