Thailand, Land of Smiles
NEW for 2011 · A Great New, Exciting Destination
Flights and Transfers: Direct flights with Thai Airways from London Heathrow. Domestic flight between Chiang Mai and Bangkok with Thai Airways. Flight schedules and preferred airlines can change.
Transport included: Minibus, boat, tuk-tuk, overnight train, domestic flight.
Accommodation included: Hotels/guesthouses (5nts), bungalows (6nts), berth on overnight train (1nt) You’ll stay in well located properties, which reflect the character of the area you’re visiting. The overnight train has bunks with bedding provided.
Meals included: Meals included- 12 breakfasts & 1 dinner.
Approx Local Costs
11 breakfasts and 1 evening meal are included on this trip. You must pay for all other meals yourself (you can eat quite well for between £5-10 per day). Approximate average costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.
Some or all of the excursions detailed below may be available. Approximate costs are given for guidance only and may depend on the number of participants. Your Group Leader should be able to assist you in arranging them.
After our overnight flight to Bangkok, our adventure in Thailand begins with an exhilarating ride by long-tailed boat along Bangkok's klongs (canals), remember James Bond racing through the Bangkok canals in The Man with the Golden Gun! . We will pause at fantastic temples with their golden spires, bizarre statues and saffron-robed Buddhist monks.
Heading south, we'll slow right down for a few days on the beautiful, relatively undeveloped tropical island of Koh Samet, smaller and quieter than its better known neighbours Phuket and Koh Samui. The warm seas and palm-fringed beaches provide the perfect location for adults and children to relax on white sand beaches or take part in water-based activities such as windsurfing, snorkelling or boat trips. Local restaurants on the beach provide inexpensive and tasty food and there are several easy walks to enjoy if anyone wants to explore the island further.
We then head North travelling by ferry, road and finally in the evening we board a comfortable sleeper train and journey to the pleasant northern city of Chiang Mai. Dinner and drinks can be bought on the train, but most people prefer to buy a selection of local dishes from the numerous stalls in and around the station, and have a picnic dinner on board. The train is quite comfortable - bedding is provided and curtained bunks provide some privacy. Your children will love this journey!
Chiang Mai has a slower pace of life. Wander at your own pace and soak up the atmosphere of the most important of Thailand's northern cities, with a history dating back to the 13th century and beyond. Your Mango co ordinator can arrange an optional cycle tour of the backstreets and outlying villages giving a fascinating glimpse of ordinary Thai life. In the evening we can wander amongst the stalls and hawkers of the city's night market.
In contrast to city life we head into spectacular mountain territory on our way to Soppong where you can join in one of the optional activities on offer. Elephant trekking is one possibility - much loved by adults and children alike (please advise our UK office when booking if you wish to take part in this optional activity as elephants may not always be available). The countryside is lush with vegetation, with rivers and streams to cross, and hills to climb - an adventure that will make your children the envy of their friends. A further optional trip takes you on a trek to one of the local hilltribe villages to spend an unforgettable night as guests of the villagers the interaction between their children and yours will become a highlight of the trip!
Whilst in Chiang Mai we usually find time for an optional trip to visit a project we support – The Garden Orphanage. They would love to receive a gift!
The walking and trekking are optional (as are the river tubing and elephant riding) so you can choose your family's level of participation; any healthy child or adult should be able to take part. It's really more a case of preparing and adjusting mentally to Asian culture and tribal life. Seasoned travellers are unlikely to have any problem with this. Minimum age: 5 years.
The climate is tropical with little fluctuation in temperature through the year.
Hot - March to May - average high in Chiang Mai is 34-36°C
Bangkok tends to be fairly hot and humid throughout the year, whereas the hills outside Chiang Mai are generally cooler and drier - it can get very cold at night during the cool season
Mango Holidays sometimes referred to as MangoKids run holidays for single parents with their children. Small families with just one or two children are often penalised by the big tour operators who charge for two adults. Mango is the only tour operator to offer a discount to these small families for all children up to the age of 16 travelling with just one adult. Going on a Mango Holiday is an opportunity for single parents to meet other single parents and many single parents become friends and stay in touch after their holiday. Mango is not a single parent dating organisation. If you are interested in single parent dating you should check out our links page, which recommends a few organisations helping single parents meet. Being single with kids can be a daunting experience but it can be fun and we have designed a programme of holidays and weekend breaks for solo travellers with children to make sure they have some fun. Our solo holidays for single parents with children consist of adventure and activity breaks, ski holidays and holidays in the sun. Mango single parent holidays take place in the UK and overseas. In the UK we have holidays in Devon, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire and we have a Christmas Party weekend in Warwickshire at the end of November. Mango holidays for single parent families overseas travel to Mallorca, Malta, Cyprus, Jersey, Morocco and Lapland to see Santa.