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Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 2

Written by LouiseElizabeth

25th March 2019

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Chiang Mai Zoo – Day 11

Chiang Mai, Thailand has so many attractions, ideal for children including the likes of; The Night Safari, Elephant Sanctuary, Hidden Village and Chiang Mai Zoo. We went Chiang Mai Zoo & Aquarium, the location was easily reachable from our hotel using Grab Taxi, the cost was also good as both children got in for free with adults paying 200 baht each (Aquarium extra). Having read reviews on The Night Safari we would have liked to have taken the children. However, in comparison, The Night Safari was more expensive (800 baht/adult, 400 baht/child) than Chiang Mai Zoo. Due to the Safari being in the evening, it would have been more challenging for us with young children.

Elephant Feeding at Chiang Mai Zoo
Elephant Feeding, Chiang Mai Zoo

MISSED CHIANG MAI, THAILAND PART 1? GO BACK & CHECK IT OUT!! CLICK HERE

At the entrance of Chiang Mai Zoo, we spotted golf carts available for hire (which would cost around 350 baht for an hour). We scoffed as we walked past thinking who would be so silly as to rent one of those? We quickly realised Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium actually covers 200 acres with plenty of hills to give your legs a good workout.

One of the highlights was the ability to feed the animals. At each enclosure, there were zoo staff selling fruit or vegetables for only 10/20 baht, that you could feed the animals with. The giraffes probably got the best deal out of this, with children queuing up with runner beans to feed them. Along the clockwise route you’re guided through, were lots of stalls selling, water, ice creams, and snacks to keep everyone hydrated all reasonably priced.

BuggyBoard Retirement

On our recent trips out we stopped bringing out the Lascal Maxi Buggy Board with us. Mostly because Dylan wasn’t using it and this made the buggy a little clunky when mounting curbs on uneven roads.

We really enjoyed Chiang Mai Zoo, it was an unexpected surprise to get so close and experience feeding them. Because there was so much to see and do it took us a few hours to get around. So, by the end of the zoo Dylan was really tired and wanted to use his buggy board, to rest his legs. However, as we started to attach it, we realised we were now 1 screw short. The buggy board was therefore put into retirement for a while, until we could figure out what to do! Gutted.

DAILY SPEND ROUGHLY:

  • 400 baht – Chiang Mai Zoo Entrance
  • 600 baht – Dinner, Rock Me Burger
  • 180 baht – Drinks, Snacks & Ice Creams
  • 135 baht – Grab Taxis

Final Day in Chiang Mai – Day 13

Royal Flora Ratchaphruek

Royal Flora Garden, or formal name ‘Royal Flora Rajaphruek’, is an enormous botanical garden located in Royal Agricultural Research Center. The botanical gardens are located near the Chiang Mai night safari in Mae Hia sub-district, about 12 kilometers South West of downtown Chiang Mai. When researching we’d seen online that there wasn’t a lot of shaded areas. So we were a little worried about visiting in the 37-degree weather with 2 small children.

Royal Flora Ratchaphruek
Royal Flora Gardens, Chiang Mai

Cost

The entrance fee for foreign tourists was 200 Baht for Adults and 100 Baht for children with Thai tourists paying 50% less. We were fortunate enough that Dylan and Orla went in free due to their age. Visitors could also rent a bicycle for 60 baht, which we would have loved if the children were older. You could also use a shuttle bus for free which spans the entire park, but we chose to walk.

Although we were concerned about the lack of shaded areas we had read about, there really was no need to worry as we managed to find quite a few areas. Even if it meant underneath a tree.

At the entrance, we were handed a map to help us navigate the park. There were a lot of points of interest including the temple, bug world, international gardens and our favorite the ‘Tropical Dome’. The Tropical Dome great for our Dinosaur obsessed son, as it featured a big dinosaur. It was also a hit for us adults and was a great spot to cool down with fans and shade.

Royal Flora Garden
Royal Flora Rajaphruek, Chaing Mai

We had promised Dylan he could play in the playground the whole way around to encourage him to walk around the park (especially now we had no buggy board). Only to find that the playground area was unkempt, in an unshaded area making it way too hot to use. Overall in comparison to the rest of the park it was disappointing. So we later bribed him with ice creams which we bought from a shop at the entrance/exit. We stayed at the park for roughly 2.5 hours but left by 2pm as it was too hot for us all!

We had a really nice day at the Royal Gardens, there was a lot to see and the gardens were very well maintained. I’d definitely recommend going a little earlier in the morning to make the most of your time there and before it gets too hot.

The Night Bizaar

In the evening we went to the Night Bizaar which is on Chang Khlan Road, between Tha Phae and Sridonchai Roads. The market is well known for its handicrafts, portrait paintings and also includes clothing, novelty items and gifts. The Night Bizaar starts at 5pm and ends at midnight.

tok tok ride Thailand
Tok Tok from Chiang Mai Night Bizaar

Arriving to the Night Bizaar early meant we managed to miss the crowds and found it a lot less stressful than the Sunday Night Market. It also helped that we had chosen to take the baby sling this time as opposed to the buggy board which helped us to navigate through crowds. I must admit, that in my view The Night Bizaar didn’t really offer anything unique from any other tourist market. I’m sure that if you are traveling alone it is potentially a great place to meet people and have a good time. Or if you are shopping for souvenirs it would be the ideal place to spend your evening. There was also a food court with live music where we sat and enjoyed some street food.

We decided that it wouldn’t be a trip to Thailand without experiencing a Tuk Tuk journey. Which started off priced at 250 baht and we used our haggling skills managing to discount it to 180. In Thailand, you are expected to barter for everything except for food! The Tuk Tuk journey was crazy and a little scary. I think you’d definitely call it was a “White Knuckle Ride” especially if you’d seen the colour of Ross’ fists!

DAILY SPEND – ROUGHLY

  • 400 baht – Royal Gardens Entrance Fee
  • 400 baht – Dinner & Drinks at Night Bizaar
  • 25 baht – Toy for Dylan at Night Bizaar
  • 502 baht – Grab Taxis
  • 180 baht – Tuk Tuk

Chiang Mai Summary

One Nimman food court
One Nimman, Chiang Mai

We visited Chiang Mai at the beginning of the burning season in late February which cut short our stay in Chiang Mai. Although the pollution levels were high, we personally didn’t feel any ill effects of this. However, we did not want to risk staying any longer as the air quality deteriorates.

We loved Chiang Mai, Nimman in particular which is where we stayed. It’s not too westernised, built up but in a way any city is. Food is cheap and lots to do there for children. Its not too much fun with a buggy, but you can walk on the road if you’re feeling brave. There was so much to do, we didn’t get the chance to do everything on our list.

Chiang Mai is definitely somewhere we would look to return to in the future. However on our return we would like to find an apartment to have more of a base, as opposed to moving from hotel to hotel.

Next Stop – Ao Nang, Thailand

Travelling to Ao Nang with Children
Family Travel Adventure – Ao Nang, Thailand – Third Stop

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