Can’t resist using this photo as my post opener. One look and you’ll know we were in, where else but Thailand.
It’s Thailand’s famous tuk tuk!
The boys went absolutely berserk. “Tuk tuk! Tuk tuk! Tuk tuk! We want tuk tuk!” That sort of summed up our entire trip whenever we saw one but not on one, yet. Fortunately, the 5 of us could fit into one! It’s really more fun like that, squeezing and jamming ourselves at the back, laughing and squealing (the boys of course) almost on all the rides!
We went to Chiangmai a day earlier than expected. It was good that way otherwise we won’t have time to explore the city had we flew in on Thursday because the tour we were on was packed with activities outside Chiangmai.
After shortlisting a number of hotels, i decided on Shangri-La in the end. Reason being was they allowed 2 kids in a room unlike the rest — only one child per room. The mother is a scaredy cat like me. That was why we needed to squeeze ourselves (again) in one room and not 2. Heh!
Yes i heard you. 2 kids?? but you’ve got 3!
Usually, in my humble opinion, international chains are more flexible this way? When they say 2, you can take in 3.. and very likely, they’ll be okay with it. If i were to pick a local boutique hotel, i don’t think i am able to do that. In my opinion lah. Luckily, i was right. The staff at Shangri-La weren’t that anal and if anything, they were most accommodating and i’ve to say, our stay at the hotel was downright enjoyable and comfy too!
Pssstt : we weren’t even charged for the extra bed. Kudos to Shangri-La Hotel, Chiangmai!
One of the first things that i wanted to do was to check out the temples.
First stop : Wat Phra Singh
(where we got conned)
To be honest, Wat Phra Singh is too new for me. Beautifully maintained, gorgeously restored and that was it.
One of my happy finds at Wat Phra Singh was the trees. Actually, make that my only find. Grin. It was a tiny rest area for the students and monks located behind the temple. All the trees had this metal signage on it. As i went closer, i saw quotes, many meaningful, beautiful quotes on them. There, i took time to do some tree hopping, reading each and every one of the quotes while the boys ran amok chasing after the poor chickens. Haha!
So the rather pleasant conman. He looked like any regular Thai but more roundish, jolly, nice and friendly. We managed to brush off a few touts earlier but this man, seemed so sincere. The scorching hot sun didn’t help either. The mother simply wanted to ride in the air conditioned van and not wander around without any guide anymore.
3 temples and 2 other stops, he said and he points out at the flung temples that looked pretty gorgeous on the map. What stops, i asked. Honey making factory, he replied. So i thought, ooh, educational for the boys! Needless to say, we said OKAY and we made him a very happy man, at that moment of time that is.
Second stop : a temple on the West side of Chiangmai City
Let’s put it this way, we only stopped here for 5 minutes. Period.
Last temple stop : another no-name temple on the North-East side of Chiangmai City.
This one i like.
Mainly because it was ancient, raw and had certain feel to it. Strangely, these temples that we were brought to, had no other visitors except for a couple of locals? We stayed here the longest, probably for a good 20 minutes or so. The boys spotted a friendly English speaking monk and hurriedly followed him around after gaining permission from me. One thing about the boys that i am pretty proud of is that they make friends very easily. They’re chatty and forever curious. I overheard many of their questions shot to the monk and i couldn’t help but giggle silly to myself. Heheeee!
Having a couple of same gender children also means i’m pretty free most of the time. They sure know how to keep themselves occupied, giving this lucky mama some time to wander around by herself. :) (but the poor grandma was following and eyeing them like an eagle cos she was a lot more paranoid than me. Hohohoho!)
What’s inside the bell, mama?
No really, i love my boys all the same. But beep, his actions are always a little more child-like and adorable hence, he gets photographed a tiny weeny bit more than the other two. :P
So, did we really visit honey making factory?
Where we went to was just a small shop selling products made from honey that’s all. Before that, we were brought to jewelery wholesaler. Zzzzz…. After the honey stop, it was carpet shop. Sigh. We spent an hour or more at these places. After the honey shop, i was fuming mad inside. We were tired and we had only one day to roam around in Chiangmai City. I didn’t wanna waste anymore time on these shops! We were on the way to carpet shop when i told the uncle politely that we were tired and we didn’t want to visit anymore shops — he had 2 more scheduled for us for Pete’s sake!
Fortunately, he agreed, albeit unhappy.
Back at the hotel, the swimming pool looked too gorgeous to resist!
We had a small pocket of free time before moving to the Night market so why not a swim for the boys? :)
The boys had a fun soccer session with the staff before jumping into the pool. Again, i have to say this, the staff were incredible! They helped to entertain the boys on their own free will (i reckon they were bored to bits as well that’s why! :P) while i buried my nose in a book in one of the comfy lounge chairs. Nice.