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4 weeks July South East Asia trip with 2 tweens

4 weeks July South East Asia trip with 2 tweens

Old May 30th, 2022, 11:46 AM
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4 weeks July South East Asia trip with 2 tweens


due to some upcoming changes I have the rare chance to grab my two tween kids and travel South East Asia with them for about 4 full weeks. Second half of that time my significant other plus a preschooler will join. I used to live in BKK in younger years and would like to show them around the region where I spent quite some time. Of course back in the days it was lots of back packing while now I assume everything is more developed and child friendly. Timeframe is the whole of July.

Initial Plan is the following:

Week #1 - warming up
#day 1-3: Spend 2 nights in BKK to get used to climate and time difference. (shopping/eating out..)
#day 3-6: Take the bus/ferry to Koh Chang, stay there for 3 nights, getting some beach and waterfall time with the kids
#day 6-8: Get to Siem Reap Cambodia, either by land transport/songthaew or by plane, stay there for 2 nights with one full day of Angkor Watting

Week #2 - getting ambitious
#day 8-10: Get from Siem Reap to Pakse, Laos and stay there for 2 nights, 1 full day of sightseeing/relaxing
#day 10-12: Bus up to the Plain of Jars area staying there for 2 nights, 1 full day of sightseeing
#day 12-15: Get to Luang Prabang by Bus/Transport, stay there for 3 nights with two days of sightseeing and water falling

Week #3 - cooling down
#day 15-16 take a boat (is that still a thing?) back to Vientiane, Overnight there, cross into Nong Khai and take the train back to BKK
#day 17 pick up rest of family from airport
#day 17-20 relax in some upper-mid BKK venue
#day 20/21 get to some island in the gulf

Week #4 - relax
#day 21-27 - hanging in some resort / do some pooling, eating and boating
#day 27/28 - returning to BKK, shopping and home

I currently have the following concerns (having read the relatively similar neighbor thread about 3 weeks with 3 kids):

# the thread points out what could happen with kids bored out/not used to heat & adventurous travel - that could be an issue, due to two years of covid my kids mutated to smartphone / Nintendo zombies which I definitely plan to change
# the first two weeks I would travel as the lone adult with the kids including in Cambodia and Laos, not sure about the security situation/child friendliness especially if I remember my last late evening Poi Pet border crossing in 2005...
# about week #2 being maybe too ambitious and how to keep the kids motivated
# handling all the covid procedures when crossing borders multiple times (I heard those Thai passes can be reused now)
# not having been to South East Asia since 2005
# back in the days we all had the lonely planets, unsure if they are still a viable source of info in 2022 and after covid

One option to untangle the trip would be to skip out the first Koh Chang stay to have more time for the Cambodia/Laos program and make this island the final destination in week 4 instead.

Any thoughts, adjustment/corrections or alternative ideas on how to spend those four weeks in the region? We're aware that July is rainy season but unfortunately are bound to this time frame. We would probably restrict ourselves to the listed countries, not sure if Malaysia and Viet Nam could be alternatives, but that would be our maximum radius of action.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!
crispie is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 01:09 AM
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what are "tweens"?
khunwilko is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 01:15 AM
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Check you journey times - especially from plain of Jars to Luang Prabang.
I think you need at least 2 days to see Plain of jars (i.e.3 nights, at least)

stop at Vang Vieng on the way to Vietianne from LP. plenty of activities suitable for kids - avoid rafting.

I've found Hobo maps incredibly useful in Laos (and Northern Thailand) they have cycling walking trails as well as off road tracks
khunwilko is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 04:30 AM
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Interesting trip. I would definitely agree with putting your island time at the end and devoting more time to Cambodia and Laos. I would be inclined to skip the initial time in BKK as well and start by flying to Phnom Penh.

You are really shortchanging Cambodia, which has more than Angkor Wat. I haven't been for a while, and of course places change, but I really liked PP. Go overland/water to Siem Reap. Then there is the boat trip (if the water level is up) from Siem Reap to Battambang. Don't know whether the bamboo express is still running... Anyway, one full day for the temples would be far too short for me, I would have thought it too short even with tweens. My first visit was an evening and two full days, and I went back for more a couple of years later.

I was still using Lonely Planet prior to Covid but haven't checked lately. I would think they are busy updating. You might check Rough Guide as well.

Don't know about the boat to Vientiane, I've done it by bus and plane. That's another place that deserves more than an overnight.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 02:55 PM
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Good luck 'changing your kids', as you say.
jobin is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2022, 03:41 AM
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A couple of websites worth checking out for this type of trip are https://www.travelfish.org for in depth info on SE Asia and a tour operators website https://www.selectiveasia.com which has a very helpful section on when to go/weather issues https://www.selectiveasia.com .

Having travelled extensively in the region over many years I would have a number of concerns re your plans.

Firstly you are packing in a lot of destinations into a short period of time. I would plan on spending a minimum of three nights in any one place. Every time you move you lose at least half a day and your kids are unlikely to find airports, planes , bus stations particularly appealing. Given there are still issues with covid testing p, entry requirements etc in the region I would probably want to reduce the number of countries visited to cut down on the potential for problems along the way.

Another concern would be around the weather . It is not the best time of year. You should expect high temps and rainfall in many places at that time of year. The upside is lower prices, less crowds and greener scenery. If weather is important to you then I would take a look at Borneo or Indonesia, both of which have pretty good weather at that time of year (or central Vietnam ) all of which are easily reachable from Bangkok.

i agree with Thursdaysd re more time in Cambodia/ Laos on one trip we did we started in Bangkok headed north to Chiang Rai and got a boat down river to Luang Prabang, travelled around the far north before heading south via the Bolavens Plateau and Si Fan Don and into Kratie in Cambodia and then down to Phnom Penh (one of my fav cities in Cambodia) via Siem Reap and Battamabang. my concern for you would be that the kids may not take well to the heat and rain at that IME of year as well as the rough roads and transport.

Some details and photos of our time in those places in our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com

a great family hotel in Bangkok would be the Anantara Riverside.
crellston is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2022, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by khunwilko View Post
what are "tweens"?
Just to clarify a bit -- tween is sort of slang for 'pre-teen'. So aged between approximately 9 or 10 and 12 years old give or take.
janisj is offline  
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