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First trip with kids to Cambodia (Angkor Wat), Laos (Luang Prabang), and Thailand

First trip with kids to Cambodia (Angkor Wat), Laos (Luang Prabang), and Thailand

Mar 31st, 2019, 09:54 AM
  #21  
 
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Why thanks, TV! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to travel much lately.
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Mar 31st, 2019, 12:40 PM
  #22  
 
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I loved your account of your stay in Luang Prabang. We loved the town, but like Thursdays, feel that we are unlikely to return due to the development occurring in the area.
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Mar 31st, 2019, 01:15 PM
  #23  
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Is there an other town in Asia like Luang Prabang that you would recommend?
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Apr 1st, 2019, 05:55 AM
  #24  
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Koh Yao Noi

With so many islands in Thailand, it was hard to choose where to go. My final choice was Koh Yao Noi, an island off the beaten path that had beautiful views of the hongs in Phang Nga Bay. The Koyao Island Resort had family beach villas steps from the water.

For three nights, I had nothing planned. By the end of the second day, my eldest came in the villa from the beach and said in French: "Mommy we have to talk. At first this trip was great, there were so many things to do. But now we are not doing anything!" I redirected her back to the beach to look for seashells. One day I rented a bicycle; the other day, a moped to go around the island. And while it was a relaxing experience, I realize more and more that we are not beach people, that a cultural activity or a hike in the mountains is more our style. Still, I had time to read a book from Amelie Nothomb and enjoy glasses of wine in front of a spectacular view.

Last edited by ToujoursVoyager; Apr 1st, 2019 at 05:59 AM.
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:08 AM
  #25  
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View at dusk from our Beach Villa
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:09 AM
  #26  
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Arriving at the Koyao Island Resort by Longtail Boat
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:11 AM
  #27  
 
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I realize more and more that we are not beach people,
Me either! Unless I am really tired and need a break - or limping - I enjoyed an island off the Malaysia coast on that basis once. I live a two hour drive from mile upon mile of golden sands and rarely visit. Cool that your kids want more from a trip!

I still haven't made it to a Thai island. Last time I seriously considered it was Christmas 2004, and fortunately I went to Laos instead and missed the tsunami.

And sadly I can't think of a substitute for Luang Prabang as it was. Hope someone can.

Last edited by thursdaysd; Apr 1st, 2019 at 06:14 AM.
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:16 AM
  #28  
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Railay Beach

We had one night at Railay Beach and immediately we noticed on how much more touristy it was. While my husband missed our previous island, my sister enjoyed the energy of Railay Beach. We walked to the Phra Nang Cave and beyond. At night my sister sent to see a Thai boxing match. In the morning, my sister and I climbed up to Railay Beach viewpoint and Lagoon.
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:18 AM
  #29  
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Thursdaysd, how fortunate that you missed the tsunami!
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:27 AM
  #30  
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Railay Beach in the morning
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Apr 1st, 2019, 06:47 AM
  #31  
 
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TV - I arrived in Bangkok from Laos the day after the tsunami. I had been in Vientiane without wifi and then on a night train and heard about it when I arrived. It was so shocking, and I felt so fortunate. Your photos of the islands are tempting, though.
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Apr 6th, 2019, 03:33 PM
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
TV - I arrived in Bangkok from Laos the day after the tsunami. I had been in Vientiane without wifi and then on a night train and heard about it when I arrived. It was so shocking, and I felt so fortunate. Your photos of the islands are tempting, though.
Wow, love reading both of your reports. I watched Travels with my father and they were at most of these places. They did play polo on elephants but it was for the charity and the buffet the elephants ate before was amazing. The boat trip to see the islands was just breathtaking. I just kept thinking about the tsunami. Jack and his father did take the Orient express so that was interesting to see as well.
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Apr 6th, 2019, 05:02 PM
  #33  
 
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Not familiar with Travels with my Father so looked it up. No, I was not on the Eastern and Oriental luxury train, lol! Just the regular train. Actually, Thai trains are good night trains as the berths are parallel with the side of the carriage instead of perpendicular, and have curtains, so you have a lot of privacy.
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Apr 7th, 2019, 12:06 AM
  #34  
 
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Loved the Travels With My Father series - hilarious!


ToujoursVoyager, I am continuing to enjoy your posts TV immensely. It must be 25 years since I visited Koh Yao Noi. I bet it has changed! There were only a few bamboo huts on a beach when I was there.
I struggle to think of a place similar to Luang Prabang that has not also been adversely effected by tourism. Hoi An would have been a choice, is now, if anything, worse than LP because of the invasion of Chinese tour groups which have overwhelmed the town. We did enjoy our time in the towns and villages in the far north of Laos, Muang Sing, Phongsali, Luang Namtha but that was more about the countryside and minority peoples village than the towns themselves. Maybe look towards Japan where they look after their national treasure a little better.

Thursdaysd , seems that once again, we were ships that passed in the night. We arrived in Bangkok Christmas Day and were woken by my phone ringing. Are you ok? I turned on the TV news and saw the drama unfold and and the death toll rise. We headed off to Laos for a couple of weeks and when we returned it was only then we appreciated the scale of what had happened. The hotel had signs up in reception asking for blood donors so off I went to a local school hall to donate. I was a long term blood donor but had never seen anything like this. there must have been 500 people giving blood. At Bangkok airport and on the plane home there were British Police helping people who had lost everything and were travelling home in just the clothes they were wearing at the time.

The previous years Boxing Day we had been sitting on a beach in Khao Lak at the end of a dive trip to the Similian Islands. the hotel we had stayed at was completely destroyed!
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Apr 7th, 2019, 06:38 AM
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crellston - good to hear about the British police! I went on to Myanmar and was off the net for a while. We do seem to go to the same places at not quite the same time! But right now I don't have any travel planned, pending getting some vision issues sorted.
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Apr 7th, 2019, 09:04 AM
  #36  
 
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Alas! I cannot think of any place like Luang Prabang. In my experience, it was unique. I do find myself thinking about Burma, there are likely small towns there that have a similar atmosphere, but tourism in Burma has increased dramatically as well. I'm just glad I was able to experience these places when I did.
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Apr 10th, 2019, 10:20 PM
  #37  
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Thanks to all for reading! Although I am disappointed that there are no alternative to Luang Prabang. I am grateful to have seen it before the train station is complete.

I should finish this trip report. Our last destination was Bangkok. Detailed trip reports have been written about this city, and if you are a new person to Fodor reading this report, please click on the names of the people who have commented along the way. They have great trip reports about Bangkok much better than I.

I had mix feelings about Bangkok, even after reading about the city, I had a hard time getting excited about it. It was the skyscrapers, the traffic and the pollution that were lowering my enthusiasm for it. And my first impression was a harsh one. As the taxi left the airport, I felt like I was in a dystopian world of a concrete jungle. As far as my eyes could see, there was skyscrapers after skyscrapers. The sky was white gray from the smog.

I choose the Anantara Riverside Resort knowing I would need the help of a river to make me feel comfortable. There was plastic and trash in the river, but each river resort was this beautiful islet of chic floors with dark pink flowers. My husband and I toasted with flutes of champagne, while watching rare birds in the sky.

There was contrasts everywhere: the rickety wood houses on stilts and the rounded glass buildings; oppressive heat and air conditioned enclaves of shopping malls. Crowds of people both horizontally and less so vertically as you escaped to trendy gardens on top of towers.

And this is when it hit me: Bangkok was exciting. There was a surprise at every corner and nothing was expected.

Did it become my favorite city? No. But if I have another layover in Bangkok, I am eager to explore more.

On a practical note, we were able to put the kids in the kids club at the Anantara Resort, and my husband and I visited alone the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho. My sister had a flight that day and she could not experience Bangkok. We left the day after and our trip was uneventful. The children were great on all the flights and planes flew on time.

Last edited by ToujoursVoyager; Apr 10th, 2019 at 10:24 PM.
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