How We Travel: Thailand
With the exception of Bangkok, we will stay in Thai style guesthouses. All accommodations have been carefully chosen to be as much a home-away-from-home as possible.
- Access to a kitchen Most days we will have use of a kitchen so hunger never needs to get in the way.
- 1– and 2–bedroom suites with a kitchen in Bangkok. (Chatrium Residence Sathorn or similar) A comfortable hotel with a beautiful pool, and a great breakfast buffet. It is in a quiet neighborhood with many nearby reasturants and shops, and a frequent shuttle to the Skytrain (the fast and clean public transportation system).
- BaanBooLoo Guesthouse in Chiang Mai will be our home for a week. This lovely house was built in the traditional country style, and nestled off a quiet side street, yet 2 blocks from Wat Phra Sing, one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai, and a central landmark. The house is located in the heart of restaurants,shops and markets. The rooms are mostly built up in the trees, designed to make the most of natural airflow patterns to keep cool (although all but one room also has air conditioning). The rooms are decorated with traditional textiles and handcrafted sinks, bathrooms designed with repurposed teak, and stocked with homemade natural soaps. Gorgeous foliage keeps the property cool so it feels like an oasis in the city. BaanBooLoo has its own organic garden used for breakfast and cooking classes. They are putting the finishing touches on a yoga/meditation studio across the road, in a traditional-style building moved to this site from the countryside, that will be ready for us to use for open-air yoga. (BaanBooLoo does not have a pool, but there is a hotel pool nearby we can use.)
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- Our village homestay will be a terrific authentic rustic adventure that we will experience together. We will share the home of a village farmer, living as they do for a day. (I will have stayed in every possible village with my own children before making the final choice for our group, to be assured of the safety and quality of the experience. More details to come.) And if you are not comfortable with this option, we will arrange for you to spend the night in a guesthouse. (Chai Lai Orchid or similar)
- Travel like locals We will travel like the locals as much as possible—hiding behind the darkened windows of an air conditioned bus does not do much for the feeling of immersion. So we will travel by tuk tuk (motorcycle taxi), song thaew (covered pickup truck taxi), by foot and bicycle, and train and public bus whenever possible. (With the exception of Bangkok where it isn’t always practical.)
- Our overnight train ride will be in second-class cars, comfortable and air-conditioned, yet providing a much more interactive experience than flying. We will feel the journey, the distance we travel, and the scope of the countryside. The trains have 40-berth cars, each berth with a pull curtain for privacy. There are bathrooms on the train, and a dining car or at-your-seat service available for meals (which are surprisingly good). Flights or first class compartments can be alternately arranged for $75/per person.
Guides are chosen for their knowledge, sense of fun, ability to enjoy and engage kids, and their English-language skills.