Does Thailand live up to family expectations?
Since the birth of our little one five years ago, our adventurous travels have been restricted to camping trips at one end of the scale and to all-inclusive family resorts in the Algarve at the other. But with our youngest reaching the trip minimum age of 5, we decided to book Intrepid’s Thailand Family – Land of Smiles.
I began reading the trip notes that I downloaded and my excitement was building around seeing the elephant sanctuary, hill top temples and exploring the khlongs of Bangkok. But there was also some nagging concerns about travelling as a family.
I couldn’t help wondering:
1. What would the hotels be like?
2. Did they really all have pools?
3. Would all the kids (three of them) be sleeping in the same room as us?
While the trip notes say there are pools and the hotels are family-friendly, my wife and I were still anxious about what to expect.
So what did we get and did it surpass the all-inclusive resort experience?
From a great centrally located hotel in Bangkok (with a pool), to charming well-appointed bungalows in Kanchanaburi (foot massages by the pool) and our Hua Hin resort with beach bar and pizzeria (a Thai family complex with games in the pool), all our accommodation got the family tick of approval!
Top Tip: Remember to bring enough of the right adaptors for mobiles, iPods etc. or even bring a power board. Thai sockets take 2 flat straight pins and electricity is 220 volts at 50hz.
YES! If Intrepid say all hotels will have pools, then guess what… they’ll all have pools. Our family spent half the trip learning about Buddhism in the many temples, wandering the street markets, jumping in and out of tuk-tuks… and the other half relaxing and playing by pool after pool. The perfectly balanced family holiday.
Top Tip: All hotels provide pool towels but make sure you pack your goggles and pool toys.
As a family of five we ended up with conjoining rooms (properly linked) in all but the one hotel, where we had charming bungalows next to each other. We couldn’t have asked for better or more sensitive handling of our needs. Parents in one room and kids in the other. But with the peace of mind that everyone is safe and within earshot.
Top Tip: Purchase water and soft drinks from the supermarket to stock the mini bar. It will save you at least 50% of the cost and Thailand is hot in the summer – you need to keep your fluids up.
How did it shape up to your average resort holiday?
The choice of accommodation and pools mean that you’re not compromising or worried about comfort levels. The pace is perfect with a few nights in each location, but not enough time to become a bit stale. So all in all you’ll feel like you’ve had an adventure, but also the chance for the best of resort relaxation and revitalisation.
Expectations exceeded. Well done Intrepid.
Have you travelled on a family adventure? Share your experiences and add your own comments below…