We’ve been in Chiang Mai, the northern capital, for four days now. We’re taking it slow with jet lag but have done a fair bit of exploring.
Our hotel has a great pool. Nuki swims well now, and it’s giving Manu a good place to practice. (Kazu still very much in floaties.)
We’re eating very well. Our cheapest meal was 50 baht (1.50 USD) for the three kids. Lunch today was our best meal so far — chicken in coconut milk, very fresh ingredients, and eaten in a beautiful restaurant surrounded by rice fields. The owner/chef gave the kids food for the fish, so it was a peaceful meal for Izumi and me as well.
Chiang Mai is full of magnificent temples. Kids aren’t super keen (at least after having seen four), so I probably won’t get to see any more. (That’s the top of Manu’s head. I cropped him out because he has a finger up his nose.)
Today we hired a driver for the day to explore the surrounding areas.
First we visited the hands-on and very informative Siam Insect Zoo. The kids interacted with lots of creepy-crawlies. We saw some gorgeous butterflies, and I learned that cockroaches can live for up to a week after losing their heads. Eek. Also, they can live for a month without water and three months without food. So trying to starve them out isn’t a good strategy if you have a cockroach problem.
We then continued to the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park, and learned how to make paper from elephant dung. The kids spent a long time carefully making bookmarks from the paper.
We finished the day at the Buo Thang ‘Sticky’ Waterfalls. The photo doesn’t do the area justice, and we couldn’t take cameras into the most stunning parts of the falls. The water runs over white limestone rock whose surface is gritty enough (a bit like pumice) that you can easily climb up and down the falls for a section of about 100 metres without slipping. Set in lush, clean jungle, it was truly gorgeous and so much fun.
We leave Chiang Mai the day after tomorrow to fly south to Ranong, and then out on a speedboat to the island Koh Phayam where we will spend two weeks.