28 May 2016, by Camilla Harrison
Our family just returned from four days in Chiang Mai! We had heard a lot about the cultural capital of Thailand as a great family destination, so we were keen to head north and experience it ourselves!
The flight was only 2.5 hours (having done 23 to Vancouver this was a piece of cake!) and we stayed at the most charming, authentic Hotel called the De Naga right in the middle of the old town.
Right from the start, Siena and Soma were inundated with attention and to my amazement and delight it kept them very entertained. All the smiling faces meant we had many opportunities to practice our Thai hello (Sa-wa-dee-ka) 🙂
We spent the first day resting at the Hotel and were bright eyed and ready to go for our first full day the next morning. We passed the hours exploring the old city, peeking in ceramic and wood workshops, taking a reverent pause at many of the stunning Buddhist temples and sipping watermelon juice from the curbside.
Siena was the unofficial picture taker for the trip and loved snapping shots of all the sights. In one of the temples she took a pic of a gentlemen as he was meditating, 2 inches from his face! Oops! 😉
One of the most charming parts of exploring the city was seeing the Monks walk the city in their orange robes. At sunrise they carry orange urns collecting donations. Holding Soma and with Siena by my side I will never forget what one said to me as I made an offering for his day. “Happy, happy just be happy!”
I read an article recently that when travelling with children, you can no longer call it a holiday you have to call it a trip. True, it does take a lot more work but its so amazing to see the world through their eyes and through the eyes of those who see them! Travelling with children lets you slow down and urges to the child in you to re-emerge as you delight in activities purely for the fun of them.
One such activity was a tuk tuk ride! Siena had a blast in this doorless taxi as it whizzed through the city. Soma is currently at a stage where she delights in anything Siena does, so as long as her sister is in her line of vision, she is entertained.
The 4 days passed so quickly (I guess that means it was a great vacation) and overall the girls did so well. Away from home with unfamiliar food and surroundings, they seemed happy just to be with us. I think that’s a lesson for the hubby and me when we strive to fill our weekends with entertaining “children” activities back home. Perhaps at the heart of it, they just want to be with us – plain and simple – and it doesn’t have to matter so much what we actually do. So for the families out there (or perhaps to soon-to-be-families who are thinking that their vacation days are over!) it’s definitely not so! Chiang Mai is a fantastic destination that will open your eyes to the amazing country of Thailand and with children, it couldn’t have been more enjoyable.
Here’s some snaps of our trip!