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Thailand forum

First time family backpacking

Posted by Shelnictom on 19/7/2014 at 10:15

Hi everyone,
I'm wondering if anyone can help me?? I'm looking to take my teenage boys who are 14 and 15 backpacking in Thailand next Aug. I know this is possibly not the best time for us to go but due to school and work this is our only option. I'm completely clueless having never been out of Europe before. We are wanting to spend around 2 weeks travelling. So where is the best place to start, finish? Does anyone know if there is any voluntary work that we might be able to do for a couple of days on our travels? Also any advise about any places to visit, stay or pass through would be much appreciate!
Thanks in advance

#1 Shelnictom has been a member since 11/6/2014. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 2
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Posted by Tilapia on 19/7/2014 at 12:27

Hi Shelnictom,

Your best place to start and finish is likely going to be Bangkok.

A co-worker just visited Bangkok with her two boys, about the same age as yours, and I provided her with a bunch of info for Bangkok regarding areas to stay in (and how to get there), maps, things to do, etc. If you send me a private message (PM) I'd be happy to forward you those e-mails. They're still in my Sent folder.

As for where to go and what to do, a little more info would be helpful such as what yours and your boys interests are.

#2 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,521
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Posted by karibou on 19/7/2014 at 14:00

I stayed in a wonderful place that has a range of volunteer (and other) activities as well as great people and food. It's in a very remote spot in the mountains near Ranong, with the unfortunately cumbersome name of TCDF Eco-Logic. Living in a rainforest bungalow there with no one in sight except the trees, flowers and birds was a major highlight of my 30-day Thailand trip. Check it out at Also they get 5-star tripadvisor reviews. Waayyyyy off the beaten path.

#3 karibou has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 63
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Posted by karibou on 19/7/2014 at 14:27

Also recommended: Huay Mae Khamin national park, about 50 km beyond Erawan in Kanchanaburi Province. Waterfalls even more gorgeous than Erawan and way less crowded. Camping available.

I had a wonderful Karen guide in Sanghklaburi/ Kanchanaburi called Jack, aka Muddy Rider (google that). Besides taking me to the above mentioned falls and a Karen village in the middle of the jungle where we were the only visitors, Jack leads motorbike and dirt bike trips throughout the area, including a multi-day journey from Sanghklaburi to Umphang. I'm sure he'd be willing to organize a backpacking trip. We became great friends.

Feel free to PM me for specifics.

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Posted by nicolelidberg on 5/8/2014 at 08:41

We're planning to travel to BKK and then onto the nearby islands after Xmas for about 2 1/2 weeks with 3 children - 11,10 & 2. Any tips? We want to keep it simple , but travel to about 3 different islands.
Appreciate all the help we can get!

#5 nicolelidberg has been a member since 5/8/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by FelicityP on 24/8/2014 at 02:13

How exciting!
I will be taking my two boys aged 17 & 11 backpacking this Sept/Aug for just under a month. We cant wait. Im also glad im not the only one brave enough to backback with children solo! haha We will be starting our trip in Chiang Mai and visiting the Elephant Nature Park (which you can also volunteer at and stay overnight), Tiger Temple as well as a private tour which we have booked through our accommodation at Funky Monkey Guesthouse, who I might add have been so very helpful with helping me organize our Chiang Mai part of our trip. From there we will head to Bangkok for temples and shopping. Then off to Koh Phangan for some relaxing on the beach before we head to Khao Sok National Park for some jungle fun. Then onto Railay Beach which looks spectacular and if your boys ar rather active it is a great spot for climbing. We are finishing off in Phuket where we have booked a trip with Phuket Sail Tours to Ao Phang Nga Bay. We have nearly a month so have squeezed lots in. You obviously wont be doing all that but it may help give you some ideas on places there are to go. I love my lonely planet guide too and read that till the pages where worn! So make sure you grab yourself a copy and browse the forums as they are always full of ideas. Hope this helps!

#6 FelicityP has been a member since 24/8/2014. Posts: 6

Posted by MADMAC on 24/8/2014 at 09:58

The Tiger Temple is extremely suspect concerning the treatment of the animals. You might not give a ****, but if you do, you'll want to do some research on that one and give it some real thought before going.

As for the teenage boys - watch 'em like a hawk. The Thai girls will be salivating all over them. They are definitely exotic when you leave the tourist trail. I speak from experience here with my son.

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 24/8/2014 at 11:31

^ Sounds like she's referring to the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai which I've found to be much more credible than the highly-suspect Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi.

#8 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,950

Posted by FelicityP on 24/8/2014 at 15:12

Whoops! Yes I meant Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai. Thanks for the advice on the a thai girls! That certainly didn't occur to me at all!

#9 FelicityP has been a member since 24/8/2014. Posts: 6

Posted by Shelnictom on 24/8/2014 at 15:24

Felicity I would be interested in how you got on travelling with your children. If you remember can you let me know when u get back??
I'm really unsure of what to take with us? Any tips

#10 Shelnictom has been a member since 11/6/2014. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 2
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Posted by FelicityP on 25/8/2014 at 04:58

Of course! I will most definitely let you know how we go. We leave in 3 and a half weeks. Exciting. By what to take with us do you mean ideas on what to pack?

#11 FelicityP has been a member since 24/8/2014. Posts: 6

Posted by FoundVagabond on 25/8/2014 at 20:07

We are in the final days of a 10 week backpacking trip with our children, who are 8 and 10. Four weeks of this were spent in Thailand.

I did a daily blog at where you might find some interesting suggestions. We are in Bangkok now, leaving in two days, but looks like you just arrived - good luck on your adventure!

#12 FoundVagabond has been a member since 25/8/2014. Posts: 10

Posted by FelicityP on 26/8/2014 at 03:34

We leave in 3 weeks. Will definitely check out your blog. Thanks

#13 FelicityP has been a member since 24/8/2014. Posts: 6

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