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Holidays

Thailand

39 replies

Tom · 18/03/2004 22:50

Hey folks
Am off to Thailand with my luverly wife and our little boy (nearly 4). I'd love to talk about some stuff to do there...

We're off on weds April 7th, flying into Bangkok on the thurs 8th, and I need to find a hotel to book for one night. Anyone know any good ones - under £100 for the three of us?

The next night we're thinking of going on the night train down to surat thani and then by boat to Ko Pha-Ngang... find somewhere on a beach and book 4 nights. Anyone done that trip before? Good tips for trains (1st or 2nd sleeper?) or boats? Anyone know any really lush places to stay in Ko Pha-Ngang?

And that's as far as we've got - we're gonna take it from there, do what we fancy... all we're gonna to do is be back in Bangkok on weds 21st, stay a night in a NICE hotel and fly back the following night.

So.. nice things to do without stressing ourselves out around the islands - is Ko Samui worth a visit? Ko Tao? Anywhere else?

We wanna be comfy but cheap and in all the right places

On taking Cole with us... he's really into dora, so I got him a dora backpack (with map!), but it's a small day bag, so we've got him a bigger backpack for his clothes and toys for moving around.

I thought it'd be nice to do him a special 'map', with all the stages of our journey... with pics of cars, planes, hotels, trains (he's a thomas obsessive! - we have to do the sleeper!)... then a boat, with a lovely island, with a hut on the beach. Then when we're going on the journey, we can trace where we are on the map

He's fussy with food, but will eat if he's starving, he'll love beach life, but he'll need a few essentials - thomas & dora leap pad (for journeys), nighttime books (hrm.. he has so many! (really into Mr men now)), his blanket and nemo, and maybe we'll smuggle thomas along (he's resolute that thomas doesn't want to come... but he'd be a nice surprise when we got there!)...

Any help from the well travelled would be great

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popsycal · 18/03/2004 22:54

My DH has travelled in this area but is out at the moment - if you remind me tomorrow evening, I will ask him for some advice!

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helenmh · 19/03/2004 09:05

Have you tried the lonely planet website www.lonelyplanet.com ( I think) go on to the thorn tree and try posting under the thailand branch and "Kids to Go". theres lots of people who have travelled in thailand with kids. I seem to remember one poster has written some tips and can e.mail them to you. I have been to thailand but before kids and a long time ago. We have been talking about a trip to the far east sometime with our two so would love to hear how you get on
helen

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popsycal · 19/03/2004 09:11

Dh says you could get a really really nice hotel for £100 - ko sahn road is the 'traveller' area so you may not want to stay there.

KO Samet is the closest island where a lot of rich bangkok people go - it is not as full of tourists as ko samui and ko phan ngang (sp?).

DH says he will have a better think about 'child friendly' places and i will post this evening!

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Tom · 19/03/2004 21:43

hey popsycal - thanks! can't wait to hear from him
Any advice on

  • where to stay in bangkok
  • sleeper trains south
  • islands to hire a nicecheap beachouse - under 25 quid a night
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Tom · 24/03/2004 11:44

Hrm - haven't heard back

Can anyone help?
I need info or ideas on...

  • where to stay in bangkok
  • sleeper trains south to Kho Pan-gang
  • nice places to hire a decent beachouse
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popsycal · 24/03/2004 11:46

sorry tom!!! ooops!

will ask him tonight.....bump the thread up around 7:30pm tonight if you canto remind me!
sorry

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 11:47

but i do remember my dh saying that ko-phan-ngang (sp??) was probably not the most suitable place for a 4 year old.....

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Sparks · 24/03/2004 12:17

I recently went to Thailand with my 5 yr old. We had a fabulous time! Thais love little children. When we went through passport control, the officer stamped our passports, then called us back and gave dd a handful of sweets. Can you ever imagine UK immigration officers doing that?

We stayed on Ko Samet. We had a bungalow on the beach and it cost something like 90 pounds for 3 nights. It would be less for one that isn't right on the beach front. We stayed on Hat Saikaew beach - it is incredibly beautiful and has a nice atmosphere. There were a number of other families there, both foreigners and (wealthy) Thais. DD made friends with two little English-speaking girls.

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vivat · 24/03/2004 17:40

We went last year when ds was 2.5 - and had a FAB time. We spent a week in Chaing Mai, then 10 days in Koh Samui, missing out Bangkok. Can't advise on trains etc.

We stayed with friends who were living there - will ask them for their Bangkok recommendation as they always stay in the same place.

V jealous, you'll have the most amazing time. I've got some hilarious pictures of ds trying to master chopsticks and noodles !!

ps don't take much - they have amazing supermarket (eg Tesco Lotus) that sell EVERYTHING including really cheap toys, clothes etc

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Tom · 24/03/2004 19:18

bump
up ye go

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 19:40

oh tom - he is out at the minute!!!!
lol!!!
will get him up here when he is back!
he did suggest chang mai in the north - a long train ride.....but if ds likes trains.....
how is he for walking? could he do an easy trek?

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 20:13

Dh is sitting here with me. He went to Thailand in 1997 - so a while ago - and things have changed a little bit.

The first thing he says is to get a good travel book - perhaps Amazon may have a travveling with children one - otherwise Lonely Planet is always a good choice.

Bangkok - Dh was travelling 'on a shoestring' so stayed at a £1 a night place where you wouldn't want to go - it smelled of pi$$. He can't help you there. Have a place booked in advance at least for the first few nights as you will get approached at the airport and get ripped off. Go for a 4 star decent hotel which should not be too expensive in Thailand. Try Google.

Ko Phang ngang - Dh says 'Why is he going there??' he says is was already going downhill when he went 7 years ago - if you do go there, don't stay in Hadrin (sp?) the main town. It is full of travllers . You should be going to Ko SAmet - a quieter tropical paradise. but may now be more busy than it was then. Dh also liked Ko Pi Pi (sp??) or 'Turtle Island' - look in a travel guide that is up to date to see if it suits you.

Beach huts - again Dh stayed in the cheapest which was a bed and a fan! In 1997, you could get luxury ones for £6 per night.

Not sure if this is very helpful........

Give me a shout if you want any more info...

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 20:23

ps dh was one of those '
travellers that he thinks you may want to avoid with a little one....

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Tom · 24/03/2004 20:34

Nice one popsycat & bloke

We just wanna hit beaches - we're both mega busy and just need to crash!

Got the travel book - check

Ko Samet - heard alot about that - people have recommended it on other threads - on the nicely named Phuket, isn't it?

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 20:44

i think ko smaet is an island in its own right.....closest to the mainland (dh popped out again!!)

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Tom · 24/03/2004 21:03

You're right - an island in the north of the gulf (checks travel guide).
Nowhere near phuket !

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Zerub · 24/03/2004 21:34

Tom, I travelled by train from Chiang Mai to Malaysia in 1996, on 2nd class sleepers. They're air-conditioned, you get a booked seat. At night they come along and turn all the seats into bunk beds. V. comfortable with proper mattresses, sheets etc. If you booked a forward-facing seat you get a bottom bunk. Backward-facing seats get the slightly shorter and narrower top bunk (prob an issue for British men - dh and I are both short so it didn't matter). There are curtains along the side of the bunks. And bathrooms at the end of the carriage (v basic, one side has a western loo and the other side has a thai loo). Its all very civilised. The noise of train/air-conditioning masks the snores of the other passengers quite nicely. You can order breakfast as well. All rather cleaner and more efficient than British Rail actually.
This site has photos - here

If your ds likes pot noodles you'll have no problem with food...

HTH

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Tom · 24/03/2004 21:35

Sounds alot like India/Nepal - overnight train trips are a treat

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Twink · 24/03/2004 21:57

Tom, we did 3 weeks in Thailand in Dec 2002 with our then 3.3 yo. Fab holiday.

Almost any hotel you see in Kuoni's brochure will fit your requirements in Bangkok as it's rainy/hot season and you can do great deals by going direct. Try to make sure you're close to a station as the Skytrain has totally transformed travel around the city. You won't have to pay for your son to travel unless he's really tall.

Get a 'Nancy Chandler' map when you arrive, it's a great keepsake but also has stacks of info plus Thai script for taking the River Taxi (an essential experience but hold him tightly when getting off/on !)

here is the report I wrote on my return.

Our dd found the initial attention wonderful but the novelty wore off quite quickly, so I'd warn him that people mean well and encourage him to smile even if he can't face answering all the questions he'll be asked (everyone uses the chance to practice their English )

Despite what you will have read about the head being sacred, it seems to be normal for complete strangers to come up and stroke/pat childrens' heads and dd found it quite odd when a policeman came over to escort her up a lift and stroke her head 'why is that man touching me ?' Good question but not causing offense is SO important !

She was also really fussy with food but she survived, if you are worried, tell me what he eats & I'll ask my Sil for advice. We discovered that what we know as Weiner Schnitzel is a staple for Thai kids but it doesn't appear on menus.

As long as you take stuff for the flight, everything else can be got there and if you're flying Thai airways he'll be spoilt rotten. Echo Sparks re sweets too !

If no-one else can help with the train, I'll ask my Sil. I expect I'm preaching to the converted but the more you read and understand about the Thai people and their customs, the more you'll get out of the trip; they really appreciate foreigners making an effort, it's certainly worth learning a few polite phrases.

My brother has lived in Bangkok for over 5 years now and is always happy to help people passing through so do the 'contact another talker' thing it might help.

Enjoy, I'm jealous !

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popsycal · 24/03/2004 21:58

twink is way more helpful than my dh!!!
go with what she says!

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Tom · 24/03/2004 22:35

Nice one Twink
What's the one thing I should teach my son in advance - what's the Thai greeting?

What do you think would be the best island in Thailand to visit?

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Zerub · 24/03/2004 22:53

Put both hands together in front of your face (like praying); tops of fingers at about nose height. Bow forwards (head moving closer to hands, hands moving a bit too). Its called a "wai" (as in why). Sort of "I am being polite / showing respect" kind of thing. Sometimes they do it really quickly - just stick their hands together and away - and sometimes make a big thing out of it, really low bow. If you teach your ds to do it they will all think he is completely marvellous. How to wai

Unfortunately teaching him to say "hello" involves teaching him to say "crap". Hello is "Sa-wat-dee krap". Hardly pronounce the t at all though - sort of swallow it. Women get to say "Sa-wat-dee kaa". Thai is a tonal language as well so you're never going to pronounce it right... Dh's top favourite thai phrase is "cow pat moo crap" which means "fried rice with pork please" but only if you get the tones right!

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Tom · 24/03/2004 23:00

Brilliant!

Wai daddy wai! - I get that all the time

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forestfly · 24/03/2004 23:02

If it helps i can forward you the emails that are driving me mad. I keep getting them every week off my friend who is there. I'm not interested anymore. Just jealous

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Tom · 24/03/2004 23:59

Not if they drive people mad!

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