Thailand for 12 days with 2 yr old

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by T3pleShot, Sep 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. T3pleShot

    T3pleShot Member

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    Hi,

    We are planning a 12 day visit to Thailand with a 2 yr old - starting thanksgiving '13. We are still debating between doing just BKK(5 days)/HKT(6 days) vs. BKK(3 days)/CNX(3 days)/HKT(5days).

    some notes:
    1. We prefer staying at Hilton, With gold status, figured we will make good use of the free breakfast/wifi and potential of upgrade.
    2. BKK - I have a booking at the millenium hilton. Is the boat shuttle to the other side of the river useful? I read that the "saphan takshin BTS" is closing for renovation. so, is BTS access difficult from that hotel. I can always try the other hilton properties on sukhomvit (new hilton/doubletree).
    3. CNX - planning to stay at Le Meridien.
    4. HKT - have booked Hilton Arcadia at Karon.

    Intra-Thailand flights will be on air asia DMK-CNX-HKT-DMK
    Any tips on what is the best time to travel to DMK airport to escape traffic? are early morning departures better or does it not really matter?

    Current planned itienerary:
    Day 1: BKK - Reach BKK early morning at 1:30 AM.
    Take taxi to hotel. Wake up late, Visit some temples (Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Grand Palace).
    Day 02: BKK - Day trip to Ayuthaya or floating market
    Day 03: BKK - Shopping, Food courts, etc
    Day 04: CNX - Catch early morning flight to CNX. check in to hotel. Sight see around CNX town.
    Day 05: CNX - Hire car for the day - visit elephant camp, handicraft village(s),
    Day 06: CNX - Hire car for the day and sight see around or within CNX. catch late night flight to HKT
    Day 07: HKT -
    Day 08: HKT -
    Day 09: HKT -
    Day 10: HKT -
    Day 11: HKT - catch late afternoon flight to BKK
    Day 12: Finish up shopping in BKK, Pack and fly out at 10 PM.

    Ayuthaya - is it worth the day trip? What is the best way to do Ayuthaya with a kid? bus/train/boat/car-hire.
    CNX - should we spend an extra day there?

    Any tips for travelling with a mobile 2 yr old? We went to Bali last year when our kid was 8 mo old. Bali was awesome because we took taxi everywhere within town and did couple of day trips with hired car. What mode of transportation (BKK/CNX/HKT) is the best with a kid..

    One more thing: We will most likely shop a lot of handicrafts, wood carvings, etc from Chiang Mai. Instead of lugging it around the rest of our trip, is it possible to ship it through DHL/UPS to our hotel in BKK? Is that reliable, I am assuming the hotel in BKK will receive the shipment and store it for us - we will pick it up when we stay there on day 12.

    I would appreciate your comments and suggestions..
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Ayuthhaya is fun. Lots of old blogs and ruins.

    I did a tour from a hotel (sunset something) which was a bus to the summer palace then Ayutthaya. Visited 3 sites there and then a boat ride and lunch buffet back. 7am to 2pm approximately.

    Edit: the company is called riversun cruise
     
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  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Calling Kalboz!!
     
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  4. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Where are u coming from? If jet lag is significant your plans are probably overly optomistic. I would suggest 2 rather than 3 locations as you will be shooting a whole day on each transfer an hour or two to get to the airport, couple of hours at the airport, flight, then another hour or two to get to hotel from airport (Hilton Karon is quite far from the airport).
    I think Chang Mai is more interesting than Phuket, but if you want a beach then CM is not the place. Also agree that Ayuthaya is very interesting, most tours do a boat ride one way (2-3 hours) and bus the other way. There is lots to see along the river for both adult and child, but don't know how well the bus ride would go unless it's nap time.
    Traffic is ALWAYS horrible in Bangkok and there is no train (the train that does go there is not practical as a means of transport to the airport) to dmk as there is to bkk -airport link(which is the only way to avoid major traffic jams).
    The "crafts" in CM haven't impressed me, esp compared to the wood carvings available in Bali, but your experience might differ.
    Also doing 2 wats and the Grand Palace in one day would be extreme even with an early start, but seems insane the day you arrive a 1 am! Don't forget that the heat is very draining and the GP can easily take a few hours by itself.
     
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  5. T3pleShot

    T3pleShot Member

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    Thanks, I am checking out the cruise company and other options.
    What would be ideal for us is - if we can rent a car w/driver and do ayuthaya and some other stuff on the way to get more out of the day.
     
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  6. T3pleShot

    T3pleShot Member

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    we are flying from US (via ICN). yes, I realize jetlag is a factor, will plan to take it easy the first day.
    I am inclined towards 2 locations (BKK/HKT), but CNX seems too good to pass up. Given that you've been to Bali, Is it a good analogy to compare Phuket to Seminyak/Legian and Chiang Mai to Ubud? If so, we definitely liked the vibe of Ubud a lot and would gladly move a day from HKT to CNX.

    reg: the wats/GP, good to know that they take longer. I was of the impression that each was a 1-2 hour deal. We are not super particular about covering all of them, just 1 or 2 should be fine. Wat Arun looks impressive from the river. we might skip getting into that if pressed for time.

    I am reading that taxis in BKK are cheap if they are metered. Is there an easy way to spot them (like the bluebird ones in bali)?
     
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  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    all taxis are metered; will they use the meter is the better question.
     
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  8. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    I REALLY dislike Phuket ( I won't go there anymore due to the excessive rip offs, taxi mafia, invasion of groups with little manners or common sense, etc.) so my views are biased, but I don't think it is easy (or maybe possible) to compare Bali and Thailand they are just so different. Maybe others could comment, but IMO everything annoyance in beaches on Bali are magnified 10x or more in Phuket so if you like overcrowded beaches with people constantly harassing you it's a good place - well I said I was biased. That said Phuket is a big island so there are places that are nicer than others :)

    CNX certainly has much more to offer in the way of culture opportunities (but of course it isn't a beach), but not as much as Ubud for me - I enjoy dance and the opportunity to see different performances every night was great for me, plus the ability to walk and find myself in a rice field, take a local bus and get off to see a local artist or wood carver in their studio, as well as all the temples and frequent parades, etc. - maybe your priorities are different.
    CMX offers a "khon toke" dinner which includes a dinner of northern specialities on a "toke" - a small wooden table with unlimited refills followed by an hour or so of short dances illustrating many of the hill tribe traditions. They vary a bit from place to place, but usually there are 1 or 2 venues with good dancing and then some others that are very "touristic" - but I haven't been there for a few years so things could have changed a bit. You can also visit different hill tribes if you wish, etc. and there are lots of other things to do within a day outside the city. AFAIAC there is NO culture in Phuket (except for the "sex industry" if u think of that as culture).

    I think spending time at the Grand Palace and maybe seeing Wat Arun from the river might be a good idea (altho WA really isn't nearly as extensive as the GP).

    All Bangkok taxis are metered and there is a law (more observed in the absence) that they must be used, but it is often hard to get them to agree to use it, however you usually can get one from your hotel (might take a while), but traffic is really awful so if you are pressed for time it might be better to use other transport if available for getting around the city (eg if you are staying on the river the river boat is much faster to other sights on the river - but I'd worry a bit about safety with a 2 yo b/c they are often crowded and hard to get off and on quickly from the piers). Whatever you do DON'T let anyone convince you to take a tuk-tuk if you value your life, sanity and childs ability to breath;)
     
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  9. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    We had a tuk-tuk ride last summer that involved the sidewalk, several one way streets (the other way), and driving perpendicularly across four lanes of traffic. Like a Jackie Chan movie.
     
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  10. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Thank you NYB ... you are so kind :)

    The OP itinerary is doable as we travel frequently with two little ones. My 2 1/2 year old have been to Thailand 3 times and flown around the world already last April :) The OP's itinerary is lacking however on time to spend in Bangkok. To travel around Thanksgiving, I'd do Bangkok & Phuket only and spend more time in Bangkok. Despite of its infamous reputation, Bangkok is a contradictory and vibrant metropolis that will take at least 6 days just to scratch its surface.

    estnet is right about Phuket above, but with little homework and careful planning your Phuket trip will be a once in a lifetime amazing stay at the paradise islands. There is a reason why Phuket is/was voted one of the best ten island destinations in the world many times over. Make sure to arrange transportation with the Hilton Arcadia prior to your arrival and avoid unnecessary hassles. Karon is an awesome beach with much less harassing vendors than Patong. Use Phuket as a base to explore the area, such as Koh Phi Phi, Krabi, Phang - nga (where James Bond Island is located), etc.

    The little one will be fine & will have a great time. Thai people have special and genuine affection towards children ... so enjoy your time and take many pictures to remember this trip.
    [​IMG]
    Mom & baby in a tuk-tuk - Bangkok January 2012
    [​IMG]
    Mom & the kids on the orange boat - Chaophraya River, Bangkok April 2013
    [​IMG]
    Kiddy folkloric street performers - Saphan Taksin, Bangkok
    [​IMG]
    Safari World Bangkok
    [​IMG]
    Feeding the elephants - Dusit Zoo Bangkok
     
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  11. T3pleShot

    T3pleShot Member

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    Yes, this is what I am hoping for, Patong area is out, we plan to stick to karon/kata area for beach/dining, etc.

    Yes, we are going to take a day off phuket and spend more time in CNX.

    thanks for the tip, I will check it out.

    Ayuthaya is most likely out - to spend more time in bangkok.

    Thats good to know. we plan to do at least one of the islands.

    Thank you for the pics!
     
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  12. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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  13. Mirror74

    Mirror74 Gold Member

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    About BKK Hiltons... boat shuttle to the other side is useful as you can take tuk-tuk from the other side and save yourself quite some time when going to the city... but I personally like Conrad better...
     
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