My family (husband and 2 kids aged 7 and 9) and I are visiting Thailand mid May. We will be arriving in Bangkok and making our own way to Krabi or Phuket area to then get a ferry to Ko Phi Phi or Ko Lanta (we haven't decided yet). Should we take a plane or is the train journey worth doing as we'd quite like an adventure but realise our kids might not quite see it that way as the journey may be very long and difficult.
Incidentally we would also like to make contact with a school or orphanage in the Tsunami area with our local school in Derbyshire - how should we best do this.
We are also thinking about taking the train from Thailand to Singapore after our stay - is this a journey worth doing or should we fly?
Hope you can help.
Bye for now, Esther
#1 Esther has been a member since 12/2/2006. Posts: 3
It's me again. We would also like some advise on where to stay. We are into our food so would like to sample good authentic Thai food. We also don't like commercialism so an untouched spot would be good. The kids will like a beach but we aren't too fussed about an exclusive resort - perhaps something simple like a hut by the beach would be great.
#2 Esther has been a member since 12/2/2006. Posts: 3
Welcome to Travelfish!
Regarding the train trip from Bangkok south, most people tend to go for a night train as that saves on one night's accommodation -- but the night trains are not particularly scenic! Plus if you are planning on going to Krabi or Phuket, the train doesn't go there -- in both cases you'd most likely get the train to Surat Thani, from where you take the bus to Krabi or Phuket -- if I was doing it with young kids (and a husband!) in tow, I'd fly as budget airlines fly to Phuket and AirAsia or Nok Air (I can't remember which) is about to commence flights to Krabi
The train onwards south to Singapore is another story -- if you have the time it is well worth doing -- a wide range of scenery and comfortable.
With your second question, it is difficult to make a recomendation without an idea on how much you'd like to pay per night -- let me know and I'll try to help.
Have a nice trip!
Hi again, I forgot to say you could also get the train to Trang, and head north from there, but a train to Surat Thani would be faster.
I would suggest this place in Phuket. The pool is a little small. But they do offer free rides to Kata Beach (3-5 minutes depending on traffic). They take credit cards. The rooms are clean, and the staff was very friendly and helpful (the manager’s name is Add). They pointed us to good shopping areas and restaurants. They are not on the main street so its quiet, but it’s still easy to get to everything. We were actually staying there when the tsunami hit. The staff went out of there way to help us find which hospital our friend was taken to. They were genuinely worried about me (I was the last one to return to the hotel and they were afraid that I was among the dead) and drove me free of charge to the hospital that my friend was at as soon as I arrived. And they stayed with me at the hospital until I was able to locate the rest of the people I was traveling with. They arranged bus tickets for us to Bangkok because our friend had to be airlifted to there for medical treatment. And they did all of this, while they still didn’t know the fates of their own family members. They went above and beyond. A couple weeks later I received an e-mail from Add wanting to know how are friend was doing. I would highly recommend this place. The hotel was not damaged by the tsunami.
As for Ko Phi Phi, I wouldn’t recommend it. I was there before the tsunami hit and everyone I was traveling with was disappointed in it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good beach. But we were expecting so much more because the movie The Beach. We were not able to swim on half of the island in the afternoon because it in the shape of a cove and when the tide goes out so does all of the water. Plus it was highly commercialized and crowed with people. We decided it was the worst beach we saw in Thailand. I don’t know how it is doing after the tsunami. I did not go to Ko Lanta, so I can’t comment on it. But we did go to the Similan Islands. 3 out of the 4 of us thought that they had the best beaches we had ever seen any where in the world. The coal reefs around there were amazing as well. But I have no idea what state they are in now.
I hope that helps. Enjoy the trip. I whish my parents would have taken me on trips like the one you are planning at that age.
Thanks for your responses.
We'll probably give Ko Phi Phi a miss and rethink where we stay. I'm tempted by the place in Phuket but concerned that Phuket is a little commercialised but perhaps it would be a good starting point. Would the coast at Krabi or Trang be an area to try?
We would be looking to spend 2500 to 3000 Baht a night. We don't need posh, just simple, good location and good food.
#6 Esther has been a member since 12/2/2006. Posts: 3