Mar 29, 2011

Two Months On: Kids Progress Report

We’ve been on the road now for just over 2 months—wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been that long!  We are now in our 4th country, Cambodia, which is new territory for all of us. We’re still continuing to travel well, at the same time we’ve had old issues resolved, new ones come up, and some on-going ones that we still tackle. 


Mar 25, 2011

Amazing Thailand

It’s been an interesting time here in Thailand—we’ve spent 30 days, managing to visit Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Pai, and Aranya Prathet.  While this is my second and it’s Jim’s 3rd visit, each time it was under different circumstances:  travelling as a young twenty-something single (Jim), then as a couple in our early 30’s and now as a family in our 40’s with 2 young children.  These circumstances no doubt affect your perspective as well as your experience and type of interaction with others.  While we had been to all but Aranya Prathet on our travels before, we still managed to discover lots of new sights mostly as a result of travelling with children.

Mar 20, 2011

A Special Moment at Doi Suthep

We visited one of northern Thailand’s most sacred temples yesterday, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located on a hilltop about 20km north of Chiang Mai.  The guidebooks advise that you try to avoid the wat on weekends due to large numbers of Thais visiting to pay homage, but nevertheless we found ourselves there on a Sunday morning and it turned out to be the a very special visit.

Mar 19, 2011

Pai-radise Not Found

Well, we hit a low-point in our travels yesterday, brought upon by sheer ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.  It was probably inevitable to happen at some point.  In any case, we have come out on the other side, intact and a bit wiser, so not a total loss.

Mar 16, 2011

How To Cut The Cost of Travel Vaccinations

In preparing for this trip, travel vaccinations played a major role.   Upon researching this further, we soon realised that there were two big issues to deal with:  1) the accessibility of good advice and 2) the cost of the vaccinations for a family of 4.  

While trolling the travel forums, we noticed that specialist ‘Travel Clinics’ were the popular route.  However, there was usually a hefty premium to pay (priced per person) to receive advice from these ‘specialists’, not to mention the accessibility to a good clinic near us. 

Mar 14, 2011

Chiang Mai Zoo At Last

At the moment we are in Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand and once the capital of the ancient state of Lanna Thai.  Among a whole host of attractions vying for your attention here, there is a large zoo which I’ve regretted not seeing 7 yrs ago when we were here last, particularly for its Giant Panda exhibit.  So this time, with children in tow, there was definitely no excuse!

Mar 13, 2011

Parents, The Unconventional Backpacker

Not sure if it’s just because we’re getting old and jaded, but some of the backpackers that we’ve been encountering in Thailand have been really pissing us off with their ignorance and self absorption.  Sure backpackers by and large are young and usually 20-something out to discover the world.  And 20-something’s can be (but of course not always!) by definition, ‘self absorbed’, but whatever happened to being socially aware and socially sensitive.  How and why do you travel if you aren’t interested in any of this?  We had 2 minor incidences so far,

Mar 7, 2011

The Royal Elephant Karaal, Ayutthaya

Some of the elephants at the karaal
Back at the end of 2001, Jim and I read about the Royal Elephant Karaal in Ayutthaya and had a chance to visit.  We remembered it as a special place where it was very low key, un-touristy and best of all, you could get up close and personal with these amazing animals.  So on this trip, we wanted to share this with the girls. We rented some bicycles in Ayutthaya and rode the 3km or so out to the karaal.  The elephant karaal was just as we’d remembered it, but even better.

Mar 3, 2011

A Tale of Two Days: Kanchanaburi

It was just one of those days where pretty much the only thing that went right was breakfast; after that it was pretty much a disaster! We had great plans and good intentions, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  We did however all survive it in one piece and in surprisingly good spirits with no injuries so all in all, it could have been worse!  

After breakfast we set out on foot