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Trip Report Boy Falls Off Elephant...Man Buys Japanese Toilet: BKK/Cambodia/Golden Triangle/Tokyo w/Teens

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We are two adults and two boys, 13 and 16. Husband and I had each been to Asia premaritally and for work, but this was our first time as a family.

Now we're hooked and thinking about Laos/Vietnam or India(as soon as we accumulate another 440,000 miles.)

Extremely grateful to our Fodorite advisors who patiently helped me plan right before the crazy holiday period. Ended up with just what we wanted - a balance between a relaxing vacation and a great cultural experience for the family (and, as a bonus souvenir, a brand new toilet).

MILEAGE COUP:
Our SE Asian travels began with a major life accomplishment - Just two months before our trip managed to book four AA Business awards for our inflexible winter holiday vacation dates.

ITINERARY:
3 nights Peninsula BKK
3 nights Victoria Angkor Siem Reap
4 nights Anantara Golden Triangle
2 nights Tokyo Prince Park Hotel Tower

TRAVEL:
Easy, airports remarkably efficient (except LAX, an embarrassment). Though we moved around often, never felt rushed or stressed. Booked internal flights online, visited Bangkok Air website compulsively after we were able to add two extra days.

JAL BUSINESS:
Three international legs. Flat beds, far superior to American (Tokyo-LAX), which cried out for updating and more lumbar support. Younger son said JAL was one of his trip highlights, not because of the flat seats or personal entertainment system...It was the limitless supply of instant noodles, Ramen de Sky.

WEATHER:
- Comfortably warm in Bangkok
(70-85 F), breezy(!)in the mornings
- Perfection in Siem Riep (80sF), tropical, but not too hot
- Balmy in the daytime at the Anantara (high 70s); very chilly two nights out of four (high 40sF), the other two nights were comfortable in the 60s.
- Sunny and cold in Tokyo (40-45F)

BUGS:
- One or two bites in Siem Reap; none in the Golden Triangle. (The Anantara GM was shocked that our travel doctor said we needed antimalarials there.)
- We all took Malarone every night with dinner - zero side effects.

SOUVARNABHUNI:
Passed through so many times that we learned to spell it, pronounce it and find all the Boots pharmacies. At first we thought the architecture was quite something, but it looks like a mall in our photos. Luggage always arrived instantly; no problem with cracked runway delays, customs, immigration, bathrooms, restaurants, or finding and hiring 'limo'. We did have to take shuttle buses to domestic flights, though.

THE PLAN FOR NO WHINING ABOUT SIGHTSEEING:
1 ' Return to hotel every day by 2 pm to nap, read, swim, walk, watch British soccer.
2- Stay in hotels with pools plus other teen-friendly offerings - tennis & squash at Anantara, bowling at Tokyo Prince Park. The Victoria Angkor's webpage said they had ping pong and billiards. In fact there was just a game area in the bar with chess and backgammon, but that was fine with the boys.
3- Teach kids (and ourselves) something about Buddhism in advance. Unfortunately we didn't do this, so the boys still think Nirvana is the state you achieve after a day in the video arcades of Shibuya.

Next: Bangkok

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