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My Baby is going to Thailand! Yikes!

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Hey guys,

So this is what happens when you travel the world from pillar to post with your kids since they were babies. They want to travel from pillar to post too – but without you! So my oldest baby (age 13) is traveling to Thailand with a reputable summer teen volunteer organization in June to serve in northern Thailand and on the border of Thailand and Burma. She will fly from NY to LA, LA to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chang Mai and then drive to Mae Sariang. She will primarily be working with Karen children through teaching ESL and building and infrastructure projects. They will also travel to a refugee camp farther north to work with Burmese orphaned children who live at the camp. I am very proud of her for wanting to venture out on her own to serve, but a bit scared as well. Out of my three girls, she is the most global. For those of you who respond to questions about Japan, she is the one who wanted to celebrate her 13th birthday in Tokyo last June. She has also done the most international service work with me. But still, she is my baby and is going without me!

My questions are this:

1) Is anyone familiar with Mae Sariang or the area? Though the organization has given me a lot of information, is there anything that anyone can shed light on regarding the area, people, weather, infrastructure, safety, anything else, etc. There is nothing that I would not be appreciative to hear about this part of Thailand. Having the most full picture of the area prior to her departure is essential.

2) I am thinking of meeting her in Bangkok on the way home. Because we will be departing for South Africa not soon after she returns and I will leave two younger children at home, I cannot see going for more than 3-4 days, excluding travel time. I would be there 1-2 days before she finishes her program and then spend 2 days with her in the city at the completion of her program.

What do you guys think? For those of you who passionately love Bangkok, you have made me want to experience it for myself for sure. I do not see us getting back anytime soon, as we are doing Italy and southern Africa this summer and the next trip will be to South America for sure. So, can I get a good taste of Bangkok in 3-4 days? I do not mind traveling very, very long distances for a couple of days as I am accustomed to it for work. I am more interested in knowing if I can experience the food, culture and spirit of the city in this time frame. Please let me know your thoughts. Depending on your feedback, I will then ask about a must do itinerary, but I do not want to get ahead of myself.

Thanks as always for your input and advice. So appreciated!

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