Thailand: rethinking the itinerary to make it family friendly

As I explained in my previous post How a solo trip became a family trip, I’m going to Thailand with my parents and my aunt. I’m very excited! However, that meant that I had to rethink my itinerary to become our itinerary and make it family friendly. I would like them to enjoy and what I wanted to do was a little bit hard for them.

It’s not the same when you travel with your family, which is not used to travel at all. It’s so difficult to decide what to do and where to go. When you travel solo, it’s up to you. If you travel with friends, everyone look into something so then you can discuss and decide all together. But this case is different. They told me that whatever I choose will be perfect. However, I felt that it was a huge responsibility and I put a lot of pressure on myself. Even though I knew they trusted me and they didn’t mind where to go, yet I had doubts and hesitations.

Ok so, what did I want to do? Travelling around a lot and long distances. I wanted to get to Chiang Mai and Pai after a couple of days in Bangkok and then head to the Gulf of Thailand to spend a relaxing time in Koh Tao and Koh Samui. Sounds great right? Problem, we have only two weeks, and it means a lot of travelling. So, I asked myself “Are they going to enjoy it? Or is it going to be too much, too exhausting?”

Chiang Mai and Pai are quite far from Bangkok, however there is a night train (I wanted to avoid internal flights as much as possible), meaning that you don’t miss a day commuting. Cool, right? I though, perfect, sorted then.

Well… yes, but the challenge was how to get from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao or Koh Samui within a budged, without wasting too much time and comfortably enough for my parents and aunty. After a proper research and, assessing the pros and cons, I decided to give it up and look for an alternative route. It will have to be in another occasion.

Ok, so what then? I though “let’s divide the trip into sections”: cultural and relax. One week each. It helped me to look for alternatives. For the relaxing week I’ve actually been loyal the initial plan: Koh Tao and Koh Samui.  These two islands appealed me the most , much more than Phuket or Phi Phi as I’ve heard that they are very touristic. Yes, I know, it’s Thailand and nowadays it’s very difficult to find an out of the beaten path spot, and even more when you have budget and time limitations. However, these two islands seem still more authentic than the Andaman Sea options. I won’t be able to compare them, but I will share my thoughts when I’m back.

The first week was more complicated and I entered in a hesitation loop. I’m pretty stubborn and still wanted to fit Chiang Main in the trip:

Bangkok -Chiang Mai-Pai-Krabi-Koh Tao…

Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Pai-Krabi…

Chiang Mai-Pai-Koh Tao-Koh Samui…

aaaaarrrrgggg I was going mad and starting to lose focus. None of these ideas were family friendly.

So I looked for things to do close to Bangkok. I found some interesting ideas in different blogs and sites and suddenly it was it!! I found the solution: Kanchanabury and the Erawan national park and Ayutthaya. Both are close to Bangkok (around 3h and 2h) and also close to each other (about 3h).

I shared it with my family and they were very happy with it: my dad was very happy with the idea of seeing the Erawan park and its seventh level waterfalls (well, we’ll see which level we are able to reach); my mum about the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, the old capital of the Kingdom of Siam; and my aunt about the second week in the islands and shopping in Bangkok. There is a little bit for everyone. I found the balance that I wanted. I’m pretty sure that we are going to have a great time.

Bangkok-Kanchanaburi-Ayutthaya-Koh Tao-Koh Samui: here we go! See you in three weeks, yeiiiiiiiiiiiiii

Next step: how to connect the points and accommodation, all within a budget.

Stay around witties!

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