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taking family to Thailand for vacation - Page 2

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by curzon View Post

Definitely the food is a deservedly praised attraction. I do very much enjoy the hawker centers, and they're all over. And introduce your kids to Nandos, my favorite fast food place in the world.
Since I failed to dissuade you... have you considered Bugis St.? The gov't sanitized it 25 years ago, chased off all the ladyboys, and it's a popular tourist attraction. I recall it's near Arab St.
Just a thought since you're definitely going to Singapore: Skip Thailand and go to Malaysia's Tioman Island instead. You can catch a hydrofoil from Singapore. Or go to Indonesia's Bintan, which is less than an hour away.
If you want to see something really spectacular stay at Sumatra's Lake Toba.

we will add Bugis st. thanks.

thanks - my son was born in Israel, so I think that we will wait with Malaysia. I like Malaysia myself, but again, I think that Thailand and Sing are the best "starter" countries in Asia. also, I have friends in both countries with kids my sons age, and that is part of it.

right now I am trying to decide if, for the Thailand portion, we do an island or north thailand - both have a lot going for them. I love the beaches in Thailand, but there are things to do in North Thailand that are pretty unusual, and would be a very differnt expereince for my kids. so I have to think about that.
post #17 of 25
A couple of things....

1. You don't need malaria pills for Thailand.
2. Definitely go for option number 2. Elephant rides get boring after an hour. I couldn't imagine being on one for three days.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

I think that the long elephant trek is off the table. now I think I'll look into a few options for north thailand and a plan for koh chang, and then see what looks better.

damn, I thought that the idea of a 3 day elephant ride would be the coolest thing in the world, but I can see that it might be hard on the kids.
post #19 of 25
Hanging out with elephants is awesome but they're slow and the suspension is terrible. Definitely worth checking out for a day. One thing to consider about the three day trek is that if you get hurt, there is no easy access to hospitals or doctors. I had a friend who broke their leg on a jungle trek this summer and it was a nightmare.

My two favorite places in Thailand were Railay and Khao Sok National Park. Railay is home to some of the best rock climbing in the world and one of its beaches was rated number 7 in the world. Some of the nicer resorts I saw in Thailand were here as well. Really just an awesome place in general.

As for Khao Sok National Park, it's probably home to the most stunning scenery I've ever scene. It's basically huge limestone mountains that have been partially submerged in a giant lake. If you want to check it out look up "Smiley's floating bungalows" . The place is run by a local Thai family and they'll do basically anything for you.

The night trains will be an interesting experience for your kids. The toilets were my favorite part...No plumbing, you just shit on the tracks underneath you. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
post #20 of 25
A train ride in Thailand, esp. a night train, might be a hard task for some 5-year-old girls. You gotta sleep with the knowledge that 10cm from your face there can be tons of cockroaches or other exotic insects crawling around the wall. I wasn't too offended, but I was 13 or so by the time I did it. Can only imagine that it might be a tough time. By the way, we rode first class. We went to Ko Phangan and I think the train down there to the coast was like 13 bucks.
Bangkok is a great place. We didn't spend much time there, though the street food tastes awesome (even if it might not fulfill our health/food regulations happy.gif). I can only remember one temple, the one with the 50cm-Buddha-jade-statue. Nice place. The food markets might be tough, the smell can be outrageous.
post #21 of 25
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post

Sing is great for kids, its like Asia light. its clean, near, safe, but it has a great intro to asian cultures. chinatown, little india, arab town, etc.

Lol, what's with this 'Asia light' designation for Singapore I keep hearing, as if it was some sort of land of chintzy facades and imitations of the 'real Asia' or whatever... Singapore is centuries old and the cultures in and surrounding it are millennia old; it has some of the best preserved colonial architecture in the world, and a cuisine with no equal. A thoughtful, observant traveller doesn't need to be in a third world country to get a kick out of a location. Singapore's its own place, I can imagine one of its inhabitants being somewhat insulted if his country was described as an "introduction" wink.gif

Anyway, skip Chiang Mai... I've been to every part of Thailand more times I can remember and I've never understood why it's a tourist attraction other than the fact it's big city. Most of what you find there is redundant- the more remote islands in the south will have jungles just up from the beach, you don't need to go way up to the North to see them. Sure, the trees won't be as big but that's about the only difference. On top of that, most of what you get in the North is just rolling hills, in the limestone south you get craggy pinnacles with awesome views.
post #22 of 25
Curzon makes some good points here...others too, especially about the train. By taking the night train you're losing part of the allue of riding the train which is the scenery. Plus you can fly Air Asia from BKK to Chiang Mai roundtrip for $50-$100 depending on the date and departure. Considering the time saved it's no comparison. To recommend a very nice, but affordable hotel in Chiang Mai, I stayed at De Naga Hotel for 5 nights and loved it. Many other deals for hotels in Asia to be had on Agoda.
post #23 of 25
I'm a Thai native and I'm excited to hear you coming to my home country. Therefore, I welcome you!

I have read all of the comments and I agree with most. I've been to Singapore and I like it. However, I found it to be very westenized. Even though it locates in Asia, it reminds of many other countries that I have been to. I don't know if it is a bad thing or a good thing so I'll let you decide. However, what I can tell you is that going there for more than 4 days is not definitely not a wise choice for me. It would be similar to going to Las Vegas for a week and not doing gambling...... Oh lord, that would drive me mad!

As a Thai native, I like the North part very much. However, I don't care too much for Chiang Mai(เชียงใหม่) because it is very crowded, but it has a lot to offer than some elephant riding and there are traditional northern food which cannot be found elsewhere, but that part of Thailand. Moreover, I like Mar Hong Sorn (แม่ฮ่องสอน) or Pai (ปาย) a lot as well. This is a great place for outdoor activities. There, you will find many local shops that sell very unique souvenir for your friends and family.

Personally, south of Thailand is undoubtedly beautiful, but you need to avoid island that is touristy such Phuket or Samui because a lot of things there are overpriced. Well, for Thais, things are expensive, but for those who use dollar or Euro on a regular basis, it is still very affordable. Therefore, please make sure you do research and stay in remote island where there is a nice resort that you can enjoy staying!

If you need anything else, please let me know. I know that you have friends here. I bet they are more than happy to help you!

I used to in Chicago suburb for two years..... Specially, Northwest of Indiana, LOVED IT!
post #24 of 25
Loved Bangkok. I spent some time on Koh Samui & Koh Pha Ngan. Both very beautiful. True there are "beaches everywhere" but you're also getting the Thai culture and setting that is great to see. +1 for avoiding Chang Mai and the 3-day elephant tour, but you seem to agree with that already. Have fun!
post #25 of 25
Originally Posted by cioni2k View Post

Loved Bangkok. I spent some time on Koh Samui & Koh Pha Ngan. Both very beautiful. True there are "beaches everywhere" but you're also getting the Thai culture and setting that is great to see. +1 for avoiding Chang Mai and the 3-day elephant tour, but you seem to agree with that already. Have fun!
Favorite quote of a guy at Kho Pha Ngan (or Kho Phangan): "My name is Boy and I'm cooking for you."
There was one restaurant at the main port where you could get some real good lunch based on pig's trotter IIRC. All the natives went there and it was pretty quickly sold out. We were there two times, once we had to eat something different. Don't know the name anymore and probably they already have closed.
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