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thailand with young teens - away from backpacker trail. Where's good?

(15 Posts)
chinamoon Sat 30-Aug-14 08:04:01

Really fancy taking DC somewhere like Thailand, preferably somewhere miles away from the off-your-face Brits, and ideally somewhere where they can come into close contact with animals (elephant rides etc.) They love cities and they love stunning scenery.
Any ideas?
Any recommendations for travel agencies?
Should we go with a tour or book ourselves?

specialsubject Sat 30-Aug-14 17:11:31

the kiddy-drunk places are not as common as you think. Stay away from Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Phi Phi and one or two others, and get hold of a rough guide to look for quieter places.

Phang-Nga town would be one for you - you can do the boat rides to the bay from there and it is stunning.

do the research, buy the insurance, book yourself.

chinamoon Sat 30-Aug-14 20:34:36

Thanks Special. That's really useful. I'll get hold of some travel info.

ShanghaiDiva Sun 31-Aug-14 09:21:32

Chiang Mai has masses of temples and is also good for cooking courses. I didn't see many Brits when we were there - February.

ihatethecold Sun 31-Aug-14 09:27:55

when is the best time to visit Thailand?

flumperoo Sun 31-Aug-14 09:52:59

High season, when it's dryest and coolest, is our winter time. I'd recommend looking into Koh Chang.

ShanghaiDiva Sun 31-Aug-14 10:45:33

December - March
April is really hot and the summer is wet. However, I think the east coast is dry during the summer.

BerniceBroadside Sun 31-Aug-14 11:01:57

Also, I'd avoid animal related activities. They're not ethically treated and can be drugged or beaten to make them more docile or compliant. Many travel companies no longer offer elephant rides etc for this reason.

chinamoon Sun 31-Aug-14 11:34:43

*Are they all badly run, Bernice? I hoped there'd be some ethical places/sanctuaries for elephants where you could get up close but where they were also really well treated.

BerniceBroadside Sun 31-Aug-14 14:20:03

I really don't know, you'd need to do some research.

I've been told Intrepid no longer offers elephant trips. Maybe they could give you some insight?

Elephants aside, I've seen some god awful pics of people in Thailand posing with drugged big cats. I'd guess that ethical treatment of animals is not always a priority.

Rojak Sun 21-Sep-14 21:03:09

Chiang Mai is fantastic for family holidays with teens

There is an ethical elephant sanctuary where they can learn to bathe, feed elephants.

There are lots of operators offering elephant treks if you want those.

No beaches but treks through jungles, bamboo rafting down rivers

Colourful tribes and craft

Night market

And google Flight of the Gibbons

There are backpackers all over Thailand but it's really only a couple of beaches where you get that whole off your face, full moon party experience

HowsTheSerenity Sun 21-Sep-14 21:15:06

Bugger. Just deleted my whole message.
In a to Bangkok do a few days then head up Chang Mi.
I do love Phuket for Fantasea though.
Look online for ethical animals sancturary.
Go in September. Not later. Too hot and humid.

TheGonnagle Sun 21-Sep-14 21:15:39

Bangkok is a fabulous city, great shopping amazing food and lots of temples to visit. Chiang mai is a good bet, look at Pai and Chiang Rai as well.

Elephants are very difficult in Thailand, there are many elephants that used to log who are now unemployed. Most of them are hideously exploited. It is worh remembering that anyone who offers you an elephant ride with a seat on the animals back is being unethical. A mahout always sits on the elephants neck as their backs are actually quite weak. If you really want to see elephants could I recommend Elephants world outside Kanchanaburi? You will work for your keep, preparing food for the eles, but in the afternoon you can help bathe the elephants too. A knackering, enjoyable, educational day for all.

For islands have a look at Koh Yao, Koh Jum and Koh Lanta. All are far far away from the hedonism, no bar beers or go go bars around here.

Kayaking in Khao Sok? Snorkelling the Similians?

I always book independently, there are so many fabulous tiny guesthouses and boutique hotels you can't book through tour operators.

Have a wonderful time!!!

BB01 Sun 26-Oct-14 10:02:40

Try a national marine park island. Development is restricted so less chance of being crowded with noisy tourists and no bars etc. We stayed on Kho Tarutao and we'd often have a huge sweeping beach all to ourselves. Amazing wildlife, cycle trails, pitch black caves you can kayak through, only two restaurants and sets of bungalows when we went. Amazing. And you can then island hop to Koh Mook, a very family friendly (not party) island, Koh Lanta and many other places.

Amyanne Sat 29-Nov-14 02:36:47

Try this for ethical treatment/learning about and working with elephants and mahouts. It's quite far off the beaten track though.

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