The next trip is due – Thailand and its time to write couple of lines about it. We decided to go to Thailand while Relya was 6 months old since we have already been there in 2014. We wanted to repeat it as already know it, we knew all the location (except several new ones) and we were very confident. For us Thailand left an impression of a very safe and easy country to travel to. Its easy to go from one place to another, find food, accommodation, smiles, beauty, attractions… There wasn’t any general problem in sight, well, only a long flight.
We bought plane tickets (BGD – BKK – BGD via Abu Dhabi) three months before for dates 5. february – 10. march – 34 days in total. Price for all three of us was 982e for buying directly at Etihad website. Ticket for infants (up to 2 years old) are not exactly free, price depends from company to company. We payed 62 eur, while our tickets for the adults costed 460e. It was possible to pay less – 420eur but for a longer waiting time between the flights which we didn’t wanted.
For us it was important that the waiting time between the flights is as short as possible so we found a flight with a connection of 2 and a half hours. Second important thing was perks of the company that sold infant ticket. Etihad has two useful things – you can ask for the place with the bassinet. That way baby is not in your lap all the time. Second thing is priority check-in, as babies can get nervous in the queue. For the place with the bassinet you have to call their call center and ask to be placed on waiting list. On the day of the flight just come to airport a bit earlier, as there are limited places.
After we purchased our tickets we could start most interesting part – making itinerary, yeeeey! We made this route:
- Bangkok 2 days
- Phuket 5 days
- Singapore 3 days
- Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) 4 days
- Koh Samui 7 days
- Koh Pha Ngan 7 days
- Bangkok 3 days
Places that we didn’t went before are Singapore, KL and Chaweng (we were in Lamai on Samui). We chose Phuket this year only because it has good connection with Singapore. In SE Asia its very easy to find cheap tickets. In 2014. we went to Cambodia from Bangkok, this year we decided to go to Singapore and KL. The Island we definitley decided to come back is Koh Phangan, we even went back to same beach Haad Yao. For domestic flight in Thailand Air Asia is cheapest, you can find flights as low as 20 euros.
As for flight, this time we didn’t know what was waiting for us, unlike Cyprus here we had 11 hours of flight, two flights plus waiting times. But it turned out to be much better than we hoped for. On ascent and decent, I have Relya booby so he can equalize the pressure in his ears. First flight was 5.5 hours and he was mostly in my lap. He watched a cartoon on a display. He spent spent some time in the bassinet mostly playing.
Baby slept most of the time during second flight. It was his sleeping hours anyway. In Abu Shabi you can get airport stroller, as our was with checked in baggage.
Couple of advice regarding flight
We packed like always in our backpack bags – everyone each and two smaller cabin baggage bags. As for stroller we brought umbrella version as it weights around 5 kilo. It has sleeping position, so baby can sleep in walk and on the beach. As for clothing we brought for 7 days, as Thailand has laundry service on every corner. It costs around 30 Baht (70 eurocents).
You can bring baby food in jars to the plane, formula milk and even water. As for hand luggage make sure you are bringing enough dippers, napkins, clothes for changing as they can mess them selves. Its good if you bring spare shirt for you, as you can get messy as well (trip time is over 10 hours) and couple of toys. Make sure baby didn’t see it for a while so they are interesting to him.
We landed in Bangkok around 6:30am local time. We chose the same hotel we were before – Nasa Vegas. Reason why is because we knew for sure they are letting people check-in very early. Couple of years before we checked in around 6am when we got back from Koh Tao. Any other hotel would probably make us wait till 2-3pm. Nasa Vegas is big inexpensive hotel that always has free rooms. One more plus for him is because he is on airport line and is easy to reach from airport. We came to the hotel around 9am and slept till 2pm, fresh enough to make a use of first day and go sightseeing.
This year we have visited in Bangkok places we didn’t see before but also some of our favorite parts. We went to Lumphini park, Zoo, Dusit district, Chinatown, Downtown but also never boring Sukhumvit and Siam Square. Lumphini is a lovley big park, nice for a walk. You can see a lot of big monitor lizards just wandering around. From Lumphini we went to downtown where there are a lot of interesting small streets with streetfood. You should definitely try small pancakes. In the evening we came to chinatown, the world capital of street food! We treated our selves with two portions of Singapore noodles! Yum!
Bangkok has him now, and she’ll never let him go. Tattoo Joe Hangover 2
Tomorrow we visited Bangkok Zoo and Dusit part of the city, in the evening Asiatique Mall. Zoo is not enormous, it has a lot of shade and the walk is quite pleasant. They have interesting animals and its a good destination if you are in Bangkok for more than few days. Of course its nit a glamorous as Singapore or Bronx zoo but its worth a visit. During the walk we visited Wat Benjamabhopit temple, one of most beautiful in Bangkok. In the evening we went for a walk on the cost of Chao Phraya at the Asiatique mall. You can get to it free via shuttle ferry from Central Pier. Boat ride itself is very nice, one to the Asiatique Mall but also regular line from Central Pier upwards.
From Bangkok we flew to Phuket via AirAsia. Flight lasts for around an hour and we didn’t have any issues. We choose Pathogn as it is good starting point for the rest of the island. We were accomodated in Lotus Hotel, staff is quite friendly, rooms are nice, specious and clean. In case you no’t rend a moped bike (and we didn’t this time( there are taxt and tuk-tuk drivers for a fixed price. Comparing with Bangkok it’s quite pricey, for a 7km dive plan to pay around 500 Baht (13eur). There is ni possibility to haggle, as it seems taxi drivers stick to each other. Word is that same mafia boss controls it, also word is that Uber is chased away from the Island mobster style.
From Pathong we went to the beaches we haven’t seen before. We went to Kata beach, beautiful beach with restaurant by the rocks. Tomorrow we went to Kamala Beach, nice beach with a lot of natural shade which is important. There are a lot of restaurants to choose from. Third day we went to Coral and Raya Island tour with a speedboat. We actually wanted to go to Similan Islands but because of the distance and duration of the ride, only one that we could go is Coral and Raya island tour.
As for tour itself, it is worth time and money. We visited couple of very nice islands and beaches. Seedboat is very fast so expect a lot of bouncing. You have to sit tightly and keep baby in arms all the times. Other than that baby is sleeping tightly like in a car. Even that tour is nice don’t expect remote beaches without tourists as everyone else wants a piece of paradise for himself.
We spent two days in Pathong as it was raining a bit, which is bit unusual for Andaman cost for that period. Honestly we were a bit tired and needed to recharge but also we needed to work. We spent time on not so popular and beautiful city beach, but it has its nice sides. We went to massages, shopping, overeating at food markets, shrimps, white snappers, rolls, Japanese beers…
Dippers and baby food
In Phuket we spent our dipper and food supplies. For those things its best to go to shopping mall as o the ground floor there is usually a market. In Thailand there are no Pampers but there is MamyPoko which is equivalent to Pampers pants. Its Japanese quality and you can’t go wrong with them. Being unable to make a food myself as we didn’t have kitchen, we had to buy food. Fruit is not a problem as Thailand is rich with bananas and mango. YOu can find it on any corner. For dinner he ate a lot of cereals that are made with water. In every accommodation there was a kettle so it could be prepared without much fuss. Generally we brought two boxes from Serbia, but you can find Nestle in Thailand. Biggest problem was vegetables, as the selection was scarce. In the photo you can see what I used to buy the most.
Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
From Phuket we had aflight to Singapour, then a bus ride to Kuala Lumpur. From KL we had a flight to Koh Samui. About that part of the trip you can see at separate post here:
On Koh Samui we came with a ferry from Suratthani to which we came with a plane from KL, again with airasia. Surattani is a city across the sea from Samui. To come to i with a plane is cheaper than with a flight to Samui.
We wanted to go back to Samui as it was a larg Island. But this time we wanted to stay in Chaweng Beach and not Lamai. Hotel Nantra Chaweng Beach Hotel was ok but big issue was staff not knowing English at all. We weren’t unable to communicate with them and we didn’t know we had breakfast included all seven days!!!
In Chaweng we loved night markets, there was whole bunch of them. We went to dinner there every night. Chaweng is a long beach and there are multiple places on it to choose from. On Koh Samui we had rain three days in a row, one day full day. We could have just work on those days. Biggest miss of the trip was excursion to Angthong national park, which is very beautiful, but since it was pouring our experience was 0.
Koh Phangan is one our ride from Samui. The rain stopped that day so we had wonderful time all seven days. We used them for enjoying Haad Yao beach. As on majority of islands here without a scuter you are doomed to overpriced tuk-tuk. This year we didn’t rent a scooter but we did last time, and we had a full island tour. This year with a baby we just enjoyed.
We were accomodated in Shiralea bungalows. Its a well organized backpack resort. It has a main area with a restaurant and a bar. Prices were ok-ish and the food was very nice. You have free coffee. Only minus is mosquito swarm as there is a jungle behind the bungalows. In the pharmacy we found mosquito repellent that helped but you have to spray all the time. We found out from Australian mommy that there is a patch to be bought that you can put on babies back. Its most efficient but hard to find.
Haad Yao beach is one of our favorite beaches, not only on Thailand but whole South East Asia. Its not just beautiful but also has a lot of natural palm shade, water has four blue=green gradients, there is enough restaurants, bungalows and tourists to make it not crowded but with enough things to do. Its one of the places that you see as paradise beach, laying in the hammock, sipping tea or a coctail, surrounded by hippy Europeans that came with only one purpose – to chill. In the night you can see paper lampions being launched form the beach. Strong high and low tide, night sky, evening breeze. Perfect.
Bangkok once more
At the end of the jurney we stayed two days more in Bangkok this time in different hotel. Day before departure we went to our favorite street – Skukhumvit, Siam square, temples Wat Traimit and Wat Yannawa. Sukhumvit is great place to walk, you have a lot of shopping, interesting things to see and eat. Its the true Bangkok downtown. If you are into malls try Terminal 21, not the biggest but it is the sweetest. Wat Yannawa is temple a bit away from main attractions, its in the shape of a ship. Last day in Bangkok we had whole day free before the flight. We used it for shopping, we left our baggs in MBK mall that can keep your things for free. This is very good service as we would loose a lot of time to get back to accomodation and then to airport. As the flight approached baby went to sleep and he slept most of the time. We got bassinet again and we used it on both flights.
Baby in Thailand
Thailand is an awesome place to go with a baby. It is drastically more hospitable towards babies and young parents comparing with most north/west European countries. Relya enjoyed all the time of the trip, he had a lot of attention that he welcomed. Everyone was smiling to him, waving, talking (or trying at least), trying to hold him… In the subway he had full attention of a train, everyone was looking at him like he was Buddha reincarnation! He usually trying to find a “victim”, he looks at a person till this one turns complete attention to him. After that other people would join and start playing with him etc. With six months as he had then, he started getting fears from strangers and strange faces. But this trip to Thailand changed things dramatically. He enjoyed this trip more than we did, and we had tons of fun!