One taxi, a passenger ferry, one coach, one minibus, two vehicle shuttle ferries, one minibus and 10 hours later we arrive in Ko Lanta. At the start of our trip a 4-hour coach journey used to be our limit, but after being on the road for almost 3 months we’re far more confident in tackling longer journeys in one day.  Trains are the easiest mode of transport as you have the freedom to move around with your baby. But if longer journeys are split across different modes of transport and there’s a bit of time for your baby to have a crawl/walk around between transfers, then it’s actually far easier than we anticipated.

Backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

'The boy' at Trang bus station, Thailand

Our minibus driver wasn’t the friendliest chap and on finding out we had no accommodation booked wanted to drop us in the main town. After a little negotiation he reluctantly agreed to drop us at Klong Dao, the first beach on the West coast. Where, we didn’t mind, so he stopped the vehicle half way down the 3k bay so that we could hunt down somewhere to stay.

With no idea where to try we plumped for the closest resort, walked up the track towards the beach and were greeted by a super friendly lady who showed us her last chalet, available for 600B (£12) per night.  For the reasonable price it included far more than we expected, en suite, air con, cable TV and a fridge. Sold.  The chalet was located 10 metres from the beach, next to the beach side restaurant and the adjoining beach shack bar.  After many a weekend spent staying in basic beach huts and soaking up the relaxed atmosphere on Palolem beach in Goa, this hit the spot, but it was the staff that made the biggest impact.

After an hour of arriving they’d already taken ‘the boy’ under their wing. He was entertained, walked around the beach and then the owner (Pop) fed him his dinner whilst we enjoyed ours. Now this was a treat. Thanks to our grumpy minivan driver I think we might have stumbled upon a gem of a place.

Backpacking with a baby in SE Asia

The relaxed beach huts at Ko Lanta

Top tip of the day:
If you prefer to book your accommodation in advance then look for beach chalets rather than hotels. The accommodation tends to be spread over larger grounds so there’s more green space for you baby to play on.