We started they day out by visiting the Doi Pui Tribal Villege. This is a Hmong village inside Doi Suthep National Park. It is mostly vendors but we decided to pay the entrance fee to visit the museum and see how they used to live. Some people call this a human zoo. I think of it as a living history exhibit. When you visit Old Sacramento during Gold a Rush Days you don’t think of it as a human zoo but as a fun glimpse into how life used to be. It can be as educational as you make it. Along the route of 100 vendors to the museum we stopped so Steve and Skyler could pay 10 baht each to shoot 3 arrows out of a crossbow at 3 pieces of hanging fruit. This was a lot of fun. We then purchased some stevia leaves from a very knowledgeable young man. Then we visited the museum and gardens. Tourist could pay 50 baht to dress up and walk around. We took some pictures with these tourists. It was all in good fun.
Then we went to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most famous landmark, at 3,520 feet above sea level. With a stunning view. Which means more steps for me! Seriously I should have hit the stair master before starting this trip. Walking around you really notice all of the commerce that goes on around temples. And you really can imagine life thousands of years ago as this was the norm for all cultures and religions. And you can see how our culture would have been if Christ hadn’t thrown over the tables at the temple. One man, one story, and now we have malls instead.
Our next stop Tiger Kingdom! The most popular thing in Chiang Mai right now. Everyone wants to go and have their photo taken with a tiger. The price structure is based on the size of the Tigers you visit. The kids wanted the smallest but the que was over 3 hours. So we went with Small at 520 baht per person per 15 minutes. If you wanted the big tiger it was 420 baht. By the time the kids got in the Tigers were pooped and just wanted to sleep. So the got to rub and lay with the tigers.
Then off to some hot springs to boil some quail eggs and soak our feet while eating ice cream. Our driver was really enjoying the day with us and even boiled some eggs also.
Our final stop was the umbrella factory. We were just going to run in but I said Hi to an old man who was just chilling. He jumped up and introduced himself and made the entire experience come to life for us. We will always remember Robert the umbrella factory manager. He let the kids try all the steps in making the umbrellas and gave us a lot of the science behind it also. Who knew persimmons could make a waterproof paste?
After getting dropped off at our hotel we walked across the street to Tha Pae Gate for dinner and to listen to the bands. The kids returned to the room while Steve and I enjoyed a cocktail at the resturant below our room.