Bangkok and Krabi with Kids

Q.

Hi,

We have planned a trip to Bangkok and Krabi. I read good reviews on Facebook about you and since this is my first international travel with my twins, I’m looking out for help in planning the itinerary in such a way we don’t tire the kids, have a relaxing stay and enjoy our trip.

We are three families travelling with a total of four kids – 2 boys aged 3-4 years and 2 twin girls aged 2.5 years). Our flight tickets are booked.

Could you please help us with suggestions for what should we keep in mind from the time we arrive, go to hotel and during the trip (very important for us as we have kids along with us). Would love any information (including visas, early check ins, package deals, good sea facing resorts, etc).

Our budget is Rs 8,000 per night for two nights in Bangkok. For Krabi our budget is Rs 6,000 per night with a beach view and good food options close by, even a kitchen in the room would be good. We were looking at Aaonang Villa Resort, Ananta Burin Resort and Aonang Cliff Beach Resort. Please suggest asap as we r running out of options and rooms are getting booked real quick.

Here is our itinerary:

2 – 4 April – Bangkok (arriving on 2nd early hours)
4 April – Afternoon flight to Krabi
8 April – Afternoon flight to Bangalore

Thanks and regards

Suparna Omprasad

.

Hi Suparna

Wow, twins! I can imagine you need a holiday! Okay, I’m going to try my best to come up with suggestions that are easy on the kids and, therefore, you.

Sra Morakot, Krabi

The places that you are looking at in Krabi – Ananta Burin Resort and Aonang Villa Resort and Aonang Cliff Beach Resort – all look good. Having never been to Krabi I am not personally familiar with any of these hotels but they have all received good reviews on TripAdvisor and Ananta Burin and Aonang Villa both seem to be located right on the beach, which is what you’re looking for. Aonang Cliff Beach Resort seems to be more inland but has ever better reviews on TripAdvisor than their Villa Resort.

So if you’re in a hurry and like these places I would suggest you go with one of these options.

Generally, however, I would suggest that, for people travelling with kids or for friends/family travelling together, villas are a better option than a hotel room. By villas I mean either stand-alone villas booked through AirBnB.com, HomeAway.com etc or a villa with multiple rooms within a hotel or resort. A villa means more common areas that you can spread out in, more privacy and safety (with kids running around) and an in-house kitchen, which is great for the complex and constant hunger pangs that kids have. In your case I would have recommended a villa with staff or a villa within a hotel so that you have more help. Price-wise as well such type of accommodation result in better value for money and money saved on food since you can choose to cook your own meals.

KRABI

There’s a lot to do in Krabi but many of these activities involve boat trips to islands. You should decide if that’s something you feel up to doing with the children. I would advise you keep it at a minimum.

1) Sra Morakot (Emerald / Crystal Pool): A short walk through the jungle reaches this natural spring water pool. Visit this on a weekday as the weekend sees many local tourists flooding here. Make sure the kids have some sort of waterproof footwear on in the pool.
2) Street markets: Street markets would a good thing to do with kids as you can walk at your own pace, stopping as frequently as you like. There’s a weekend market on ‘Walking Street’ in Krabi town that is on from Friday – Sunday and starts around 6pm. There are food and handicraft stalls and sometimes also performances by Thai children. There’s a daily (2pm-8pm) City Market in Krabi, which stocks lots of fresh fruits etc.
3) Phang Nga Elephant Park: This elephant park is run by a family which has been caring for elephants for over 150 years. With an emphasis on elephant conservation and education this would be a much more ethical and informative experience for the children that visiting, say, a zoo or going on an elephant trek. Even though this park would be an hour and half or more’s drive from Ao Nang, I think it would be worth it. Though, perhaps you could go for the morning session when it is cooler.
4) Beaches: If you stay in the Ao Nang area you will be lucky to have one of the best beaches in the area close by. A popular beach with tourists and studded with shops and restaurants, this beach is pretty if busy, and an easy choice with the kids.

Mouth-watering street food in Krabi

If you prefer a quieter beach you could try Tubkaek Beach, which is a half-hour’s drive north of Ao Nang. It is a picturesque beach with powdery white sand and a shallow shelf but not one that’s great for swimming, especially at low tide, due to rocks.
While there are many more beaches in Krabi they are all a boat ride away from the mainland.
5) Restaurants: Suggestions from TheCultureTrip.com and TravelFish.org.

BANGKOK

You’re only in Bangkok for a short time between flights so I would suggest you spend a large part of it just catching up on lost sleep and in your hotel pool. If you do feel up to get out and about maybe you could try one of these:

1) Lumpini Park: Let the kids run around Central Bangkok’s largest park and get rid of all the excess energy they must have from being cooped up in the plane. There are paddleboats and rowboats, a playground and walking paths.

2) Asiatique The Riverfront: A large outdoor mall with multiple dining options and event venues. This would be an easy place to find options that please everyone. You could also catch a puppet theatre performance at the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, which also serves dinner.

You can find more options here.

Accommodation:

In Bangkok, I’d stayed at The Stable Lodge which is a great, well-appointed budget hotel with a pool and is located walking distance from the Nana BTS Skytrain station. However, I’m not sure how child-friendly it is.

You can find a number of family-friendly recommendations here: Bangkok.com, WheresSharon.com, WorldTravelFamily.com.

General tips:

• Visas: Although Thailand offers visa on arrival to Indians, lines for obtaining this visa at the airport can be long. Since you are travelling with multiple small children I would personally advise you that you apply for your visas in advance since you don’t want to be standing in long lines at the end of an international flight. You can do this through a visa/travel agent if you don’t wan’t to do it yourself. If you apply through an agent you have the added advantage of not having to go in person for the visa appointment.

Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Even though official visa processing times are longer, my visa agent says the Thai visa is normally processed in around 3 days. However, I would urge that you apply for this visa as soon as you have booked your hotels and flights. You can check this link for further details.

• You must buy adequate travel insurance for all of you before you fly out. You can do this through a travel agent or you can do it online very easily yourself. A number of companies such as Tata AIG, ICICI Lombard etc offer travel insurance online. In the past, I have bought Bajaj Allianz insurance online.

• Early check-in: Whether you are offered complimentary early check-in or not depends entirely on the hotel. You have a greater chance of being offered this in Krabi where you are staying for longer.

• Try asking for rooms next to each other or (even better) connecting rooms. Having rooms on the ground floor or close to the restaurant will also make things easier for you.

• The best hotel room prices are often found on websites such as booking.com or agoda.com. However, if you think you may have to give the hotel any special instructions or have any last minutes requests or changes to make it would be best to book directly with the hotel.

• Also ask the hotels to organise your airport transfers, at the very least for when you arrive. Transport organised through the hotel may be more expensive but it will be one less thing for you to worry about when you fly. Alternately, you could get a pre-paid cab from the airport.

• For the flight: make sure you have the children’s emergency medication in your hand luggage as well as multiple toys and books. To ease the air pressure in their ears make sure the kids are eating something during take off and landing. You may want to pre-book meals for the flights and / or carry some food with you.

Here are some tips regarding healthcare while travelling in Thailand

• When you check-in ask the hotel if they have a doctor on call or where the closest paediatric medical care facility is. Feed these numbers into your cell phone so you have them on hand. Samvitej Children’s Hospital has a number of locations in Bangkok.

Thai puppetry is rooted in the Ramayana

• Don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

• Carry seasickness medicine or bands if you plan on taking boat rides.

• Carry any medicines including emergency medication you may require. Make sure the children have received all their vaccinations.

• Use taxis organised from the hotel when possible, or, if you’re hailing a cab on the street, fix on a price beforehand.

Other resources:

TravelFish.org

WorldTravelFamily.com

AdventuresWithFamily.com

TheCultureTrip.com

Wish you all a safe and happy trip!

Shalome

All photos: www.123rf.com