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Atrecord

Advice on vacation in Bangkok/Cambodia/Vietnam

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I'm thinking of bringing my parents and kids (total 6 of us) for a short vacation in Dec.

My parents are in their early/mid 80s, and my mother can only walk very slowly, and not too long distance. They are also scared of cold, so we're thinking of going to one of the Indochina countries, for maybe 3-5 days. (After we come back, we'll likely go for another trip maybe a week or so, to Korea, but without my parents, who cannot tahan the cold...)

I'm not familiar with any of these countries, so am hoping that anyone here who is, can provide some advice on which of Bangkok, Cambodia, Vietnam is nice and easy to go around?

Kids are in S2 and S4, so have outgrown the theme park stage. I know it's not easy for their interests to match nicely with the grandparents, but they're quite close, so should be able to accommodate/compromise a bit.

Any advice or suggestion is welcomed - as i'm just starting to read up and find out on this.

Thanks.

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11 hours ago, Atrecord said:

I'm thinking of bringing my parents and kids (total 6 of us) for a short vacation in Dec.

My parents are in their early/mid 80s, and my mother can only walk very slowly, and not too long distance. They are also scared of cold, so we're thinking of going to one of the Indochina countries, for maybe 3-5 days. (After we come back, we'll likely go for another trip maybe a week or so, to Korea, but without my parents, who cannot tahan the cold...)

I'm not familiar with any of these countries, so am hoping that anyone here who is, can provide some advice on which of Bangkok, Cambodia, Vietnam is nice and easy to go around?

Kids are in S2 and S4, so have outgrown the theme park stage. I know it's not easy for their interests to match nicely with the grandparents, but they're quite close, so should be able to accommodate/compromise a bit.

Any advice or suggestion is welcomed - as i'm just starting to read up and find out on this.

Thanks.

Indochina ruled out in my opinion. Zero friendliness in terms of for disabled.  

Central Bangkok would be pretty good. The siam square or central world region is family friendly. U can hire a vehicle if u need to go elsewhere i guess. But chillax vacation. 
But most streets in these countries won't be wheelchair friendly. Except the broader ones beside central world and siam square.

Edited by Lala81
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23 hours ago, Lala81 said:

Indochina ruled out in my opinion. Zero friendliness in terms of for disabled.  

Central Bangkok would be pretty good. The siam square or central world region is family friendly. U can hire a vehicle if u need to go elsewhere i guess. But chillax vacation. 
But most streets in these countries won't be wheelchair friendly. Except the broader ones beside central world and siam square.

Thanks. 

My mother can still walk, albeit slowly. We made a mistake last year when we got her to walk about 1 km or just less in about 21 deg in Christchurch. Overestimated it so dun wanna repeat the mistake. 

Also think Bangkok is more suitable but was wondering whether the other places or countries will offer more scenery. 

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1 minute ago, Atrecord said:

Thanks. 

My mother can still walk, albeit slowly. We made a mistake last year when we got her to walk about 1 km or just less in about 21 deg in Christchurch. Overestimated it so dun wanna repeat the mistake. 

Also think Bangkok is more suitable but was wondering whether the other places or countries will offer more scenery. 

Scenery? I wont' go to Cambodia for scenery.  

U can go hanoi. Take van to halong bay take the cruises. That's as nice scenery as u get in SEA.
ut hanoi is a pretty rundown place otherwise.  And Sapa is too far for your mum. Need to take bus/train for 400km to see the villages etc in the mountain sides.
But vietnam itself, the sidewalks/pavements are definitely not for disabled. The old quarter will be too much a hassle for someone with wheelchair. And it's run down.

Maybe can ask about the other cities in the mid/south vietnam. @jman888

If u want to do the malls in BKK like siam paragon and Central world, then the mass transit line is just outside the mall. And it's mostly disabled friendly.
Theres an aquarium there, can call a taxi/van to other places if needed.

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If u want a city holiday in SEA, in terms of food, family friendliness, nuah activities, BKK is unbeatable.

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Your Filial Piety is admirable.  I have an elderly parent & understand the difficulty in terms of mobility for any overseas trip. 

Hope you won't take offense if I suggest u get a lightweight, compact & foldable mobility device on wheels. This way, it's more enjoyable for everyone, especially the old folk, because he/she won't feel bad about holding the rest of u back.  Also, you all can cover more places even in built up areas in big city. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TameDriver
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1 hour ago, TameDriver said:

 

Hope you won't take offense if I suggest u get a lightweight, compact & foldable mobility device on wheels. This way, it's more enjoyable for everyone, especially the old folk, because he/she won't feel bad about holding the rest of u back.  Also, you all can cover more places even in built up areas in big city. 

U mean a wheelchair? I'm assuming definitely have right. Or else how to handle long queue at airport etc 

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10 minutes ago, Lala81 said:

U mean a wheelchair? I'm assuming definitely have right. Or else how to handle long queue at airport etc 

I hesitated to use the word 'wheelchair' because some pple are pantang but felt that its better to share my personal experience.   Time is of essence when travelling & there are so many places to cover while overseas, even within a shopping mall.  If can utilize a way to ease mobility, why not.  

Brought my parent to places like Hanoi, Taipei, Hokkaido, etc.  main consideration is to make sure there's sufficient space in rental or hired transport for wheelchair & luggages.  Eg, if there're 3 rows of seats, last row has to be allocated for luggages & wheelchair. Means max 5 pax including driver.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, TameDriver said:

Your Filial Piety is admirable.  I have an elderly parent & understand the difficulty in terms of mobility for any overseas trip. 

Hope you won't take offense if I suggest u get a lightweight, compact & foldable mobility device on wheels. This way, it's more enjoyable for everyone, especially the old folk, because he/she won't feel bad about holding the rest of u back.  Also, you all can cover more places even in built up areas in big city. 

 

 

and old folk won't be stuck standing if walk halfway, feel tired but no seats in the vicinity.

walking aids/sticks have their uses but abit risky in crowds cos may get knocked over (personal experience with one of my parents - ended up with a hairline fracture at the hip.)

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3 hours ago, Lala81 said:

U mean a wheelchair? I'm assuming definitely have right. Or else how to handle long queue at airport etc 

some airports also hv special narrow wheelchairs for going down the cabin aisle

airport usually provides larger, more comfortable heavy duty type. Then change to narrow spec for boarding.

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On 9/14/2019 at 11:03 AM, Lala81 said:

Scenery? I wont' go to Cambodia for scenery.  

U can go hanoi. Take van to halong bay take the cruises. That's as nice scenery as u get in SEA.
ut hanoi is a pretty rundown place otherwise.  And Sapa is too far for your mum. Need to take bus/train for 400km to see the villages etc in the mountain sides.
But vietnam itself, the sidewalks/pavements are definitely not for disabled. The old quarter will be too much a hassle for someone with wheelchair. And it's run down.

Maybe can ask about the other cities in the mid/south vietnam. @jman888

If u want to do the malls in BKK like siam paragon and Central world, then the mass transit line is just outside the mall. And it's mostly disabled friendly.
Theres an aquarium there, can call a taxi/van to other places if needed.

hmm... ok tks.

guess cambodia can rule out confirmed.

and hanoi also not that suitable, so that'll be down to BKK - which is a step forward. Wife was saying that's some promo ongoing for air tickets for a few days, so maybe we'll go for it.

Next will be to find out what to do and where to go in BKK, as we've never been there before.

So for a start, there's:

- Siam Paragon

- Central World

- Aquarium

ok, much appreciated. will go read up more. Anyone else with suggestions also welcomed. 😊

We'll probably go for 4D3N, or thereabout.

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20 hours ago, TameDriver said:

Your Filial Piety is admirable.  I have an elderly parent & understand the difficulty in terms of mobility for any overseas trip. 

Hope you won't take offense if I suggest u get a lightweight, compact & foldable mobility device on wheels. This way, it's more enjoyable for everyone, especially the old folk, because he/she won't feel bad about holding the rest of u back.  Also, you all can cover more places even in built up areas in big city.

Thanks! My mother not only looked after me, but also helped to look after our kids after wife went back to work, till before they (the kids) went to childcare/school. While she still can walk a bit, then just bring her along too lah... But we've decided not to repeat those long road trips like going to NZ last year. It's just too tiring for them.

Appreciate your advice on the wheelchair. TBH, we're bracing ourselves for the day to come when she'll need it, but she was very active up till she was ~70, when she became grounded as our elder kid was born. Her knees weakened badly, and could only walk like max 30 m at one go, before she had knee replacement ops. 3 yr ago. Since then, the pain is gone, but of course can't walk as fast as long ago. Now she's using a walking stick but not yet requiring wheelchair daily. We did ask for wheelchair for her like in the airport, when she needs to walk quite long distance.

In some sense, we're trying to delay the eventuality of wheelchair, but it's worth considering your suggestion. But wheelchairs are not easy to bring along, judging from the one my late grandma used before she passed away.

Do you use a wheelchair for your parent on trips?

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19 hours ago, Lala81 said:

U mean a wheelchair? I'm assuming definitely have right. Or else how to handle long queue at airport etc 

Actually she doesn't normally use one, but we did ask for one for her at the airport, when she was going on trips with my father alone.

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18 hours ago, TameDriver said:

I hesitated to use the word 'wheelchair' because some pple are pantang but felt that its better to share my personal experience.   Time is of essence when travelling & there are so many places to cover while overseas, even within a shopping mall.  If can utilize a way to ease mobility, why not.  

Brought my parent to places like Hanoi, Taipei, Hokkaido, etc.  main consideration is to make sure there's sufficient space in rental or hired transport for wheelchair & luggages.  Eg, if there're 3 rows of seats, last row has to be allocated for luggages & wheelchair. Means max 5 pax including driver.

No lah, it's ok. My late grandma was using a wheelchair for some 10-15 yr before she passed away 4 yr ago at the age of 108. And my mother also used it a few times at airports.

I know what you mean about not slowing the rest down - esp when there are restless kids together... But one worry is she might then feel it's inconveniencing us excessively and then decide against going together 😓. She's saying that for cold countries - the kids like to experience snow - now...

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22 minutes ago, Atrecord said:

hmm... ok tks.

guess cambodia can rule out confirmed.

and hanoi also not that suitable, so that'll be down to BKK - which is a step forward. Wife was saying that's some promo ongoing for air tickets for a few days, so maybe we'll go for it.

Next will be to find out what to do and where to go in BKK, as we've never been there before.

So for a start, there's:

- Siam Paragon

- Central World

- Aquarium

ok, much appreciated. will go read up more. Anyone else with suggestions also welcomed. 😊

We'll probably go for 4D3N, or thereabout.

i personally don't like going BKK for holiday, but I've spent some time there for work.

There are two airports in BKK so do check which one your airline uses. Most will use Suvarnabhumi (the "i" at the end is silent). Don Mueang mostly serves budget airlines.

the usual things people go BKK for:

- shopping (either at malls or night market) but beware crowds.

- makan (street food, thai food, thai-chinese food) @steveluv has a good thread on this.

- visit temples.

- river cruise (not sure abt accessibility for old folk)

- massage/spa (check if family type or other type)

 

transport: I like BTS when travelling within the city area, as it avoids the traffic but do check if the elevators are working. Taxis are aplenty too. Not all taxis will use meter... Tuk-tuk may not be an option for old folk as need to climb in/out.

Dec weather is usually less hot and humid.

if you search google for "things to do in Bangkok", your internet connection will probably hang! [laugh]

have fun on the trip!

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15 hours ago, JohnSHL said:

 

and old folk won't be stuck standing if walk halfway, feel tired but no seats in the vicinity.

walking aids/sticks have their uses but abit risky in crowds cos may get knocked over (personal experience with one of my parents - ended up with a hairline fracture at the hip.)

True...

On the walking stick, when she was discharged after her op, the physiotherapist advised that she was ok enough not to depend on the walking stick, but suggested that she uses one when going to crowded places - just so that others would take note and hopefully give her a wide berth 😅

But my father and/or I will try to walk near her and either hold her or act as a sort of shield during the trips.

Oops... hope your parent recovered from the hairline fracture quickly...

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18 hours ago, JohnSHL said:

 

and old folk won't be stuck standing if walk halfway, feel tired but no seats in the vicinity.

walking aids/sticks have their uses but abit risky in crowds cos may get knocked over (personal experience with one of my parents - ended up with a hairline fracture at the hip.)

Agree with u that using walking stick is hazardous in crowded places. I had to use a walking stick for several weeks earlier this year after a foot surgery. Personally experienced it being kicked out fr under my hand. Luckily that time I was just using it for balancing at times, or else would have fallen flat on my face.   Imagine it happening to a much older & frail person.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Atrecord said:

Thanks! My mother not only looked after me, but also helped to look after our kids after wife went back to work, till before they (the kids) went to childcare/school. While she still can walk a bit, then just bring her along too lah... But we've decided not to repeat those long road trips like going to NZ last year. It's just too tiring for them.

Appreciate your advice on the wheelchair. TBH, we're bracing ourselves for the day to come when she'll need it, but she was very active up till she was ~70, when she became grounded as our elder kid was born. Her knees weakened badly, and could only walk like max 30 m at one go, before she had knee replacement ops. 3 yr ago. Since then, the pain is gone, but of course can't walk as fast as long ago. Now she's using a walking stick but not yet requiring wheelchair daily. We did ask for wheelchair for her like in the airport, when she needs to walk quite long distance.

In some sense, we're trying to delay the eventuality of wheelchair, but it's worth considering your suggestion. But wheelchairs are not easy to bring along, judging from the one my late grandma used before she passed away.

Do you use a wheelchair for your parent on trips?

The need for a wheelchair while overseas don't mean that she'll be reliant on it after she returns.  Its for convenience; afterall, going away on trip is to see as many places or do as much as time permits. U won't want to remember it as tedious one with lost opportunities to see or do things u all want to do.  

Get a light weight foldable chair-like type without bulky armrests. Not as bulky as a full wheelchair. Still can use on other trips. In fact, smaller than some baby prams. 

Personal experience with my own mother; her weight & size neccessitate the use of a big bulky extra large wheelchair when outdoors in SG or overseas. She's mobile by herself at home with a walker.  

I find that Asian countries like Japan & big cities in Taiwan & even Okinawa are very wheelchair friendly.  

 

 

Edited by TameDriver
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4 hours ago, Atrecord said:

Actually she doesn't normally use one, but we did ask for one for her at the airport, when she was going on trips with my father alone.

Using a wheelchair is quite ok lah. haha when i was admitted, i also had to seat in wheelchair to go up to the ward lol [:p] She can always walk certain parts then sit in a wheelchair and still be mobile while the kids still have energy to walk around and do stuff. 

It's called using wheelchair in community.

Edited by Lala81
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4 hours ago, Atrecord said:

hmm... ok tks.

guess cambodia can rule out confirmed.

and hanoi also not that suitable, so that'll be down to BKK - which is a step forward. Wife was saying that's some promo ongoing for air tickets for a few days, so maybe we'll go for it.

Next will be to find out what to do and where to go in BKK, as we've never been there before.

So for a start, there's:

- Siam Paragon

- Central World

- Aquarium

ok, much appreciated. will go read up more. Anyone else with suggestions also welcomed. 😊

We'll probably go for 4D3N, or thereabout.

My BIL/SIL went to this during the NDP holiday.

https://www.klook.com/en-SG/activity/365-safari-world-bangkok/

 

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5 hours ago, Atrecord said:

Actually she doesn't normally use one, but we did ask for one for her at the airport, when she was going on trips with my father alone.

Suggestion;- Why not take a cruise as it'll offer something for everyone in your family.

The cruise staff are well-trained and they have facilities before check-in and onboard. If you go for offshore excursions (which are slightly more expensive) they have staff accompanying and your elderly folks will be well taken care of and special attention is a given, even during the numerous mealtimes. My personal experience.

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9 hours ago, Atrecord said:

In some sense, we're trying to delay the eventuality of wheelchair, but it's worth considering your suggestion. But wheelchairs are not easy to bring along, judging from the one my late grandma used before she passed away.

 

aluminium ones are much lighter than the (heavy duty) steel ones and are more convenient for travel.

you can have a look at some examples here https://rehabmart.com.sg/wheelchair/lightweight-wheelchair

fm my experience, it's best to call Rehabmart before going to their outlets, as each outlet may have different inventory and may not stock every item. You can also discuss your requirements and concerns with them. I found them to be quite helpful both on the phone and at the shop.

 

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TS, you can  skip Cambodia completely, there is nothing to see in Phnom Penh.  Ho Chih Minh and Hanoi ok for walking around but not much shopping to do. Halong bay is about more than 3 hours car journey from Hanoi airport  ,  not sure if your parents could take that long car ride.

That narrows down to bangkok. You can take taxi to visit Grand Palace. But dont trust anyone there who tell you they could bring you here and there, they will bring you to shopping  and charge you an exorbitant price.  If you all want to try tuk tuk , make sure you bargain for decent price. 

You all can take the BTS  to Taksin station, there is a free cruise to Asiatic  mall, you all can have dinner there , walk around to look at  some local handicrafts but nothing much worth buying, and take the free river cruise back to taksin stn.  For shopping of cheap and fake stuff  , you can take the BTS to National Stadium  stn and walk the bridge to Mah Boon Krong(MBK), you can shop there for a few hours.  You can find cheap rolex, branded bags, local handi craft, cheap T shirts , electronics etc there. There are eating outlets and foodcourt  on the upper floor as well. 

For high end shopping , you can visit Siam Paragon at BTS Siam stn , there is even rolls Royce's showroom in three.  

 

 

Edited by Ct3833
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By the way , platinum mall is a place that your wife will not regret going as well. 

If you happen to be staying over weekend, chatucak is a very very big weekend market  that you can try but your parents wont be able to cover the place, it is located at BT Mochit stn.   They sell  anything everything that you could possibly think off.  It is best  you study the layout to decide where to walk before visiting, it is difficult to cover the whole place. The place can  be quite hot and no aircon. 

 

Transport wise ,  BTS and MRT are the best option especially to best traffic jam. I take MRT and BTS for meeting most of the time, taxi only for my last mile destination.   But that does not mean you should  not take taxi, they are very cheap. Some taxi will bargain for fix price instead of meter  , because they are cheap,  if you feel that  the price is fair after  currency conversion, just go for it after some bargaining. Best is you ask for meter pricing, mind you, dont try to us GPS to guide the taxi, Bangkok traffic is so bad that GPS would not be able to work out a good route most of the time, just pay a fare and leave the job to the taxi guy.

 

Edited by Ct3833
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Airport transfer wise, AOT is the best but a little costly, you can find AOT counter everywhere at the airport, a new Camry to town will cost about usd40. They have  van for more people as well, ask the counter staff for info, no obligation, Thai people are mild and gentle. 

Taxi to town should not cost you more than 300 bhat, that is about less than S$15. You can also take the airport rail link to city and transfer to BTS or MRT, but some walking is needed. The airport rail link has both express and normal, it depends on what you want to experience. Express should be about $5 to$7 one way, I can't remember the rate. So if you have more people, taxi might be more viable. 

Edited by Ct3833
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