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> Traveling with my 2yr old, would like to meet local families
umamna
post Jul 31 2008, 07:50 AM
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Hi there!

I have spent about 3 days on and off and all around the fourm and I cant find the answers to a few questions I have. Sorry if they have already been answered.

Being a mommie the first questions I will ask about my daughter.

Is there a law about having a child in a car seat while driving? Are they availble if so? what modes of transport we should avoid (tuk tuks?)

Should I bother to bring her pram/stroller/trolley thing to wheel her in? Were staying about 4 nights in bangkok and the rest in Chiang mai chiang dho about 13 nights total. I think I might want to skip it.

Is the street food safe for her to eat? We dont dig on swine or anything near it, like the same cookware if possible. Should we steer clear of the vendors? Should she get a hep A shot?

Also I am especially mindful of the local culture. I would like to meet a family without upsetting them. and introduce Amna (my daughter) to some Thai babies! If I brought them a small gift from my home that is from the local culture here, like a small hand crafted doll or something would they be receptive? Is it possibe for us to stay with them or at least share a meal if offered, being we dont eat pork? I dont want to upset them or get into a situation. ( love Paul's stance on how western civilization errodes the whole family unit peeps need to wake up to the life were living) If meeting them is not possible what can we actively do to help other than preventing more damage?

I would like to do as much trekking around as possible. I like to use herbal bug repellant is this enough or do I need to expose ourselves to deet to ward off malaria?

Also a friend of mine is from the Hmung tribe but was born in the US, shes not so into her culture, unfortunately, but she mentioned they have baby carriers. Is a 2.5 year old too big for one? I would rather buy one from the locals than splurge on a baby backback thing to manage her while trekking.

God forbid it please, but if we need a hospital or some clinic, there around? (My mother thinks im crazy and does not want me to go with our "princess")

Also Im an herbalist (not that kind!) Im an herbal doctor! Is there someway to link up with any thai herbalists?

Ok did I bother you all enough?

Thanks again for all of your info in advance!!!

With gratitude, flowers.png

Heidi


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curt1591
post Jul 31 2008, 08:55 PM
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I don't know if there is a law, but I have only seen one person use a car seat in Thailand. In the back seats, no one even wears seat belts.

A sling/backpack carrier would probably serve you better than stroller. Uneven, cluttered, crowded sidewalks aren't conducive to carriages.

Stick to busy, hot-off-the-burner delights, and you will be fine. The finest food in Thailand is from the small carts, stalls, and shops. With limited menus, they do a better job.

Most contamination comes from your own hands. Bring along plenty of sanitary wipes and tissues for cleaning up before eating.

Many small eateries use a single wok. If they serve any pork dishes, the pork has hit the wok. Although they rinse and scorch the woks, there may still be some pork "seasoning".

I strongly recommend Hep A vaccination for anyone, anywhere. Personal hygiene is practiced so rarely, worldwide. A friend was concern about the cost of the vaccine, so he asked a Los Angeles clinic operator if Hep A vaccine was really need for Thailand. He was told that Hep A was needed for Los Angeles !!!

I would consult a doctor about Hep A vaccine with a young child.

Thais aren't typically "outgoing". It would be difficult to form a personal relationship in such a short time. There are homestays, but I don't know how real these may be.

You can, however, let your kid run loose at a McDonalds, KFC, or a Central Department Store's play area. This might also be a foot in the door for a lunch invite.

Unless you are heavily pounding the boarder regions, Malaria isn't really a concern. Dengue is another matter.

We have had limited success with lemon grass based repellents, but they need constant re-application. We have returned to a mild deet lotion.

Around larger cities, great medical care can be found. As an herbalist, you are doing a lot of your own doctoring anyway. If you require any heavy medications, Thai pharmacies will dispense just about any medication, unless they possess any "recreational" value. Antibiotics, antihistamines, and such are dispensed OTC.

It's might not be a bad idea to get emergency evacuation medical insurance, just in case of something catastrophic occurs. Maybe mom will spring for it.

If you are in Bangkok, during a weekday lunch period, I would strongly recommend United Center Silom's 3rd floor food court. Here you will find my ->favorite vegetarian eatery<- in the world (this, from a hard core meat eater!).

United Center is next to Bangkok Bank, across Silom from Bangkok Christian Hospital.

Here are some ->additional suggestions<-. The carts are small, single item eateries, the woks are food courts, and the fork/spoons are more sit down restaurants


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umamna
post Jul 31 2008, 10:56 PM
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Thanks so much for your time and all of that information. You helped to put things into perspective.

Ill let you know about the veggie restaurant! Thanks for the heads up.

If you need a good deal on a magic carpet let me know, Ill hook you up! Hehe

Peace flowers.png
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curt1591
post Aug 1 2008, 01:46 AM
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This news article will put Dengue into perspective. Not trying to scare you; just letting you know where the real mosquito threat lies.


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umamna
post Aug 1 2008, 07:37 AM
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OK, Ill try not to be too scared blink.gif

Well, I guess its hard to get around these days without something killing you. There was a disease going around like this in the States called west nile virus, some thought it was a conspiricy... like it was a man made virus. But Im not sure if it was fatal.

Well, guess ill be shootin my daughter up with man made weakened viruses and slathering her with cancer causing repelent to trade in this hot A#$ dusty concrete jungle with 2 weeks of paradise. Seems fair enough.
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Paul
post Aug 1 2008, 08:13 AM
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Hi - I think Curt has covered most things.

The repellent thing - I use natural stuff with no Deet - have for years here and also for the year I worked as a tour leader in Borneo - always found it sufficient. So if you don't like using Deet, I think you should feel free not to. Certainly no such stuff goes on my 4 month old daughter.


I think there would be some nice home stays available and ways for you to interact with locals and local kids - but ???? I really don't have any contacts in Chiang Mai any more. I hope someone else can help you out.


I remember a number of years ago I was due to stay in a temple within the walled part of Chiang Mai with a group. As we were arriving, some of the locals mentioned that they weren't happy with the idea of Western women staying at the temple. The abbot was away in Burma at the time, and so as to ensure we didn't cause any problems, we quickly agreed that the girls would stay elsewhere. But where??? Within about 30 minutes news had gotten out and we had two lovely ladies come and they asked the girls to stay in their homes that were next to the temple. So it is very possible - maybe just get away from the main tourist scene and smile and mix with people and something will happen???


I agree eating from street stalls should be fine. About not eating pork - many street stalls specialise in one or two meals - so I think you should be able to find ones that haven't been cooking pork. Also there is a Muslim street running North (I think) from the Northern wall - so that'd be a good place to eat and get no pork.


Herbal medicines - I know attached to Chiang Rai Hospital is a place that sells herbal medicines. Been meaning to check it out for ages but haven't yet.
I think if you search around you'll find plenty of herbal places - particularly Chinese herbal shops in Chiang Mai. Maybe the universities have some info on Thai herbal medicines.


When are you coming? Next week there are some festivities and info for the National Indigenous Peoples day - probably some stalls that may have slings etc.


Pram - yeah I wouldn't take it. The sling I think it is good. Will your 2 year old be comfortable???? Maybe if you haven't found something within a couple of days buy a baby back pack thing from a store in Chiang Mai.



Are you going to Doi Chiang Dao? There is a guy that runs a guest house there and also keeps a website or blog up to date with all sorts of useful info. Try to search for that and he may be able to help you with your home stay idea.



Have I covered everything yet?

Hope you have a great time.


Oh - the seat belts - the law just says the front passengers have to wear them. Baby seats are available in Thailand but they are expensive. Hmmm, up to you?
I don't think you have to avoid songtaews or tuk tuks.

Tell the driver to drive slowly - "Bpai Cha Cha"
If he forgets, smile and tell him again (and again until he understands that you want to go slowly). If you get one that doesn't get it - Stop = "Yut"
But I think most drivers will be good and will want to help you.
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curt1591
post Aug 1 2008, 06:39 PM
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QUOTE(Paul @ Aug 1 2008, 06:13 AM) *

Hi - I think Curt has covered most things.

The repellent thing - I use natural stuff with no Deet - have for years here and also for the year I worked as a tour leader in Borneo - always found it sufficient. So if you don't like using Deet, I think you should feel free not to. Certainly no such stuff goes on my 4 month old daughter.


Specifically, which repellent, au naturale, seems to work for you?

In the past, I have had limited success with natural repellents. Now they seem to have absolutely no effect. I have also gone through stages in my life where mosquitoes eat me alive, and stages where I seem invisible (without any repellent).

People are different and repellents are different. You might not appeal to mosquitoes and/or maybe you got lucky and picked up a potion that works.

Personally, I wouldn't advise someone against something that is proven to work, and recommended by most sources.

BTW, although DEET is a chemical (life is chemicals), and, in higher concentrations, can do some nasty things, no reliable research has it linked to cancer.

I might suggest trying what you may, but be prepared (my 10 years of scouting kicking in!).


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Paul
post Aug 1 2008, 08:03 PM
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Hi. I have used various stuff with Citronella and all seem to work. Bigger problem is that some of the spray bottles - the nozzle gets clogged up.

Obviously covering up and wearing long sleeves and pants is another way that seems to be pretty chemical free - should be considered also.

Incidentally - Tiger balm also seems very effective at keeping mosquitoes away, not that you probably want to put too much of that on your child.

And sometimes you'll check into a guest house room that is full of mosquitoes. Burning some mosquito coils while you are off somewhere else, usually sorts that out.

Otherwise mosquitoes don't seem to be a significant issue to prevent you or your 2 year old enjoying your trip.
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curt1591
post Aug 1 2008, 09:28 PM
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QUOTE(Paul @ Aug 1 2008, 06:03 PM) *

Obviously covering up and wearing long sleeves and pants is another way that seems to be pretty chemical free - should be considered also.


This is my method of choice. I do have to tidy up those small exposed parts though, a little dab behind the ears. crying_anim02.gif I figure I can live with that much exposure to DEET.


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umamna
post Aug 2 2008, 07:35 AM
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Ill pack the "bug blend" by california baby. its exceptional! lemon, eucalyptus, citronella, aloe vera, yucca, irish moss, arnica, calendula, nettle, gotu kola, candelilla wax, and some other stuff too. (incase any one might need to know!) The eucalyptus in the tiger balm is what must be keeping them away.

We will get some deet just in case, and those coils sound like a good idea too.

Were arriving on the 19th, staying in Reflections in Bangkok, the 3 sis guesthouse, the Chiang Dao Nest and finally in the Old Bangkok Inn. Hope I picked some good ones. After some further research I think I will find what im looking for with the Chiang Dao Nest's treks and tours.

well, this is the first run with a baby in my pack this time. I used to carry a 50 lb pack, but not one smaking my head! The days of the solo treks are now officially behind me. baby.gif

Thanks to both of you guys for your time.

Ill be sure to practice my "Bpai Cha Cha" If bangkok is anything like Cairo.

Peace- Heidi




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Paul
post Aug 2 2008, 09:49 AM
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Chiang Dao Nest sounds familiar - check with them about their thoughts for Chiang Mai and maybe meeting some other people with kids or doing home stays. They may be able to put you onto something.


I have never been to Cairo - but I don't imagine Bangkok and Cairo will be the same - you'll have to let us know though.


Enjoy yourself
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mja1906
post Aug 8 2008, 05:16 AM
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I think its great that you would love your own child to meet other Thai children, its a definite eye opener and theres a lot foreigners can learn from family life here.

Its also good that despite all the precautions you need to take you're not put off your travels. Working in the tourism here, we have had a lot of families with young children come and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. So I can personally vouch for the fact that it can be done, and it is safe!

Homestays and hilltribe visits in the North will allow you to get to know a local family and makes for great cultural immersion.


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