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Does anyone know how suitable Thailand is as a destination for a family with a young child (2.5 years old)?

we are planning on going to Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan (Ao Chao Phao or thereabouts, not during a full moon) and Chiang Mai. Naturally we will be very careful but I’m starting to wonder how easy it is to avoid food poisoning etc.

Thanks :)

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Posted by on May 15 2011. Filed under Thailand News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments for “Does anyone know how suitable Thailand is as a destination for a family with a young child (2.5 years old)?”

  1. bacteria are very very tiny – you can’t see them & we don’t know how you will re-act to new ones – For the most part, I do not see foreigners getting sick from the food – sure, it happens but it is not too serious – a little diarrhea, a couple of pills and good as new –

    I have found that street food is fine – once got sick in a fancy hotel by ordering a cheese burger as they probably don’t sell many –

    I can get a dose when I go back to USA because I am not used to the food…

    there is formula for the baby – – but I would not worry too much – come and enjoy

  2. The food in Thailand tends to be fresh .. much more so than in the west. If your child likes fruit, s/he will be in heaven. Think tree ripened bananas, soft fruits that can be spooned. Tell the Thais that the food is for your child .. not spicy = “mai pet”

    I have been eating sidewalk and local food all over Thailand for 14 years and have been sick only one time on some spoiled sauce.

    The biggest problem you will probably have with your child is the Thais will spoil him/her rotten. It’s very common to see a waiter or waitress start spontaneously playing with a young child.

    NOTE: Ask around for beaches that are extremely shallow and good for kids. You might want to print out these Thai script phrase cards and take along with you.

    http://www.guidetothailand.com/thai-script-phrases-family.php

  3. Dirtbag Poser Bob

    I see lots of families with children. Make sure your tetanus and Hepatitis A shots are up to date especially if you eat from the street vendors (Even if their not its not much of a problem). You might check with your doctor about the Hepatitis B vaccine but most countries now immunize children at birth.

    Stay away from the pineapple and fresh coconut juice (their kind of natural laxatives). Drink bottled water and juice if your worried. But they have McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and 7-11 its not like Thailand isn’t somewhat westernized. Enjoy

  4. Generally it is safe and food poisoning is not very common. There is always the risk of traveler’s stomach not due to lack of cleanliness but due to differences in bacteria. Some recommendations:
    – Fresh fruits that have been freshly peeled are safe. Raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits not so safe due to being washed in water that may contain unfamiliar bacteria. If you wash them yourself in bottled water then the risk is reduced.
    – Bottled water and juices are fine and available everywhere.
    – Street vendors generally safe. You can look right into their “kitchen” and see if things are clean and turnover is fast. Sit down restaurants with the kitchen in the back sometimes not so safe because food handling and storage is sometimes inadequate.

    Be cautious at the beaches. Tourists drown regularly at some popular beaches. Life guards aren’t particularly prevalent or active.

  5. I’ve had food poisoning once in Thailand, which was actually my fault (ate a bad dessert from a street vendor in the middle of the country). That being said, you will be fine with eating in Thailand as long as you make sure the food is cooked all the way through. Samui and Chiang Mai, in particular, will offer a lot of solid restaurants that are totally clean.

  6. Thailand has a very high standard for food preparation hygiene. Drink bottled water/juice/milk/beer and make sure the ice has a hole in it. in the countryside, chipped ice is chipped off a big block that is usually perfectly good, but may have been contaminated in transit.

  7. Yes its safe don’t worry… however you will need to plan a little more than normal couples because of your young child.

    Ive living in Thailand for years and never got food poisoning and i really do eat some obscure stuff at times. however to avoid this avoid anything too exotic for children because there are bacteria and microbes than my body has got used to after living here.

    The main issue you will have is travelling around, how to take baby carriers and luggage when one has the baby. This is the hardest thing you will experience because roads and side walks are usually atrocious with lots of pot holes.

    my advise is buy something you can use to carry the baby on your front. i forget the name but i see other couples using them during the day. and then using a Pram at night to wonder around the shops.

    enjoy!

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