This is the first week of what will be a year living and travelling in Thailand with my husband and two sons, thanks to my New Colombo Plan Scholarship.
With all our belongings reduced to two backpacks and a pram, we began the flight from Sydney to Bangkok. I quite like flying by myself, but with a squirming baby on my lap for 9 hours I was very relieved to land again!
It has been 3 years since I was last in Thailand. The first day there I headed straight to the nearest market to eat some of the delicious food I had been missing. Hello fruit shakes, mango and sticky rice and Panang curry!
Boo was in the pram, which was tricky to navigate along narrow, bumpy footpaths, around market stalls and up and down stairs. It’s just too hot for the baby carrier most of the time though, so this is the next best option. I really feel for anyone in a wheelchair in Bangkok; at least we are able to lift the pram when we can’t get through.
Travelling with children in Bangkok can be a challenge, but it can be a lot of fun to experience it through the eyes of a child too. My eldest son, Sunny, just loves tuk tuks. Sometimes I think he pretends to be tired of walking just so we can ride in one. Boo gets a shocked look on his face every time we ride in a tuk tuk, with the wind blowing in his face as we zip through the traffic.
We went to some places we may not have without children too. Dusit Zoo was fantastic, and I was happy to see that the animals has space and looked well cared for there. It was like entering a lush jungle, with a path winding high through the trees and a lake with paddle boats. It was really affordable too, only 150 Baht (less than $6 Aud) for a foreign adult.
Batcat Toy Museum was another place we visited. For hardcore toy collectors (especially the superhero variety) this would probably be a dream come true. However, Mote and I found it boring while Sunny was terrified of the huge, looming characters, especially Terminator and The Joker! Poor Sunny walked around with his arm over his face until we made a quick escape.
We’ve seen some pretty amazing things already, but one of my favourite things to do is wander through the sois (streets) or just sit and watch the world around me. Street vendors, children playing, a squirrel scurrying across an electrical wire, a fisherman catching fish with a net; this is life.