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trvlgrl Nov 22nd, 2006 01:54 AM

Where to go with 3 yr old?
Hi - We (two older parents and a young daughter) are thinking of a last minute holiday to Thailand in the first two weeks of January. Hope to spend 3 days in BKK then on to a beach somewhere to chill out. Question - where and which beach? Krabi, Koh Samui, Phuket? and which hotel? We are looking for somewhere quiet, on the beach, preferably not too large but large enough that there might be some other children for ours to play with... but still being somewhat "adult" and tastefully done and not too expensive.

We have been to Thailand before (me on backpacking trip overland throughout Asia, husband to BKK, Chiang Mai area and Koh Samui), but that was about 15-20 years ago. Haven't been back to Thailand since, apart from a recent business trip to BKK, although we have been to many other parts of Asia(living and travelling) so are familiar with Asian culture.

For this trip we are looking to relax and recharge our batteries! I've been reading the message boards, and it seems most family people are going to Phuket, but for some reason I've always thought that it was not as beautiful as other areas and too built up, so it never really appealed to me before...but could be convinced otherwise. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

kaneda Nov 22nd, 2006 09:08 AM

I've seen youngsters suffering from badly the heat in Bangkok. Best to stick to semi-AC shopping centres as much as possible: Mah Boon Krong, MBK (National Stadium Skytrain stop), Paragon shopping centre (nearby, across the road from Siam Square) which has an Ocean World with fish, etc. Emporeum (Phrom Phong Skytrain stop), Lad Prao (pronounced Lat Pro) a taxi ride away. Try some Dairy Queen ice cream. It's excellent. Taxis are cheap, and the Sky train and Subway are all easy to use, and air conditioned). Take a Skytrain to Saphan Taksin and walk towards the river. Join the other tourists on the tourist boat along the river, get on and off when you want, about 20 stops for 18 baht.

Beaches have cooling breezes, so a child can burn badly in the sun too long without anyone noticing.

Take some baby powder with you, or pick some up in Tesco's (just past MBK, after end of Skytrain on other side of road). It works very well against stickiness and prickly heat on adults as well as young 'uns.

Tangata Nov 22nd, 2006 05:58 PM

You might want to check out Koh Samet. Daughter and her family, including a three year old, enjoyed it.

yvrtogo Nov 25th, 2006 08:12 PM

I was about to post a similar message - I have 3 yr & 5 yr girls, and we are looking for a great beach destination - nice beach, not over-comercialized - sounds very similar to what trvlgrl is looking for too.

Ko Phagnan had been recommended (not during Full Moon) - but then I wonder if the advent of No Moon and Half Moon parties really means that Phagnan can ever be peaceful.

So - I'll double the request for input for the perfect adult/kid beach destination!!

KimJapan Nov 25th, 2006 08:42 PM

We have taken our daughter to Thailand 4 times. The first trip was when she was just 3, and most recently last Christmas when she was 8. We enjoyed Koh Samui when we stayed at Laem Set Inn there....but unfortunately it was sold a couple of years ago and it is now just not the same place that it I would not recommend it.

Another poster here was married on Koh Samui in August and had a lovely trip in Thailand with their 2 year old. If you search for "Bella" her very detailed planning and stay report will come up for you. They stayed at Rocky Resort in Koh Samui and really enjoyed it very much.

Last Christmas we went to Khao Lak and stayed at the Khao Lak Merlin. At the time we went, the number of hotels in operation in Khao Lak was not so many as now. While the Merlin was fine, it wasn't exactly our style (we tend to like smaller places). The pools and beach were wonderful, though...there is even a slide for the kids in one of the smaller pools. We did really like Khao Lak as a destination, and felt good about spending our money in a place that was literally just about flattened by the 2004 tsunami.

As our daughter is an only child and we have yet to travel with another family, it is very important to us that we stay in places that don't necessarily cater to kids, as we don't tend to choose places that offer kids clubs, but places that are smaller and offer more personal service and tend to attract guests who are somewhat similar to ourselves. I have found over the years that e-mail directly to the hotel is a great barometer of how well a hotel will suit our needs. I always ask directly if other families are booked at the same time as our stay, and I ask if they typically have families staying with them or if they are more a couple oriented place. I find the answers very helpful.

Bella_Bluebell Nov 26th, 2006 04:47 AM

If the most fantastic beach will suffice and not a pool, check out the Baan Panburi Village on Ko Phangan. Even when the full moon party is happening, this wouldn't ruin the wonder and splendour of this beach. The only downside is the 40 minute 4x4 journey on bumpy roads to get there but it keeps the hoardes away. The resort is lovely - but quite rustic. However there are a/c beach huts available and the restaurant and food were splendid. There were also lots of children there - very popular with Europeans with kids of all ages. I absolutely loved this place.

As Kim mentioned, we really enjoyed Rocky Resort in Samui as well with our 2 year old. There were other children to play with and a lovely pool with fantastic staff. The beach is not so great but you are not far from Lamai beach (5 mins in taxi) which is great for swimming in & long and vast.
Look for the thread under my name Mr and Mrs Bluebell Thai the Knot. I am about to post my full (and late) trip report...

Incidentally, we had no problems with B in Thailand (other than her feeling a bit overwhelmed at time by the attention she got!). We just took plenty of care to keep her well watered and into air con, the pool or the sea if she got hot!

trvlgrl Nov 26th, 2006 01:06 PM

Hi - Thanks for all your tips... Due to some family needs, we are now delaying our trip to Thailand until Feb - also, it should be quieter and cheaper then...

I would really prefer a great beach to a pool. I'm dreaming of those powder soft sands, warm turquoise water, fresh coconuts to drink... (and the ability to get some food without chilis for my daughter..) I don't necessarily want a kids club, just some other kids around with whom my daughter can play with.

Will check out Koh Samet and Khao Lak... I was in Ko Phangan many years ago, so remember the great beaches (and parties), but can't imagine after so many years of building its reputation as a party island that it would be the right place for us...although I know some beaches are more party oriented than others. I'll think about it though. I look forward to reading your report Bella...

If anyone else out there has any suggestions, please keep them coming for me (and yvrtogo. Yvrtogo, if you end up going somewhere, please let me know positive or negative!) Thanks everyone!

braziliantraveller Nov 29th, 2006 02:50 AM

I have just got back from Koh Samui and there were lots of families with little ones on my hotel - Amari Palm Reef. They don't have a kid's club but the hotel is quite children friendly. They do have a baby sitter just in case you want it while you enjoy the great SPA of the hotel.

The water is amazing of the beach is amazing, and so is the swimming pool.

orgy7 Nov 30th, 2006 06:55 AM

Lad Phrao is pronounced more like lad prao. not lat pro. who knows where you'll end up if you ask for that direction.

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