Friday, December 28, 2012

Our New Favorite Restaurant

As a Facebook status mentioned earlier, we have found a new delightful place right down the road from us.  It is Thai styled with Thai and some international foods.  It is good priced and the English is great! Always a bonus for me, though Moe uses his Thai as much as possible.

The first day I ordered fried omelette with shrimp over rice.  It was very very tasty.  The rice came shaped like a heart! The next time I ordered beef in oyster sauce over rice.  Again, very very delicious.  We got fried shrimp as an appetizer! mmm mmmm gooood!

Here are some pictures of the place:

Moe looking at the menu.  River in the background

Water feature, very pretty

View of restaurant. 

View of River - Or Corona commercial?


Pretty lights

Moe studying his dictionary - like he does at most restaurants :[

My food. Beef in oyster sauce with rice and our appetizer


In other news, Moe is teaching me how to ride the scooter.  I am terrified but it was quite fun.  I have had two lessons.  This is my first lesson.


We are also in the market for a bike of our own so please pray that goes smoothly and we find the perfect one!  Hope you are enjoying your holidays.  We are definitely enjoying ours.  We might go to the movies today or go shopping... or both!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day festivities

Christmas Day started like many other days and I forsee many days to come.  I woke up and did some reading while Moe slept in.  I played with Chico and took some pictures of our Christmas tree.


Then, I put a bow on Chico and went to wake up "Daddy".  He wasn't too happy to say the least.


But Chico is very cute!!

We then skyped with Moe's family as they opened presents.  And this was captured which I love.  I wish we  would have and could have had the actual picture as well.  


After skyping with them, Moe went back to sleep and so did I..... I mean I watched Home Alone with Chico. 

We then went out to lunch at an western place.  I had French Toast, banana, and bacon.  Moe had ham and cheese sandwich with french fries.  Then we went shopping.  I got some new clothes. We got some treats for  Chico. Moe got something but I forget what! We came home and relaxed together, enjoying our care free day. 

For dinner, we made it fancy.  Moe made stir fry pork, potatoes, and onions.  We had corn and bread to go along. I set the table up nice as well.  Please ignore the giant piece of bread on my plate... I like my bread, what can a girl do?




Finally we ended the night by skyping with my family and watching them open gifts.  They got our package yesterday so it was quite perfect to get to watch them open it on Christmas day.  

Overall a very different but great day.  We are so blessed!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas time in Thailand

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!

Moe and I are officially on Christmas break and have been since Thursday!! We have two full weeks off, which is apparently more than some schools in America :))  We are going to enjoy every minute of it.

Christmas has taken over Chiang Mai, however I hear that Christmas day will not be the same.  People will still work.  Schools maybe have the day off but only one.  Grocery stores are blaring Christmas music and cashiers are wearing Santa hats (they have been since Thanksgiving!)  Gaudy gold signs and decorations are everywhere.  The mall has a GIANT tree that is literally 4 floors.  Huge.  Here is my attempt at the picture:


We bought a small tree of own for the house.  It has only a few decorations but it makes us happy!!  It is perfect.  


I tried to be a little crafty.  I put tape on cardstock.  Painted over it.  Glitterized it a little :)  Only sad thing is I havent hung it up anywhere!  Please, tell me you know what it says... Moe had no idea :(


At school we were a little crafty too!! Pinterest is beautiful and inspired us to do some crafts.  We made strings of lights with colored paper and string.  On the back we wrote adjectives about the person whose name was written on the lights.  Here is mine: 


Here are half of the kids ones hanging up in the class.  It was possibly more fun for me than for the kids...


We also made button ornaments.  The school provided the materials!  Mine is the one on the left.... I was going for a random look.  I was then showed up by a kid who made the one on the right... very Christmasy


Another teacher donated this tree to us, so we decorated it with our button wreaths.  Some girls made the snowflakes for me so I put them on the tree too!  


Christmas is upon us.  Moe and I are very happy to be together. We are very happy for Skype. It has saved us and brought us closer to many people.  We are happy to be in Thailand for this holiday season.  May the holidays be just as good for you wherever you may find yourselves this year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Honestly

For once I do not feel bad about not blogging. I didn't even want to blog today, but there is no point in hiding from you.  You all love me no matter what...right!?!?  So here is some honest blogging time! Which means keep the prayers coming!

We were warned before coming that there were different levels of living and traveling abroad.  First the exciting level.  Every new thing done or experienced is exciting and fun.  Every day is a new adventure. The exciting level lasted a long time for us and still has its moments.   I hope that we do not lose this level completely ever!!

Another level is feeling comfortable and settled where things become somewhat normal and you are adjusted.  We have definitely felt these days as well.  We come home and sit, just like we did in America.  We nap like we used to and do other things like normal people do.  There are most certainly areas that we are adjusted and settled.

Then the last area is the frustration level.  This where everything about the new land is frustrating and bothersome.  This is precisely where I was this week.  The goal is to move back into the adjusted and exciting levels this coming week and remainder of the time here.... here's to hoping right!

I'm not going to go into details of why everything was frustrating, but it was.  I cried almost daily.  I was frustrated with my class, my teachers, policies and procedures at school, food, the bugs, and so much more. Don't get me wrong, I love being here. I am enjoying it, but this week, I did not.

I have been missing home so much. Mainly because of the holiday seasons.  Being away from the norm is hard.  Plus, our friends here are either leaving during the holiday break or have family in town that they will be with.  I have been trying my hardest not to think about it, but when other things are down it is so much easier to be down about everything.

Well that is all I can say or I will start crying again.  But Moe has been great.  Today we went out to breakfast and talked the whole time about our goals and desires for being here and what not.  Then we walked through the junk market together enjoying the day.  We napped and played with Chico.  It has been a good day.  And things will get better, I am positive about that.

Please feel free to skype us this holiday season or send us an email to update us on your lives.  We want to know what is happening with you too!  Know we miss you greatly and hope you enjoy your holiday time together.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Loy Kratong

This Wednesday was the full moon of 12th month of Thai lunar calendar which means the celebration of Loy Kratong.  I am told it is not generally on a Wednesday and thus some interesting events happened.  Basically all week was a celebration.

Loy means floating and kratong describe the floats that are created.  Loy Kratong is known as the festival of lights. Which means fireworks, lanterns, candles, and all sorts of things happening all the time.

In Thai class all of the elementary students made kratongs.  I was very intrigued by this whole process and asked the Thai teachers if I could come along with the students.  They graciously accepted me! Kratongs are made out of natural resources such as banana stalk, banana leaves, flowers, and candles and/or incense.  I did not get the details of why things are they way they are but here is my kratong!  The leaves had a specific process but for the flowers and candles I could do what I wanted!  These kratongs are then supposed to be lit and placed in the river.  I did this outside off our deck area.  It was very cool! Kratongs filled the river for days!

Just realized some of my leaves are the wrong way.  The angles were all supposed to face the same direction.  

Every night after the Yee Peng Festival I blogged about last week, the khom loys have been filling the sky.  It has been beautiful to see.

Fireworks have also been going non-stop.  Our restaurant neighbor across the river has had quite the display of fireworks.  Here is a video of a section of fireworks.  I was standing on our roof when I shot this.  They were literally right across from me.  There were a few that literally exploded right above me! It was sooo cool.  The sound is loud so be careful but it is worth hearing for a few seconds to really feel there!

video

On Thursday we had a little party of our own.  Food and festivities.  The weather was not on our side so it was a shorter event than we had thought. But it was fun.  We watched a few fireworks and let off some of our own.  Here is one of the really cool ones that a friend brought over.  The base of this is a clay pot.


Bottom line. If you can ever visit Thailand, consider coming during this holiday.  It was by far one of the coolest things we have done here.  It was such a cultural experience that is so unique and exciting.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lantern Festival

Yesterday was the craziest day we have had yet.  I know I will not be able to explain it accurately but here is my attempt.

Chiang Mai and Thailand are known for the "kom loy" or lantern festival.  This weekend was the traditional religious event where thousands of people gather at a university to honor the Buddha and bring blessings on the new year.  (there is a good chance that some of this information is wrong :/ ) There is a whole religious service, chants, prayers, etc. before the releasing of the lanterns.

We knew some people were getting there very early, but we did not decide to even go until later in the afternoon. Five of us decided to ride together, so we did not end up leaving until about 530. It took us about an hour to get to the general area.  We sort of had no idea where we were going, so we just followed the cars in front of us. Eventually we got to a place where lots of people were walking and police was directing traffic and decided to park right there.  It was a perfect spot.  We were as close as possible!

We had a little bit of a hike ahead of us. It was quite dark so we were trying to hurry and not miss it!! Once to the location (an outside arena type thing) we had the joyous task of finding our friends who had saved us spots.  Thousands of people praying and meditating while five foreigners were trying to find their friends.  It took us a little while but we got it.  Then we waited for probably another 30 minutes.  Then the monks and presumably other religious leaders/people circled the group three times.  We were then instructed to light the ground lanterns, which looked like tiki torches! We were given directions for how to light the floating lanterns and told to wait until the signal.

The white ball is the stage where the monks were. The balls of light are the ground lanterns being lit. 
More people and lanterns going off before they were supposed to!
We lit our lantern, which was honestly harder than I thought.  These lanterns were about 4ft high and 2ft wide.  You had to light the center part and wait for the lantern to fill with the hot air.  It was HOT.  Fire everywhere. Staring at the lantern to make sure it was catching. People everywhere.  HOT! This picture shows how we had to light it. But the top part should have been opened up more...


Suddenly fire works went off directly over our heads and that was the signal to release.  We let ours go and watched as thousands of other lanterns were let off into the sky. It was gorgeous!!  Here are some pictures a friend took and then a video I took that does not have sound :(  




Here is the video:
video

It was an awesome thing to be part of. Truly amazing.

After we had let off quite a few, we decided it was time to go and tried to beat the rush of people.  We basically ran to the car - weaving in and out of people, motorcycles, and cars - passing as many as we could.  As we got to the car, we realized it was facing the wrong way.  But suddenly there was a break in the traffic.  We hopped in the car and quickly made a u-turn and got out of there.  We did not hit ANY traffic on the way back either.  It was nuts.  We were totally lucky.

BUT THEN..........

Again, we made great time to the condo where we met.  It looked like it was going to storm, crazy winds and dark clouds.  By the time we got out of the elevator it started pouring rain. Since it was so windy it was soaking us in the hallway.  Opening the door to the condo was difficult because they left the windows open and the draft of wind was pushing against the door.  We quickly realized the rain was coming in through the windows.

Then , we remembered the windows upstairs with TVs in front of them. Someone ran upstairs to check. She screamed and heard a loud crash. Moe went running after her and fell on the wet floors.  I followed and found the other room drenched as well.  Closing the windows upstairs was just as challenging as opening the door.  As soon as we got some towels to start drying things up the power went out.  It was unbelievable.  

As best we could we dried things up in the dark.  Thankfully nothing was damaged but a lot was wet.  Since the power was out the elevator was out.  We were stuck for about an hour. But it was beautiful.  We could watch the storm over the city.  We laughed a lot about how ridiculous things were.  We created memories :)

We were very lucky.  Had we been slowed down by people, had we hit traffic, had we stopped for a drink, had anything been different we could have been stuck in that elevator!!

It was truly a night we will never forget.  We are definitely blessed!

Thanksgiving Thailand/Brittany style


This Thanksgiving was crazy.  First, we had a half day of school which meant four periods... but I have both of my prep periods Thursday mornings. This meant that I only had TWO periods with my kiddos!! It was truly a blessing.

Here is why.

It all started Tuesday when I was getting ready for bed, late.  I put on my pajamas that were laying on  my bed.  I took out my contacts and brushed my teeth.  I was getting ready to put Chico in his cage like every other day.  But I felt something crawling down my leg.  It was a tiny ant.  I then felt them on other parts of me.  I quickly took off my clothes, started screaming for Moe.  I looked at our bed and there were ants IN our bed!!!!! Some of them had gotten into my clothing.  I literally had Ants in my Pants!!!!!!  I was so so so so so frustrated. I stripped the bed and checked for them on the mattress but did not find much.  I jumped in the shower because I still felt like they were crawling all over me.  Moe cleaned them off the floor and sprayed the hole where they were coming from.

After showering, I realized I had not idea where our other sheets were. (one of the beautiful things about having a housekeeper is they can put things wherever they want and you have no idea!) I checked every place that I knew where to look.  I was tired. I was frustrated. I was grumpy. very grumpy.  Moe decided he wanted to check the foot of our bed.  Let me try to explain this to you: Our bed is made of teak wood and hand carved at the foot with trees and plants and what not.  It is beautiful.  It looks like there is a drawer in the center and if you pull just right you can open it.  Moe thought that maybe the sides were then doors like other bed we have that clearly has drawers and doors and handles to open such things. Our bed had no signs of this.  I was certain that he was crazy.  After struggling with it for a few minutes he got out the screwdriver for leverage.  Shortly after that he opened it and viola! There were our sheets! I could not believe that our housekeeper had found the door, opened it, and put our sheets in there. BUT I was so thankful that Moe did not give up finding the sheets.  I on the other hand was ready to sleep on the couch for the night :(

Wow this is getting long. I will speed it up.  Tuesday after school I realized I had giant bug bites on my legs.  My classroom at school has terrible mosquitoes. (I truly do not know if the bug bites are from the ants or the mosquitoes.) I had/have 10 bug bites from mid calf down on just one leg.  By Wednesday they were very irritated.  By Wednesday night two of them had formed pus bubbles. Bubbles on my legs that are yellow that are hard, not oozing.  (sorry for the description!) I slept terribly.  I was in great pain.

Thursday was miserable. Literally.  It was painful to walk. It was painful to sit. I wanted to chop off my lower leg! I went to the nurse at school and she recommended that I go to a skin doctor.  She gave me directions and what not but I wasn't convinced.  Then I showed other teachers to get other opinions.  Everyone that I showed said they had never seen it before so I was starting to get worried.  Finally as school ended I realized I needed to get them checked out.

Two friends took me to the hospital around the corner from school.  Someone called to make sure that the right doctor was there and for how long.  When we got there I registered and sat. I got my blood pressure and basic "are you allergic to anything, are you taking anything" questions done in the waiting room.  I then moved down the hall to chairs in front of the doctors office.  Shortly thereafter he called me in.  I sat down, he looked at my bites, asked me about them and said you are allergic. Provided me with cream and an antihistamine.  He gave me directions and we left his room.  I walked around the corner to the cashier and paid 604 baht, about 20 dollars.  I walked ten steps to the next window and picked up my prescriptions.  Then we walked out the door.  The entire trip - arrival, check in, visitation, payment, drugs - took 45 minutes.  It was beautiful.

Later that night we had Thanksgiving at a teacher friend's house. It was potluck style where they provided the turkey and drinks and what not and everyone else brought a side.  We had mashed potatoes, broiled potatoes, creamed corn, green bean casserole, stuffing, rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, apple pie, ice cream and I think that wraps it up.  It was delicious.  The wonderful thing was there was so much food we got to take some for leftovers!!

Overall it was a memorable day so that is what I tried to focus on.  If you are curious.... Here are some pictures of my legs.

You can see how swollen my ankle is :(  The white stuff is the cream the doctor gave me.

This is the monster one on the back of my calf. It is the size of my finger.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Harvest Party make up post

So I just realized I never shared about our Harvest Party that we had at school Nov. 9th.  It was our first official school 'party'.  We did not celebrate Halloween so this was a mix between a Halloween and Thanksgiving party.  We were supposed to dress up as something we were thankful for rather than scary or bloody things.  We had a parade of our costumes 1st period and then last period we had our official party with parents and food and other goodies.  If you want to see pictures you can go to the school website here. If you wait to see all the kids cycle through a picture of our class will appear!  I dressed up as a chef!

I decided that we were going to party most of the day.  It turned out to only be half of the time.  We did do our normal Spelling test and math quiz.  Plus we had our normal 2 specials --- have I mentioned that? I have 2 plan periods every day... it is beautiful!

Anyway we did a scavenger hunt thing second period where the kids had to follow the clues to find things they were thankful for.  I was surprised how many of them did not know what a scavenger hunt was! It was a new experience for us all.  I was not sure how it would go but they loved it!! Most of them.

We made some really cute crafts pictured below.  The pumpkin has something the kids are thankful for on each strip of paper. I am quite proud of that craft!  The toilet rolls the kids were given some pictures and samples and told to do as they wished with them.  The kids were so creative!


After we ate a bunch of goodies, we played a game where the kids were separated into groups and raced to see who could make the fastest mummy.  We then raced to see which mummy was the fastest.  The kids seemed to enjoy it.  You can see half of the parents in the background.  Others were on the other side of the room.  It was a great turn out!!


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In case anyone is curious, we are given half a day off for Thanksgiving and the following Friday off of school.  We have Professional Development that day, well I should say I do... Moe gets to stay home with Chico.  We also have plans for Thanksgiving which I am very intrigued about.  We are going to a fellow teacher's house and having a potluck.  From the sounds of the menu it is going to be fairly traditional.  Maybe I will get another post out about it afterwards.  Hope you all are enjoying your holidays this week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Just in case

Just in case you did not know it already, I have a WONDERFUL hubby.  Moe is truly amazing.  He is such a blessing to me.

Yesterday I came home from a rough day at work and saw these on the kitchen table.....

and these were in the bedroom.....

Isn't he perfect! (that comment was for you, daddy!)

Anyway, Moe truly is great.  Even though he is now working full time (subbing for maternity leave), he is still tutoring 2 times a week, going to Thai class with me 2 times a week, and has soccer practice 3 if not 4 times a week.... clearly that does not add up for a normal school week.  He is super busy but super great.  He is doing all of this without complaint, for the most part of course.

Just wanted to brag on my hubby for a little bit because he deserves it.  I definitely would not be where I am today without him.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The election from this side of the world

I know I am risking chaos by posting about this so soon after the dust has settled but I am feeling brave today.  Plus I think it is important to share a different perspective.


The Presidential Election was not on my radar this year.  Sure I knew it was happening.  Sure I had some opinions as well as knew the opinions of my friends and family.  But I figured being on the other side of the world it did not matter much.  I was very thankful to not be home to witness the countless ads and phone calls bombarding me.  I saw enough ads while watching football through skype with my family :) and heard enough about it on Facebook...oh Facebook!

Anyway, my point.  I was shocked come November 7th here  (Nov. 6th in America).  I woke up and decided that I wanted to watch how the results were coming in.  When I got to school, I opened BBC news to follow the election updates and left them open all day.   I briefly mentioned to my kids that today a new president was being decided in America.

And suddenly.....

the day changed.....

completely.

Instantly my class had opinions about who should win and why.  In case you have forgotten, I only have 2 Americans, who have been in America for a month each.  I had students start chanting for Obama.  One kid told me that he wanted Obama to win.  I asked if he even knew who the other guy was and pointed to his picture.  He said no but he wouldn't vote for Romney because Romney was ugly.  Another kid said he wanted Obama to win because Obama likes Korea.

I honestly thought it was interesting that they cared.  I didn't think they would.  So I showed them the article I was reading and the map that explained who had voted for what and what not.  I had to briefly explain the Electoral College votes because they thought the president only needed 270 people to vote for him.  They only sort of got it.  It was also cute to see how little they truly know about America because they thought that New York was about 4 states on the map including Pennsylvania and Virginia.  I gave them the update saying that currently Romney was winning (I think at this point 5 states had reported or something).  I had a few cheers for the leader.

They left for recess talking ALL about it.  When they came back, they wanted to know who was ahead now.  And I told them.  A student told me that he changed his vote to Romney because Romney would not let boys marry boys.  I had more Obama supporters too.  Friends who initially had no care in the world for this suddenly had strong opinions about who should win.

As the day progressed more and more students cared.  I had a girl tell me that SHE voted for Romney.  I just smiled at her but she was serious.  "Ms. Brittany, really I voted for Romney. I really did."

Even during lunch the teachers gathered and talked about the election.  We never talk politics, not even Thailand politics, barely even school politics!  But we did.  It was interesting again to see/hear how people felt being removed from it as we are.

Anyway,  by the end of lunch Obama had won, though not given his acceptance speech yet or whatever you call it.  When my class returned I told them I would tell them the winner if there was no shouting or chanting or complaining or anything.  I told them and sure enough there was.  They had to sit quietly for a few minutes before we moved on.  BUT when we moved on, we moved on.

The next day there was not a peep about the election or Obama or Romney.  We were able to move on and not worry about it anymore.  Sure that is because they are in 4th grade. Sure it is because they are not in the mix or affected by it at all.  Sure they are young.  But the idea of being able to be so heated about something one day and null to it the next is fascinating. And it happens often with them.

If only the rest of us could follow this same concept.

I was quite happy to see some interest in them for the election.  Maybe next time I can try to do a little more educational things with it rather than just telling them who won.  It stirred up some great conversation and some great stories were made.  It was a fun day and now I/we can move on to other things.

Anyway, just wanted to share some of the silliness that happened over here.  I know that even the local news channels and radios were talking about it all day. Even on the other side of the world people care....who knew!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chico is a cutie

I know that I have been posting a lot this week! Hopefully that continues.  But I finally took some quality photos of Chico.  Thought I would share!

Our cute puppy.  No his eyes are not really blue.  Yes that is Tigger on his collar!! 

All four of his paws are white.  His tail flips up and is adorable!!


Shows size.  He is laying between my legs and barely reaches my knees.  So cute though!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dinner and view

Today the weather was unbelievable.  It was overcast and breezy.  It was the perfect temperature.  I have been loving the weather change here as well and quite glad that I am not experiencing side effects from Hurricane Sandy and the snow that Ohio saw today.  Anyway my point is it is beautiful.

Our view out our back porch is gorgeous..... right!?!?
  Something struck me the other day though.  I got closer and realized that I could see completely through the restaurant across from us.  I could see the trees on the other side of it.  I could see cars driving by.  Then I realized how common this was.  The building to the left is the same thing.  Granted that building is not in use any more but still.  Open.  Many restaurants here are open.  They have fans to keep people cool and create a breeze but still completely open.  That means birds, animals and anything can come and go as desired.  I dont know why I had not pondered on this before but all of a sudden I realized how foreign this was to me.


I know it is hard to see here.  But the red dots are the lights inside the restaurant.  You can sort of see the light coming in from the other side of the restaurant.  At night time I can see the people eating there and walking around!  Crazy stuff but it makes Thailand Thailand, and not America!

Speaking of eating and restaurants, Moe and I have been struggling to find the balance between eating out and cooking our own food.  Thai food is incredibly cheap.  Generally we can eat a Thai dinner for about 100 baht.  We can eat an American meal for about 300 baht at the high end.  It is definitely a big difference, the thing is though that neither is expensive for our standards here. BUT then again we can go to MK (Korean restaurant) or a fancy Thai place and spend about 200 baht.  The low one translates to roughly $3.50 and the high one to $10.   For two adults.... cheap!

Anyhoooo you might know all that already.  In order to keep things interesting, we have been trying to cook more at home.  Moe has figured out how to safely buy meat at the grocery store.  While they do have selections of prepackaged and priced meats they also have other areas of meat.  Chicken, fish, shrimp, and I'm sure other types comes in piles of meat in bins, baskets, or boxes.  People come up use their hands (I know gross!) or the utensils to choose what meat they want.  Then they take it to the meat guy who packages it up and prices it.  This way you know exactly what meat you are getting!  It is lovely and I think smart.

We have begun cooking American meals that we are accustomed to that make my heart happy.  We have had Chicken Alfredo, Spaghetti, Beefaroni (with pork), BBQ Chicken and mashed potatoes, Italian Chicken and other things.  Moe has learned to cook pork quite well as it is most cost efficient.  Beef is a rarity here, sadly.  Last night we made BBQ chicken on a grill thing that we bought.  It is electric but worked well.


Moe made sliced taters and onions and mushrooms.  

Moe thought this picture looked really cool and insisted I post it! The electric part was actually red but photographed purple!  


The final look of our meal! We also had corn.  Here normal corn is about 4 inches long but looks like an ear of corn.  It comes canned in some type of oil.  I personally enjoy it but Moe isnt a fan.  Probably because corn is my favorite but who knows.  Anyway, it was a good meal.  By no means one of our best meals but it was still good.  And it felt good to make our own food.  


Chico is doing great.  We are teaching him lots of tricks.  Moe has been researching all the time to figure out how to make him the best puppy ever.  I am very pleased with them both ;)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chiang Mai Night Safari = Great day

A few weekends ago we were asked to go to the Chiang Mai Night Safari with some friends.  We had no idea what to expect.  We had initially thought it was going to be quite costly, but when we got there realized it was quite cheap!  Always makes the day better when you start off saving money!


Anyway, basically the Night Safari is a zoo centered around a pond.  You walk around the pond to see all the animals and things.  It was so cool.  The view from the beginning was gorgeous! The first thing we saw when we got there were giraffes and there was a baby giraffe too! It was so cute.    
Then we saw tigers.  There were so many tigers here. White tigers and stripeless tigers and normal tigers.  Most of them were sleeping but we got to see one running around.  It was so cool.   I think that is what makes this place better than any normal zoo I have been to.  The animals were lively and moving around for the most part rather than just sleeping all day!

Next, we got to feed the birdies.  I was quite scared to do this, but it turned out to be fun.  There were hundreds of them.  When we walked in they were all sitting on the branches chirping away.  We held out our hands and they began to eat. All of a sudden they would all dart across to the other side of the cage.... ALL Of them.  It was so scary.  Here is Moe feeding some birdies.  He was the best at it!

We saw a chimpanzee, iguanas, tortoises, peacocks, leopards (and many other cats), parrots, owls, crocodiles, anteaters, lemurs, panthers, bats, and many other things that I can not remember.  
This is one of my favorite pictures because the panther is so silly!  Who knew cats sleep like that. 

What made this adventure unique is partially that we are in Thailand but partially the set up of the place.  As I said before, the animals were much more alert and awake but also because its Thailand you can walk around the exhibit or through the bushes to get a closer look! haha.  But it is true.  There aren't bars or concrete separating you from the animals.  It is generally just a net.  Sometimes there is a glass front for the scarier animals, but still nets on the sides for natural air flow.  If you really want a better view, you just walk around to look through the net.  Some of the animals are so close to the net that if you really wanted to you could reach out and touch it.... Moe was getting quite adventurous and touching as much as possible... though not setting a good example for the children with us ;)

Oh the other thing was that there were deer.  For me, seeing deer is not a big deal.  However, these deer were domesticated....like strangely.  You could walk right up to them, and they would just stare at you.  They would even let you feed them and pet them.  It was weird. 

OH and the camels.  They had camels by the deer at the end of the 'tour'.  They were quite smelly in my opinion.  Moe was feeling extra brave at this point and walked right up to the camel and started feeding it grass and touching it.  It was unbelievable.  There were 3 camels that were all jealous of the attention Moe was giving.  I was terrified of course and stood far away fearing for his life, imagining him getting spat at or kicked or something!  It was quite the experience though!

As we were walking out after a long but fun day with animals, we saw elephants walking around in the parking lot.  We had to go visit them.  For free we were able to pet them.  For 30 baht we were able to feed them LOTS of food. And For 100 baht we were able to RIDE them.  Of course we did all three things.  It was so cool.  Granted our ride on the elephant was through the parking lot but it was a start.  Hopefully at some point we will ride the elephants in the jungle or something...maybe even bare back.  

It was definitely a day to remember.  Sadly our camera died half way through the day.  Luckily our friends captured many pictures for us but we are still in the process of getting those from them.  I will share more pics when we get them.  It was a wonderful day and definitely a place we will take any visitors who make their way to us... hint, hint, come visit us!!