Thailand’s Tip Top

We spent a fun three days in Chiang Mai, a four hour drive from Chiang Rai.  This part of Thailand is quite beautiful, so the drive was interesting, and the end destination well worth it.

Chiang Mai 020 We made a few quicker visits to local attractions in the Chiang Mai area, including an orchid farm.  The flowers were beautiful, and Elizabeth was mesmerized by the varieties and colors.  And we learned a fair amount about how they grow these beautiful flowers.  Orchids are so commonplace in Thailand that a gift of orchids is a bit like a gift of dandelions in the U.S.  I say, “Bring ‘em on!”

Chiang Mai 036 No trip to a country could be considered complete by our family without a trip to the local snake farm.  Elizabeth and I aren’t quite sure where our kids developed this fascination, but they are very excited by reptiles and amphibians, with special interest in snakes.  And we got an unexpected treat when a long-time family friend, J.D. Willson, sent us his advice on all aspects of snake investigation.  J.D. is getting his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in Herpetology, and has a great website, which our kids spend considerable time exploring.

Chiang Mai 046 As you know, it’s a very slippery slope leading from interest to addition.  In the spirit of complete honesty and disclosure, our family is dealing with such a vicious problem.  Our nine-year-old daughter has developed a debilitating addition to snake handling :-) , which is getting worse by the country.  It was bad when it was a Children’s Python in Australia, but it’s now escalated to Burmese Pythons here in Thailand (photo above or brief video).  If anyone out there has any charms or antidotes we could use to help her control these urges, send them our way!!

Chiang Mai 126 One highlight of our stay in Chiang Mai was our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental.  It was remarkably beautiful, with great food and terrific surroundings.  At times, we had to remind ourselves that it was recently built, and not hundreds of years old.  The staff was very nice, and the pool was also great.  And there was lots of room to run around and explore.  It was consistent with our impression of the general area, lots of well-kept and attractive buildings, lots of natural beauty, and really nice people. 

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Chiang Mai 072 And, it was ideal for watching the last two games of the World Series, including the deciding Game #4.  Go, Red Sox!!  The final game ended with about fifteen minutes to spare for us to depart for our flight to Phuket, so it couldn’t have worked out better.  And our nine and eleven year olds could watch the games to completion here, since they end around 11:00 a.m.  And in 2004, I attended Game #2 of the World Series, and witnessed the famous “Bloody Sock” game pitched by Curt Schilling.  To bring extra good luck to the Red Sox, I managed to cut my left ankle and have my own bloody sock, undoubtedly the key to the Red Sox win in Game #3.

Chiang Mai 074 We spent a day touring one of Thailand’s National Parks, Doi Ithanan, and made it to Thailand’s highest spot.  The park is beautiful, and we got in a couple of great hikes.  We saw some very interesting birds, including two species of Sunbird, but they flit around so quickly I couldn’t get a picture.  But it’s a spectacular park, and great to see a country in this part of the world protecting it..

Click here to see our Chiang Mai photos.

One Response to “Thailand’s Tip Top”

  1. Bambi Wood Says:

    Not sure I could have accompanied you all to the SNAKE farm but everything else looks fascinating!

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