Thailand with a 6yr old budget style

Old Apr 20th, 2006, 10:01 PM
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Thailand with a 6yr old budget style

So last year my husband and I backpacked through Costa Rica with my 5 yr old daughter. She was amazing (hiked waterfalls, survived travel diarhea with hardly a peep) I knew then, that Thailand was next in our sights for sure.

This time it's just me and her, 4-5 weeks in July. I'm so excited and so nervous. Were doing it on a budget, guest houses and hostels. I'm looking for quiet views off the beaten path, but safety too. Don't mind the occasional tourist trap, but not the highlight of the trip.( I'm from Florida, and have suffered a lifetime of packaged themeparks, so I don't mean to sound rude.)

I'm open to all suggestions, my daughter is a mellow tolerant child, but she is still here's my first round of Questions:

I'd love to volunteer at a school with young children, but I have no interest in the overpriced packages I seem to find. Any suggestions?

How many days in bangkok? (not huge on shopping or nightlife with a child) but there is an appeal.

Best Beach? (with least tourists, or at least brief escapes) Budget of course.

Best National park?

best border crossing for Laos?

I heard the road trip is rough to Siem Reap, but unsure airfare is in my budget. What's a good price for flight, and is the land route possible with a child?

I know these are all common questions, but I appreciate any feedback..Thanks
MBlong4travel is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Sounds like a great trip. Our now 8 year old daughter has done 4 Thailand trips, the first when she was 3.

You might look at Joy's House in Chiang Mai. She offers cultural programs and is affiliated with a school...School for Life I think it's called. We will likely stay here next time we're in Chiang Mai.

Though not necessarily budget, a fantastic experience might the the 3 day program at the Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang. We did it this past December and it was outstanding. Our daughter wants to do a month long stay there now...and she just might when she's a bit older. One careful about swimming with the elephants and severe illness...Rather than go into the whole story again, you can read my trip report and/or my recent reply to a question about swimming with the elephants. At any rate, my daugther says she would gladly endure being sick again and would not skip the swimming...

Khao Lak was devastated by the 2004 tsunami and is slowly but surely coming back. The is a really cute budget place right on the beach and close to the main town area called Gerd and Noi's...they told me it was popular with families, and sure enough, when we did a walk by there were quite a few kids in front playing happily on the beach.

The beach in Khao Lak is lovely I think, and we were not bothered in the least by sellers/hawkers 4 months ago there. Enough has been rebuilt that there are plenty of restaurants and hotels. You can still see rebuilding, as well as some places that are still just a pile of rubble, but it's coming back, and they need tourists. We were glad to have spent time there. It might suit you very well as it lacks the commercial feeling of Phuket and Samui. is a pretty good website to get you started on Khao Lak.

There is a national park right in Khao Lak, and Khao Sok national park is driving distance. Khao Sok is on our list for another trip, and to me I think several days there would be really enjoyable...hiking, canoeing/kayaking, jungle raft accommodation,..sounds neat to us at least.

Bangkok is one of our favorite cities, and we are not shoppers. We like to go to the markets though. The Joe Louis puppet theater was a fun show to see. Ko Kred island up river is a nice day cars and a lively marketplace on the weekends with pottery, knick knack kind of things, and great snacks. Some advise against street food, some eat it without trouble...some eat it and get sick. We chose to eat it and did not get sick.

Bangkok is really hot, and having a nice pool area is important to us. You might want to plan on a bit of a splurge in Bangkok to get a nice pool area...if your daughter is anything like ours, mornings can be sightseeing, afternoons pool time, and everyone is happy.

Our daughter loved the tour of the Jim Thompson house...she even took notes. She also liked riding in the long tail river boats. The Grand Palace complex seems to thrill everyone, even youngsters.

There is a great food floor in the Paragon Mall, as well as an aquarium that might be fun. Our daughter chose pool over aquarium, so we didn't go.

A good place to start a search for rooms is . Their rates are good, but always check directly with the hotel as in my experience I've been able to get the same or better rate with same or more perks by corresponding by e-mail directly with the hotel...others haven't had the same experience...but it doesn't hurt to try at least. One big difference between using a booking site and direct booking as that booking sites you prepay most of the time, and direct booking you pay directly to hotel when you check out. This might be a thing to think about, especially with budget places....if you get there and it's not what you wanted, if you haven't already paid it's much easier to leave or negotiate something better.

That should get you started.

KimJapan is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2006, 03:45 AM
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so how much are you planning to spend on accommodation?.

how long will you stay in thailand/bangkok?

orgy7 is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2006, 05:38 AM
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KimJapan, Thanks a bunch. Those are great reccomendations.
So I'm planning on having $1500 for 4-5 weeks. I'm thinking $30-$50 a day. is that a realistic budget?

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Old Apr 21st, 2006, 02:55 PM
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I think it's doable, but maybe not so enjoyable. If you did the 3 day elephant camp, it would take 20% of your budget (now 6000 baht per person for 3 days). Activities and experiences add up fast, and there are some things you just can't access or do on your own. We've also found it to be true that you get what you pay for...the cheapest isn't the's cheap for a reason.

It's certainly possible to find accommodation in the $15.00 - $20.00 range that is good...but it's also possible to find downright dives. With your daughter, I'd imagine you want to be careful where you stay. Careful research would be essential I think.

Your tight budget might severely limit what experiences you could have...An afternoon/evening of sea kayaking in Phang Nga Bay with John Gray Sea Canoe cost us $275.00 (2 adults, 1 child). There are slightly less expensive companies, but they all go out at the same time to the same places and there is a kayak cluster...John Gray goes in the late afternoon and we were utterly alone in the was fantastic. I don't think saving 30% by going with another company would have been worth it at all. If you did this trip, and you should, it's another huge chunk of your budget.

Getting around can be very cheap. There are discount airlines, buses, trains...but $300.00/week for accommodation, food, activities,'s too limiting, at least for me.

I'd shorten the trip or increase the budget if possible.

Or, go to Bali. It's cheaper and a very rich experience. You could pull up my trip report from December 2004/January 2005 to see all we did there.

I also did a Thailand trip report this past trip you could pull up and read.

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