Hope someone can help? Family holiday in Thailand towards end Jan, and the idea is to go from Chiang Mai down south for a beach holiday. Have 3 boys (10,13,15) in tow and so don't want the journey to be a huge mission, but also want to avoid the very touristy islands. However, want more than just a beautiful beach (we're from New Zealand so not at all beach-deprived)- Thai culture, some activities etc - and keep going around in circles as I read all the guides and reports! Have thought of Ko Lanta?? Would be so grateful for suggestions!!
#1 robynb has been a member since 15/9/2009. Posts: 6
Did you see this story: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/43 I just updated it over the weekend with a bunch more pics (and a few more islands. Another island story with a few more details is this one: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/135
Travelling with kids, Ko Lanta very popular.
Culture is not a big thing on the islands. Most Thai islands aren’t exactly dripping with history, temples, artistic stuff, old architecture etc. I guess Phuket would have the most. There are also some temples and stuff around Krabi .
But to see the normal everyday fishing/farming culture of Thai islands little affected by tourism, I reckon the best would be Kos Yao Noi and Yai, Ko Sukorn, Ko Siboya, Ko Kut and Ko Libong. Jum, Phayam and little Chang are not bad away from their tourist strips.
Now the easiest to access of these is Phuket - many regard it as touristy, but you could stay on one of the laid back less touristy beaches which has a local village such as Kamala, Nai Yang or Naithon, take in some tours of local cultural areas, do some scenic tours such as fabulous Phang Nga Bay (do one that visits the sea-gypsy island for some real different lifestyle - you can arrange overnight stays), some adventure things the boys would enjoy, and then perhaps jump over for a few days on super laid back Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai.
Ko Lanta doesn't figure in the first paragraph, but I do condider it the best all round island along with Phangan - and Lanta town on the non-touristy east coast is one of the best examples of an unspoiled island main-town around. There should be enough trips to caves, elephants, the Trang island etc to keep the boys happy. Pretty easy to access via Krabi or (a bit longer, but can catch a sleeper train in) Trang.
If you want a second island, Jum is close. And Krabi of course, but it aint an island.
Thanks so much - that's really helpful. Will start looking at travel options - do you have any advice on the best way to get from Chiang Mai to Ko Lanta? Also, while I'm at it, have 2 hotels lined up in Bangkok for a couple of nights - one in Banglamphu(sp??)and one in Sukhumvit - any reason to go for one over the other. Would welcome all comments. Many thanks.
#4 robynb has been a member since 15/9/2009. Posts: 6
robynb: They are at opposite ends of the city -- the former is the backpacker heartland, the latter more mid-range and expat orientated.
Chiang Mai to Ko lanta? Lot so f ways you can fly to Krabi train (via Bangkok) or train bus combo or overnight buses (two) depends on your timeframe.
if you are fairly new to bangkok, i'd probably lean towards staying in the banglamphu area. yes, it's largely the backpacker ghetto, but it is also close to sanam luang, wat pho, wat arun (my personal favorite in bangkok), chao praya river ferries, and the national museum. plus, it puts you closer to other travelers who can be a great source of info for your onward itinerary.
having said that, what are the two hotels you mention? cheers.
The two hotels are Lamphu Tree Hotel (Banglamphu) and IMM Fusion (Sukhimvit). Both are mid-range and similar inprice for a family of 5. Do you know them?
#7 robynb has been a member since 15/9/2009. Posts: 6
Thanks for that - have decided to go for Lamphu Tree. In the meantime, have come to the conclusion that trying to include Chiang Mai and then going down to Koh Lanta is probably too ambitious for family trip, and am thinking of going to Ayuthaya for a few days instead - does anyone know if we can go direct from Kanchanaburi to Ayathuya by train/bus? Also, any views on whether 4 nights in Ayathuya be too much in terms of occupying my boys? Can't tell you how helpful I'm finding this forum!!
#9 robynb has been a member since 15/9/2009. Posts: 6
I think kids would get more out of a prolonged stay in Kanchanaburi than Ayutthaya... you can get between the two either by tourist minibus or via public bus via Suphanburi -- the latter is pretty time consuming...
If you don't want very touristy and want something closer, try Koh CHANG. Absolutely awesome....
#11 Fattymac has been a member since 10/7/2009. Posts: 28
As regards comment about Ayatthuya, had been planning to spend possibly 2 nights there and then doing the homestay (Mrs Tim) previously written up on this forum. Am slightly twitchy about this with regard to my boys, and am still negotiating dates with Mrs Tim. Any comments about this as a family activity(???)and, in the event that it doesn't work out (and actually , even if it does) do you think that staying in Ayatthuya for any length of time is a non-starter? We are staying at Kasem Island Resort in the middle of the river at Kanchanaburi ( friend's recommendation) - any thoughts on whether this is OK as a base for exploring more widely. Have packed a lot of questions into that ..... Many thanks for all your replies.
#12 robynb has been a member since 15/9/2009. Posts: 6