Thailand

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Our Favorites Places Include: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the Islands.

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A Thailand Heritage Journey

Thailand’s historic sites, welcoming locals, lush jungles, famed beaches and amazing food make it one of our favorite destinations, oh and the elephants!

Despite being Asia’s primary travel destination, Thailand’s cultural integrity remains largely undamaged. The people of Thailand are proud of the fact that they have managed to avoid colonization and maintain their rich cultural heritage. In stark contrast to the high-rises of Bangkok, quaint fishing villages, rubber plantations, Buddhist temples and hill tribe villages with colorful locals wearing what they have for centuries, remain intact throughout the country. Thailand, The Land of Smiles, is a unique and fascinating destination for any family.

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ADOPTION STATISTICS:

Thailand Adoption Statistics

https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/about-us/statistics.html

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Our Favorite Activities:

The Reclining Buddha

Wat Po, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a lively and lavish temple complex in the Phra Nakhom Disrict of Bangkok. This temple complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including the 46 meter long reclining Buddha. It is definitely a site to behold!

Ayutthaya

About an hour away from Bangkok sits the grand complex of Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand, founded in 1350. Once one of the wealthiest cities in the region, Ayutthaya’s gilded temples and treasure-laden palaces sparkled from miles away! Dozens of ruins, many of which have been at least partially restored, offer a tantalizing glimpse into Ayutthaya’s rich past.

Elephant Camps

Enjoy the day at a local Elephant camp in the Chiang Mai area. Visit and interact with elephants, help prepare their food and feed even learn to your elephant. Later in the day, you will practice using commands to ride and control your elephant. By the end of the day you will be able to take your elephant for a ride around the forest to visit a natural black mud spa where you can play in the mud with the elephants – it’s good for your skin and the elephants enjoy it immensely! After the mud bath you and your elephant will need a bath in the river! Clean your elephant and have fun swimming before returning to the elephant care center for a proper shower. This is an experience for the record books – do not miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Hiking in the Hill Tribe Villages

Akha, Lisu, Hmong and Karen tribes are found throughout northern Thailand. You can spend one day or several, walking through the beautiful rainforests of northern Thailand to immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of numerous hill tribe villages. Experiencing their way of life will be a transformative adventure for everyone in your family!

Cooking class with a local family

Visit the home of a local Lanna family and learn about their culture, their long held traditions and the architecture of their traditional Thai house and rice barn. Cook traditional recipes with authentic northern Thai flavors made with ingredients right from their garden. You will have the opportunity to spend the day with the family and be their guest for a fabulous meal – that you help cook!

Sea Kayaking

A distinct feature of Phang Nga Bay in southern Thailand is the sheer limestone cliffs that jut vertically out of the emerald green water. Leave Phuket by boat then grab your sea kayak and paddle around and through the dramatic karst formations. The birds and wildlife are almost as stunning as the cliffs themselves. A spectacular way to spend your day!

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is a place of wonder. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, with huge limestone mountains, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wildlife and birds galore! Situated between Phuket and Krabi, it is easily accessible and the perfect place for jungle trekking, canoeing or truck safaris. The accommodations are moderate but the experience is first rate!

Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand is a place of wonder. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, with huge limestone mountains, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wildlife and birds galore! Situated between Phuket and Krabi, it is easily accessible and the perfect place for jungle trekking, canoeing or truck safaris. The accommodations are moderate but the experience is first rate!

Our Favorite Places:

Bangkok

As the capital and largest city in Thailand, Bangkok has some of the most amazing sites. Although it might be difficult to navigate via car during rush hour, it’s worth the effort. Remember tuk tuk is the name of the game in Bangkok! And given the time, here’s what you need to see: Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha), The Grand Palace, Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Jim Thompson House, Wat Traimit (The Temple of the Golden Buddha), The Chao Phraya River and definitely take a trip out to Ayutthaya!

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand, was number 24 in Trip Advisor’s 2014 “25 Best Destinations in the World”. With easy access to the hill tribe villages in the north, rainforest hikes, several elephant camps, beautiful bike rides, and a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-travel, Chiang Mai is an adventure seekers dream. More than that however, the cultural diversity of Chiang Mai is awe-inspiring. There are 300 Buddhist temples, 16 mosques (identified from Chinese, Bengali, Pathan and Malay descent), two Sikh Temples and a Hindu temple, all within the city limits. Two of the most famous Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai are Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (which dates from 1383 and is the city’s most famous landmark) and Wat Chiang Man (the oldest temple in Chiang Mai that dates from the 13th century). A must see is the famous Night Bazaar where vendors form a gauntlet selling handicrafts, antiques, clothing, ceramics, food and more — for miles! Chiang Mai is truly a cultural and adventure mecca!

The Islands

Thailand has over 5,000 miles of coastline just waiting to be explored! Travel by long-tailed boat, sea kayak, ferry or swim but let us help you discover these magical islands! The spectacular limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay; beautiful, albeit bustling, Phuket; the white sand beaches of Krabi; snorkeling off the coast of Ko Phi Phi – all of this magic in one place! How could it be?

Our Adoptive Family Travel Philosophy

When we plan trips to a child’s birth country we are looking for activities that accomplish specific goals. First and foremost, we want to bring adoptive families closer together. We know that adoptive families often struggle with attachment and bonding issues so we use fun adventure activities that are challenging enough to require each family member to step outside his or her comfort zone, but easy enough to be accomplished. When that happens, research tells us that several different hormones are released into your body – serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. When those hormones are released into your body, you feel good – they are your happy hormones! When you feel good, you are more likely to connect deeply with all those around you. Especially when you congratulate, hug and talk about your accomplishments. And the good news, that’s when you release oxytocin – which is the clincher! Oxytocin is the bonding hormone and we want our travelers to release it as often as possible!

We use adventure activities like a company would use team-building exercises. We want the activity to act as the catalyst for healthy communication, collaboration and ultimately, connection. When families work as a team to accomplish a goal, it helps builds a positive family culture. Team-building exercises and adventure activities (when done together) lay the foundation for mutual understanding and respect. You get to see each other’s strengths and weaknesses and encourage each other through to the meeting your desired goal. The best part, accomplishing goals and  being rewarded for your efforts, releases all the happy “connecting” hormone’s AND builds self-esteem. Research also tells us that internationally adopted children often score lower on measures of self-esteem – we want to change that. When your adopted child accomplishes his or her goal, feels great, releases those happy hormones, he or she will connect more deeply with you and  other family members – it’s that simple.

Finally, we want all adopted children to leave their birth country having had a positive cultural and family experience. We look for triggers, we understand your child, we understand your family dynamics, we understand your needs, desires and limitations when we plan your itinerary. In other words, we strive to make every experience positive. When your child has a positive in-country experience, your child will develop a positive sense of self in relationship to his or her birth country. We know that a strong cultural identity fosters a positive sense of self, higher self-esteem, more joy and with all that comes richer connections.

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Learn how Motherland Travel can help you plan your intentional & purposeful Heritage Journey!

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Basic Traveler Information

Visa and Passport Requirements:

Thailand Heritage Journey Travel Details

Passports:

A passport valid for at least six months is required to enter Thailand.

Passport note:

Travelers coming from or have recently traveled through areas infected by yellow fever may be required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate before being allowed to enter Thailand.

Weather and climate:

In general, the weather in Thailand is tropical and humid for most of the country, most of the year. To the north of Bangkok they experience three seasons – from November to February, when it is dry but cooler, and from March to May, when it is dry and hot. From May to November weather in the north is dominated by the southwest monsoons.

To the south of Bangkok there are only two seasons – although they differ on each coast. On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and the heaviest storms from April through to October. On the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.

Overall however, the weather in Thailand is generally hot. The best time for travelling is November to February (coolest season), although the southern islands are best from June to September.

Geography:

Thailand is bordered to the west by Myanmar and the Indian Ocean, to the south and east by Malaysia, the Gulf of Thailand and Cambodia, and to the north and east by Laos. Central Thailand is dominated by the Chao Phraya River

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What families are saying about working with Motherland Travel:

Originally, I hadn’t considered using a “travel agency” for our trip because I was used to doing all my family travel plans using tools on the web.  I am so grateful that we discovered Motherland Travel because we had only one opportunity to make a first impression of Guatemala on my son. Bambi thought of so many things that I would have missed. Our ultimate goal of the trip was to have Jack feel proud of his heritage. We knew that we had succeeded when on the last day of the trip as we were roasting cocoa beans at the chocolate factory, my son introduced himself to a stranger by saying “Hi, my name is Jack and I am from Guatemala.” Bill

Proud Father of Jack

The trip transformed all of my fears of NOT being able to do a trip like this into joy and success. The people, pacing, activities, accommodations, and scope of the trip was a perfect fit for our family.

I feel like Bambi asked insightful questions during the initial consultation, helping me articulate my goals for this trip. I appreciate the family bonding/adventure travel information she provided, as well as the general information about Guatemala. Bambi targeted our budget and made the most of every experience, given our financial restraints. The itinerary proposal and final itinerary were thorough, detailed, and very clear. I so valued the personal details about possible triggers for my son, visiting his birth country.

We are so grateful for the effort, service, time, and thought Motherland Travel put into planning this trip for us. We have been transformed by the travel. Eddy exudes a pride and joy when he talks about our trip, and talks about Guatemala. A few days after we returned, his teacher had him present to his class about how the ecosystems in Guatemala affect the culture and way of life. As I watched him present to his peers, he shared details and experiences that revealed how much this trip was profoundly imprinted on his heart and his identity. Our family benefited so much from being out of our comfort zone – we learned so much about our son’s birth country, about human resilience, and even more about our family. I can’t choose one favorite moment, or even pick out a single least favorite moment. The days were unique, yet perfectly balanced, creating a gorgeous tapestry of experiences.

The Wall Family

The Wall Family

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Learn how Motherland Travel can help you plan your intentional & purposeful Heritage Journey!

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Oh, the places you can go!

We design custom Heritage Journeys for the following countries:

What NOT to do when on a trip to your child’s birth country.

Get a copy of our free eBook, "Top ten mistakes you’ll want to avoid."

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What We Do

Motherland Travel offers customized birth country travel for families with internationally adopted children. We can design an unforgettable adventure for your family, or help you create your own.

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Contact Info

Motherland Travel

303-807-9058

travel@motherlandtravel.com

Some Of Our Favorite Photos from Thailand:

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