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Need help with planning in-country part of Thailand trip

Need help with planning in-country part of Thailand trip

Old Apr 28th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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Need help with planning in-country part of Thailand trip

We're getting ready for an "epic journey" with our two teen boys (ages 14 and 15, Thai adoptees) to Thailand to adopt our new daughter (age 12) from Bangkok. Our daughter has probably never seen anything other than Bangkok and we'd like to take her on a couple of trips that would be both fun and culturally relevant for her and our boys but not too stressful. We'd like to visit a wat, go on an elephant ride, visit a shrimp farm, etc.

We'll be in BKK in June for 6 days for the adoption proceedings and are looking for recommendations on where we could spend the following 4 days(Fri-Mon) while waiting for our child's US visa and then another 6 days (Tues afternooon/ evening to Monday afternoon) before returning to the US on a Monday night. So essentially we can take 2 shorter trips, with our "home base" being in Bangkok.

We've travelled to Thailand 3 times previously (last time right after the Tsunami) and spent time in the North and Central parts, Chiang Mai, Chiang Dao, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Chompburi and would ideally like to see more of Southern Thailand on this trip unless the airfare or the time involved in travelling is too high.

Thank you so much in advance for any advice you might be able to give us!
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Old Apr 28th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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If elephants are a must, I'd recommend a couple of days in Chiang Mai to visit the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre at Lampang. Most tourist-oriented elephant camps don't treat their elephants well, and so I don't think that is what you want.

You and all the kids might enjoy a day trip to Ayutthaya, an old capital outside Bangkok. This can be done as a day trip with one way on a boat - fun to watch the river life.

As for wats, there are hundreds easily accessible to you from Bangkok. Of course, the Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha is a must (take a water taxi there - an added bonus), and I'd say that Wat Po (the Reclining Buddha) is a must as well.

If you want a beach, the Phuket area would likely fill the bill. There are inexpensive flights on Air Asia.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 01:59 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions, Kathie! The Ayutthaya day trip sounds perfect. Would we organize that through our hotel?

Do you happen to know of any place you can recommend to stay in or near Phuket that's quiet and perhaps where Thai people would stay rather than foreigners?
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 05:46 AM
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I will defer to some of our locals on the board for specific beach suggestions. Look for Hanuman and James A to help out. You've already been to Hua Hin, which was a beach area frequented by Thais before it attracted the attention of foreign travelers.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 05:58 AM
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Most of the hotels in Phuket are marketed, and priced, for foreigners and well to do Thais hence there's no real local hangouts there. However, in June you might luck out as the hotels will start having special promotions for Thai residents and you might find a lot of locals versus foreign tourists.

If I was looking to find a place near to Phuket with the least amount of foreigners I might look at Trang.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Trang looks absolutely beautiful! That might be perfect for us. Do you know if the weather still cooperates in June in Trang? Have you ever flown with Nok Air by chance?
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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The weather for Trang is pretty much the same as Phuket. May/June will be the beginning of the monsoon season but it shouldn't be that bad. Normally it will only rain in the late afternoon for an hour or so.

I fly Nok Air about once a week and it's a good low cost airline. They allow some luggage, I think 15 kg, and you can buy more when you book. IMO they are normally on time and never had an accident. Nok Air's biggest shareholder is Thai Airways so maintenance record is good.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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Thank you so much, Hanuman! Do you have any recommendations for finding accomodations to stay in Hua Hin and Trang? I've been looking through the www.asiarooms.com, www.sawadee.com and www.huahin.20m.com but haven't really found what I'm looking for. Ideally I'd like a small hotel with rooms that accomodate a family of five, clean, with pool, friendly owners, next to the beach. Ah yes, and affordable (under $90/ night) it should be, also.
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Old Apr 30th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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I am sorry but I don't stay in a lot of hotels in Hua Hin or Trang as I usually stay in my own house or a friend's. $90 might be doable but the hotels on the best stretch of the beach is usually higher, around $150 per room and I think you're looking for at least 2 rooms. Perhaps someone else can recommend something.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 01:43 AM
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I might be able to do that through airbnb but we'd probably need to rent a car to get around in that case.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Bookmarking.
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