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Thailand with small children(28 Posts)
I'm planning a long haul holiday for my 40th, which isn't until 2020 so thinking slightly ahead here! DSs will be 7 and 4.
I'm considering Thailand, having been twice before pre-kids and loved it, but wondering if I'm slightly mad? DH has never been. I was thinking a few days in Bangkok with some local trips, maybe going up to Chiang Mai via the overnight train, doing some sort of ethical elephant tourist activity, and then flying south to finish the trip on a beach somewhere... I remember Ko Samui and Ko Tao as being nice, also Krabi. But not sure if I'm being completely insane to plan a "travelling" type Holiday with small kids - I did a lot of backpacking in my 20s but that's quite a while ago!
Sorry, I posted too soon. Has anyone attempted independent travel in Thailand with young children, and how did you find it? Thanks.
All very doable but keep the children close by due to the sexpats (do not keep your eye off them on the beach etc.) From Don Muang (Bangkok inner city airport) you can get Air Asia flights and a ferry for very reasonable prices to the islands mentioned. Food is not a problem as most places offer menus in English & Thai.
Yes do it! We did a number of times!
Thanks for the reply, I tend to forget about the seedy side of Thai tourism as it's not something I really experienced when I went. My trips were in 2001 and 2007 though, so I don't know how much has changed. I remember ladyboys in Bangkok and ping pong shows being advertised, and was told to avoid Pattaya, but no more than that. Is it really a big problem? Wondering whether to go somewhere else.
All the best that's good to hear.** Where did you go?
Sorry superduperdo (do not keep your eye off them on the beach etc.) ‘them’ being your kids. Yes, Thailand has a huge influx of sexpats (noticeably in Pattaya.) Apparently if you go into the visa office, it’s full of 60 something European men (described to me by an Aussie friend renewing her spousal visa.) Many places are great but some are not so just keep your head screwed on.
Ah that makes me sad. Maybe I was just a bit naive when I was younger. I really just hung around backpacker places, saw plenty of drugs but not really any sex tourism. Or maybe I just didn't recognise it.
Thailand is a wonderful country. Chang Mai will be wonderful (I know of a South African family who stayed 3 days with elephants & loved it (the washing, feeding & traveling through the forest.)) You will have a fantastic time in a wonderful country, with happy people, but stay alert for reasons mentioned above (same for Philippines & Cambodia too for example.)
It's a third world country. If anything happened it would be a disaster. Why take the risk? Just wait until they are teenagers and able to look after themselves enough to mitigate risks of poor sanitation and crime. Just think about how many times a day your children stick their hands in the their mouths or swallow that bath water. Do you really think that they won't get sick?
We had a holiday in Thailand not long ago with a 10yr old and 12 yrs old so a bit older but I would say it is definitely possible. We spent the whole time based in Chiang Mai and did day trips to the elephant nature park, a day in the mountains, zip lining. Everything was spotlessly clean and we had no problems with food and everybody was so friendly. The kids loved the colours, the food, riding in tuk tuks and of course the elephants. It was a real adventure. I don't know if I'd do Bangkok with little ones but smaller places you should have no problem.
We just did Thailand in October. Only had 9 days so just did Krabi and Bangkok but had a great time. Chiang Mai is lovely and would like to take kids there next time. Local flights are very cheap. I probably wouldn't spend more than a day or so in Bangkok - bit overwhelming for small kids - though my two enjoyed Jim Thompson's house and just about tolerated Wat Pho.
Disagree with eggsonheads as Thailand has some world class hospitals - should anything go wrong.
However, do make sure childhood vaccinations,are up to date and you may want to add hep a and b and typhoid. I have been to Thailand several times with my dcs - Chiangmai, Phuket, Bangkok and never seen anything really seedy, but we stayed on the north part of the island (Phuket) no clubs and not looking for any nightlife.
I wouldn't worry about the seedyness as that's very easily avoided. We lived in Thailand for a few years with kids a little older than yours will be - it's certainly very doable and should be a lovely experience!
A vaccine that hasn't been mentioned but we did make sure our kids had was Japanese Enchephalitis as it's a routine one for children over there.
We have been with our 3 children over the years from when they were babies to now teens. We have travelled from phuket (and around phuket) to Krabi and Railey Beach and also to Ko Phi Phi by boat. We have also gone to Tioman from Singapore and to Bintan.
The only time we have had a problem was last time when the children were older and one of them had dodgy guts which put him off eating the thai street food.
It's certainly doable and ours have always loved Thailand.
Thanks, that's really reassuring to hear other people have done it with no difficulty.
I also agree about the hospitals - part of the reason I thought of Thailand (rather than eg Cambodia or Laos) was the hospitals. My sister was flown to Bangkok for surgery after becoming ill in the Maldives, and had amazing first class treatment.
We took the easy option and went to phuket - the hardest bit was the flight with a mad 3 year old !!
Maybe Chiang Mai would a better base. I hadn't thought of that as an idea.
Ha ha* iamawoman*, that's also tempting! I just miss "travelling" type holidays from pre-kids days. Maybe I'm being too ambitious while they are young.
Hi. Not much to add to all the other advice, other than to say we did Myanmar and Thailand with our three and a half year old and it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever done. We all absolutely loved travelling together and it gave my little one some fantastic experiences. I would really encourage you to go for it!! Vaccinate, research and then take the leap!!
Koh Lanta is worth checking out with young kids.
DH will be getting a retention bonus next year, as he’s not planning on leaving we were thinking of using it for a ‘proper’ holiday that we wouldn’t else afford.
We spent 6 months backpacking around Thailand when we were younger and FIL and stepMIL go travelling in Asia for a couple of months each year so might get them to come with us.
I was thinking of Thailand as we loved it and was thinking the same as you, couple of days in Bangkok, couple of days in chaing mai and then down south for a week of beach.
My kids will be 8,10 and 12 when/if we go
I found Thailand a little sleazy but hardly a third world country! Blimey!
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