All good things must come to an end…

Being cheap and disorganised all 4 siblings went to New Zealand on different flights… Mike was first to go, then Tony… followed by Jane and I.   The plan was for all of us to meet in Auckland and drive down to Whangamata to surprise mum for her 60th birthday.

So, alas – our holiday in Thailand had to come to an end.   As did the bottle of Jamisons that Jane bought over…

The night before Jane and I flew to NZ

Chatuchak Market

Once we got back to Bangkok the girls (Jane and I) and 3 priorities… shopping, shopping and then some more shopping!!!     Luckily there was a weekend before our flights to New Zealand so we went to the wonderful Chatuchak Market.  

While we were there, a HUGE storm hit – it was so exciting watching everyone get drenched… Check out the clouds!

 

A visit to the hot springs

The bonus of having the van is that we had the ability to go off and explore.    So, explore we did.    One of the places we went to was a thermal spring – somewhere north (I think) of Chiang Mai.   

Even though it seems totally ridiculous that one would want to visit a hot spring when it’s over 35 degrees – the hot springs are a nice place to chill out, relax and boil an egg.  

The herbal medicine shop

Outside the cave complex (see post below) there was a market selling traditional herbal medicine.    Jane is studying traditional Chinese medicine so she loved wandering around the stalls checking out the potions and lotions…  here are some photos she took to show her friends at school:

A visit to the Chiang Dao Caves

As I said in my previous post, the Chiang Dao Caves are definitely worth a visit.  The cave complex is huge!    Its part of a temple complex so there are lots of Buddha images in the caves, especially at the start of the cave.   It’s a really beautiful place.

Once you get a few meters into the cave there are two options – you can either go for a wander down the lit walkway which can be done without a guide.  Or, you can hire a lantern and a guide and go exploring in the unlit caves.

We hired a guide to explore the unlit caves.  WOW – it was so cool.  I think our tour must have been about 25-30mins, we saw so many different caves and formations… many of which looked like animals.   A photographer followed us around and took lots of group photos – I thought this was a bit odd given the lighting was so poor.    

Here are some photos (from my camera) from the caves.   

A visit to the ‘Hill Tribe market’ in Chiang Dao

I read in the wonderful lonely planet that… “It is worth coming into town to see the colourful Tuesday morning market, when hill tribes come to sell their wares.”

So I suggested to the group that we do a day trip and drive a few to see the market and check out the Chiang Dao caves.   I was expecting to see some people wearing their traditional clothes selling traditional handy crafts and maybe some silver jewelry.

WELL…  unless there is a whole load of factories up in the hills I think the lonely planet is mistaken.   This market is like any other market in rural Thailand and is certainly NOT worth coming into town for! 
Check it out:

Luckily the Chiang Dao caves are close to the market and are worth a visit otherwise I would have had a vanload of family members mad at me for making them get up at 6.30am!