Since we are not traveling with the child especially(trips to the estates do not count), I want to offer you a guest post from our virtual acquaintances Gil and Yulia, who have already tasted the charm and all the difficulties of traveling with a child in Asia.
Even before the wedding and before our son was born,we have always traveled on our own. I do not remember that we have ever ordered a tour at a travel agency, but we managed to travel around most of Europe, and we had experience of traveling abroad, so to speak. After our last trip there, we realized that there we were no longer interested - everything is the same: a hotel, monuments, squares, cafes and restaurants, but I wanted to taste some exotic things.
If the vast majority of people are calmspend life in a work-home-vacation-work-home format, then we wanted some kind of dynamics - to find some new expensive or, if you will, unprecedented paths, or, as they say, give a chance to another life. After all, a long journey will certainly affect you and your view of the world, and even if you have to return to the same place, you will still come back as a different person, with different views on life.
Already now we feel these changes, within time, the meaning of the pursuit of material values is lost, you understand that in the end this is rubbish, and the real moments of happiness in life are rarely related to what you have accumulated in the chest under the bed.
Let's just say that the trip was plannedlong, but first we needed a soft landing - a place where you can fly, look around, acclimatize and get used to SEA a bit. And thus, it was decided to first fly to Thailand for 3 months, and then try to visit the neighboring countries. At the beginning of our journey, our son was a year and 8 months old.
Like all other people gathering in suchthe trip, the preparation took place through the Internet - forums were read, articles were written out from blogs and all sorts of information was collected. As it turned out in the future, most of it was absolutely unnecessary. In fact, one big porridge reigned in my head, and it felt like I could never deal with it. But gradually the information was postponed and somehow gained a certain meaning, and by the time of departure on 11/08/2011 we were more or less ready to go.
At that time, our surroundings were horrified — wherehave we suffered? They showered with questions what will happen next and scarecrow us with scary tales about the fact that Thailand is a third world country, there is a complete lack of sanitation everywhere, there are no normal doctors, prostitution, drugs, etc. It got to the point that we were told about the flourishing of children in these parts and our boy can simply be stolen. Well, we, as stubborn young parents, decided not to listen to anyone and go in front of their dream and see everything with our own eyes.
Thus, leaving behind everyday work andhaving a familiar life behind, having bought backpacks, we flew to Thailand and began to get used to it. I will not say that at first there was no cultural shock, it was, but for a very short time. In the end, it turned out that it was difficult to wish for a better place for acclimatization and to begin our journey ..
Gradually, we began to get used to the localcustoms, customs, lifestyle and mentality, local cuisine. Since then, we have already managed to go to Cambodia, Laos and Manyama (Burma), but always returned to Thailand as home, I’m not lying if I say that we really loved this country.
It's only been 7 months sincewe left our home, but during this time we saw and lived through so many beautiful moments as we didn’t have time for it all our lives before. And our journey is still continuing, very soon we will fly to Vietnam and China.
The most important thing was to understand that the child did nothinder travel, and if you really want to go, children are not a hindrance. I will not say that it is easy, definitely there are difficulties - a small child needs daytime sleep and a regimen, so forget about the night festivities or some of your joys of life ... or look for a decent babysitter among the local population.
Sightseeing walks cansignificantly reduced due to your baby's mood, heat, etc. But despite all the difficulties, it’s still worth it, believe me. When else would we have the opportunity to spend so much time together? Our son has learned all the animals visually, and not from pictures and is not afraid of anything. He is swimming in the sea of attention, which people in any Asian fear give and give him in general, in my opinion, he is better off here than we, the adults. He is with his parents, and not in some kind of kindergarten, where he would be sick every month or with nannies.
We are sometimes asked how the child is affected.permanent travel? So I will tell you that when we travel a child has many new experiences and emotions, and he is calm, and when we linger in one place, after a few days he begins to feel bored and capricious, so it looks like our traveler is growing.
Going to Asia with a child for a longperiod, it is necessary to solve some questions concerning your family - to be vaccinated against local ills, to arm yourself with a first-aid kit and to arrange insurance in case of trouble. If the first things were relatively simple, then collecting the first-aid kit turned out to be problematic, I wanted to have everything with me for any occasion, but in fact it turned out that almost all medicines and medicines are sold in pharmacies, and the doctor will write you the rest.
Arriving in any of the tropical countries, always use mosquito repellent and the sun, it will save you from unnecessary trouble.
The most painful topic in traveling with a childThis, of course, luggage. If alone you can be completely satisfied with a 55-liter backpack and a bag for a passport and money, then the family is already 50+ kilograms in backpacks + hand luggage kilograms per 15. And if in detail: we have 2 backpacks one 55 l, the second 75 l, In addition to this, there is still a rather large bag on wheels, in which all children's things go - a saucepan, an el. single burner tiles, cereals, diapers, etc. With so much luggage, foot crossings are limited to meters, but this is not scary, because there are always taxis or tuk-tuk everywhere, we have never had any problems with transportation in Asia.
Baby stroller, in principle, need, at leastfirst time. When choosing a stroller, the largest role is played by its size and weight, for it will very often be carried on its hands, and not driven. Sidewalks in Asia are only one name - they are either not at all, or they are poorly adapted for pushing a carriage, very high curbs or too broken. A sling can serve as a good alternative, we did not have it, but very often we thought about its necessity. We ourselves used the stroller for the first 4 months, after our baby had gotten strong and started walking well on the streets, we threw it out.
This is how our entire baggage looks today, alllife in three bags (one was torn a little on the plane, we had to hurry up with a plaster), I don’t understand that we have a warehouse in our container house, because there’s everything for life.
There are also some search features.home and hotel when traveling with a child. Leaving alone or as a couple, you don’t think too much about where to live, as if you’re thinking too, but the priorities are completely different. With a child there are minimum criteria for renting a house and a hotel room:
At the first stage, we looked for hotels in whichThere is an opportunity to cook porridge or some soup for a child, in other words, these are hotel rooms with a kitchenette or so-called Serviced appartments. They are in Bangkok, Krabi and the big islands, but the problem is that their number is relatively small, and their prices are much higher. Later in Cambodia, I thought, why don't we buy an electric burner. What a pity that this thought did not come before, it would immediately expand our range of hotels and guesthouses, and also save a lot of money.
The second criterion is air conditioning and the lack ofany cracks in the walls of your home. Since Yulia is with a medic, she cannot allow herself to sleep with open windows through which mosquitoes that are carriers of diseases or any other poisonous biting evil can fly. We might have endured such a disease, but endangering the child at such a risk? So we always settled in places with air conditioning and without any cracks.
Security of the house itself and the surrounding area. The houses that we rented have always been either without steps and balconies or with protective railing through which the child cannot climb and fall, the same applies to hotel rooms - balconies should always be safe.
At the first stage, we booked hotels throughInternet, but Internet sites take a fee for their services, and most likely, if you call the hotel directly, it will be cheaper or at least at the same price as on the Internet. But if you pay attention, when booking for example on the Agoda site, the price is one, and when you are going to pay you take additional taxes, which makes the price higher than 12 percent. So find a hotel on the Internet and call them directly. In Cambodia and Laos, for example, the difference between the Internet and direct arrival to the hotel and booking on site was often half the price, not to mention that half of the guesthouses do not exist on the Internet at all.
There are cribs in most hotels in Thailand, but they are rare in neighboring countries, so your child will sleep with you or on a couch attached.
This is our first home in Ao Nang, it was worthexpensive by local standards, but then we were still green, inexperienced, could not properly deal with finding a home and, as they say, time was running out and it was necessary to decide something.
Food: The most difficult thing is, perhaps, to figure out how and what to feed the child in Asia, the local food will probably not be to his liking, and then some problems will arise.
You can, of course, ask the hotel staff,in the kitchen to cook something else, such as scrambled eggs or pancakes, or go to the tray on the street where they sell food, and ask them to cook chicken soup or something like that. But the best solution is to have a small hotplate with you.
Although infant formula and diapers are available in allthe countries we visited, in some of them it was difficult to find such stores. Fresh milk is everywhere in Thailand, but in other countries only in large stores in large cities. Therefore, it was often necessary to buy pasteurized milk. If oatmeal can be found in Tae without problems, buckwheat and semolina are not everywhere, so take your favorite cereals with you.
Moving and travel: Do not drive yourself to travel. When we move, we try to stay in one place for about a week or at least 4 nights. This gives you the opportunity to learn a better place and rest from the move and everything connected with it. After each “hard” (with long crossings, bad roads, etc.) of the country, we stay in Thailand for a month, that is, for the entire term of the visa. This makes it possible to have a good rest and gain strength before the next country.
Avoid long trips on the bus, because they are relatively close, and the child may be bored and capricious, not to mention the fact that long journeys are just tedious.
Alternatively, use trains betterthey have a place to turn around and terribly convenient. But there is a small nuance, see that you are not sold to both the ticket to the upper shelves, there is little space and it is just scary to sleep at a height of 2 meters from the floor with a small child.
In many countries it is better to move around the countryby boat or ferry. If you have to sail on a ferry, try to get on a big and slow one, which carries cars, not a speedboat. For high-speed ferries that ply between Suratani and Phangan / Samui, for example, are very heavily swayed and can go to hell for 2-3 hours. Have pills for motion sickness just in case and take them before you get on the ferry.
On the boat we swam only once, but the triplasted 2 days. It was a rafting on the Mekong River with Huayxay in Luang Prabang (in Laos). In this place it was the best way to travel around the country, the alternative was a 14-hour bus ride on mountain serpentines. The rafting went absolutely calmly, without incident, the child has a place to run on a boat, and she swims slowly and absolutely does not rock the river, and there is beauty on the sides .. local landscapes, mountains and many interesting things.
Moto-bike: Here, each parent must decide for himself whether he will use a moto bike or not, for whatever it may be, it is still dangerous. On the other hand, if you do not rent it, it severely limits your ability to choose your home, travel and sightseeing in the area. We used a motorbike on Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Kep in Cambodia. If you decide to get on a motorbike with a child, be sure to buy a helmet for him, such that it covers the back of the head and never drive at more than 40 km / h
In our blog, we describe the places that wevisited, share experiences and of course a variety of photos. We still have few household posts, for the simple reason that due to the large number of movements we simply do not have time to describe everything. But as soon as we settle somewhere for a longer period, we will definitely describe everything, but for now we can answer all your questions with pleasure.
Some photos from places where we were:
So, of course, you can continue indefinitely,photos turned out to be much more than can be accommodated in one guest post. Come and visit us at NashThai.ru. Have a nice day and interesting trips, friends!
Life hacking 1 - how to buy a good insurance
Choosing insurance is now unrealistically difficult, so to help all travelers, I compile a rating. To do this, I constantly monitor forums, study insurance contracts and use insurance by myself.
Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper
First, choose a hotel on Booking. They have a good offer base, but the prices are NOT the best! The same hotel can often be found 20% cheaper in other systems through the RoomGuru service.
Life hacking 1 - how to buy a good insurance
Life hacking 2 - how to find a hotel 20% cheaper