Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Zoo in Thailand and North to Chiang Mai

We woke up today around 6am after sleeping almost 11 hours! I think our sleep schedule is still slightly off ;) We walked around the place we stayed at near the zoo (it's on the property owned by the government where Sukanya's brother lives and works) and checked out the animals that were staying there and not at the zoo.

Their cute little open air kitchen.

For breakfast we had some fried rice, some kind of treat that looked like it was egg yolks but I can't describe how it tasted ;)

and then some fried fish sausage that was in the fried rice.

Marla, Sukanya and Gary joking about something ;)

Then we packed up and watched the orangutans 'get ready for work.' They stay near where we stayed and then go to 'work' at the zoo everyday. The mom and baby girl wore shorts and a shirt so we watched the zoo helper get them dressed and then the dad and two girls got into a sidecar and rode with the helper to the zoo! It was hilarious :) they didn't even tie them up or have them in a cage - they were just like people riding in the car with the guy. Funny stuff.

The van drove us to the zoo (Bungchawak I think was the name) and Sukanya's brother showed us around. First, they had the three orangutans sit on a bench and we all took pics with them. They were hilarious! They wanted to pick at anything on us. The mom was checking what was in Grant's pocket while the baby grabbed his hat and put it on.

Grant making eyes at the mom.

Marla and the mom bonding.

Me hanging out with the monkey family (the ones on the bench, not the Schnells ;)

The dad grabbed Grant's head and was pulling him towards him - Grant looked a little freaked!

Then we walked around and saw lots of lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). Some of the tigers are native to Thailand.

These things are HUGE!

Sleeping tiger...

We saw lots of birds, monkeys, crocodiles, etc. It was pretty cool.

To see the birds you walked around on some paths through a huge area that had a net over it and the birds could just fly around you.

Grant feeding the monkeys.

Sukanya: "Save Galy save Galy" (their Thai accent makes r's sound like l's ;) PS... this is a fake crocodile.


A nice big turtle for Mom.

Then it was off to drive farther north on our way to Chiang Mai. We stopped at a little place and had lunch - Grant had something really spicy on rice. It was bamboo shoots, yellow curry and an egg.

The rest of us had noodle soup with fish and some veggies. We worked on perfecting our chopsticks skills :)

Just a side note ... it's always interesting when we stop at places to see what kind of toilets/bathrooms you might encounter. Staying at the University we had a western style toilet and a shower with a hot water heater hooked up to the sprayer.

The shower in our room at the University.

The sink only had cold water. Last night staying near the zoo in some rooms on the government property there was again a western style toilet but no water heater! We all took some nice cold showers ;) Also, the bathroom didn't have a shower stall - just one side of the bathroom where the sprayer was sloped down to a drain. During the days stopping at random bathrooms I've encountered the squat style toilets several times and you just dump water down to flush it. I've also seen some where it looks western style but doesn't flush so you dump water down. Sometimes you can't put TP down it either so you throw it in the garbage. Always an adventure ;)

After being delayed by road construction and stopping a few times for a bathroom break and to get gas, we arrived in Chiang Mai.

Some scenery on our way to Chiang Mai.

We saw a lot of people crammed into the backs/tops/etc of vehicles ;)

It took us about 7 hours?! to get here. It's a big city and there was a lot of traffic. We made it to the outskirts of the other side of the city and that's where our hotel is (right by the airport). It's a pretty fancy place with neat Thai decorations.

Sukanya said it's not too expensive though because it's not right in the city. After checking in we got back in the van and went to a little place for supper. We had rice again and a bunch of mostly vegetarian toppings this time - all very tasty! One seemed like it had something similar to cabbage in it - another that I really liked had something that looked like asparagus but they called it something different. It also had garlic with it and was really good!

After eating it was back to the hotel to shower, use the internet and get some sleep!


  1. Hey! I have been following you on the blog, but of course I can't post at work! It sounds like everything is amazing! I am SOOOO jealous that you got to ride on an elephant! I would love to do that! Today at work I was reading the blog and gasp out loud HUH!!!! - Jordan goes WHAT?!? - Then I said "Ashley got to ride an elephant!" He just laughed at me! Can't wait to see the pictures! Hope you are having the time of your life! Miss you tons! ~luv ya, Bri

  2. The pics of Sukanya, Gary and the crocodile are hilarious. Heheheheh.


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