Chiang Mai Day 3 – Siam Insect Zoo

Day 3 of Chiang Mai (our itinerary) brought us to Siam Insect Zoo.  We had seen some interesting creatures from our friends’ visits.

Boon Yee (no 3) is not actually grasping an insect, but we had fun with the Zoo’s inhabitants (think of petting zoo).

 

Before we visited Siam Insect Zoo, we pop by Baa Baa Black cafe for our late lunch, we were busy with sticky Buatong waterfall in the morning.

This cafe is only 5 min drive from Siam Insect Zoo.

Baa Baa Black Cafe is famous for their cookies, brownies and ice creams! The main course is so so, but leave some space for desserts 🙂

We love the Brownie ice cream and Bae Bae Poo (picture bottom left, do not laugh!) both are delicious and we had second helpings.

Situated at Mae Rim Lagoon Hotel, this is a popular boutique hotel. while waiting for our desserts, kids can slide and play around the playground.

Baa Baa Black Cafe (GPS 18.912287, 98.929304) and Facebook.

Address : 65/7 Moo 6 Mae Rim-Samerng (Old Road) Tumbol Rimtai Ampur Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

 

Siam Insect Zoo is highly recommended!

After feeding ourselves, we got a lot of opportunities to feed chameleons, tortoises and insects at Siam Insect Zoo. This zoo has both live and dead specimens, sort of a mini Petting Zoo.

 

Bugs galore. You might see some of them grilled at night market. Insects are high in proteins and considered local delicacy, cockroaches are on the menu too. (below left, the Madagascan giant hissing Cockroach) .

A lot of the creatures are beautifully camouflaged, stick insects, butterflies and praying mantis. Kids had fun trying to spot the insects. they learnt that camouflaging helps creatures to ambush their prey, or conceal them from predators.

 

The lizard which tried to kiss the Mrs, while I keep looking at the scorpion’s pincers (the stinger has been removed). 

Specimens, these will no longer harm humans :p
You need not understand Thai to appreciate Siam Insect Zoo exhibitions, staff know a little bit of English.

Creepy caterpillars. They came in all sizes and colours, my hair stand just looking at them crawl. The “helpful” staff open each box and just place them in our palms haha, and the kids were game to try more ticklish sensation.

 

We can understand why Nai Nai (奶奶) is fascinated with her mantis (which looks delicate as a jewelry), but Boon Xin loved the grub. She kept digging them out from the moist compost (yucks!!)

Ant kingdom, what lies below our feet. Kids learn about the ants, bee, termites and how colonies are formed and thrive. It is all about teamwork.

 

Boon Xin wanted me to tell you that Siam Insect Zoo is the best Insect Zoo we have visited so far. We all agreed that you should spend 1 or 2 hours to experience the bug “stories and interactions”.

Siam Insect Zoo (GPS 18.918101, 98.908355) is at the Mae Rim area, about 25km (30 min drive) from Chiang Mai Railway station.

Website and Facebook, fee is 200 Thb (about SGD $8) and 150 Thb for adult and child respectively. Open daily 0900 to 1700.

You will discover many more attractions at Mae Rim, Snakes and monkeys farms. We spotted many ATV (4 wheels drive all terrain vehicles) and outdoor adventures too.

If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

– 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
– Day 1 — Airbnb stayGrand Canyon Waterpark
– Day 2 – Doi Inthanon
– Day 3 – Buatong waterfall, Siam Insect Zoo, Doi Suthep
– Day 4 – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Bua Tong Waterfall in Chiang Mai is sticky

Bua Tong Waterfall Chiang Mai
Bua Tong waterfall

Bua Tong waterfall in Chiang Mai,  is popularly known as the sticky waterfall.

If you only have time for one waterfall in Chiang Mai, make Bua Tong waterfall your pitstop!

If you want shopping, go Bangkok.
If you want nature and adventure, go Chiang Mai YES!

Continuing our #skbChiangMai escapade, this waterfall is one of our highlights, refer Day 3 “North” in our Chiang Mai itinerary.

Picnic looks inviting 🙂

We have seen folks abseiling waterfall, but climbing up?
Imagine our surprise when we tested our feet on the “lime stone”, it is not slippery, it felt super surreal

Amazing, we can walk up a waterfall!

IS Bua Tong safe for children
Sticky Waterfall

Most waterfalls are slippery, not Bua Tong Waterfall. It look daunting, but after a few climbs, it gets easier!

Definitely doable even for 4 or 5 years old, kids are far more agile and fit than we parents would give credit for.

 

Video (YouTube Link) : Check out the fun, we got dogs to lead the way too!

After a few test trials, kids got comfortable and wanted to explore on their own. But I reminded them to pair up and look out for each other.

Word of caution, this is still a waterfall and parents should exercise caution. Keep the kids in sight, do not wander off the edge. We would recommend a parent to accompany a smaller child.

Although the surface is non-slippery, accidental slip or pushing can still lead to serious injury.

If Bua Tong is crowded, do not try to rush up the slope, if someone on top slipped, he might pull everyone down like a domino.

Just be careful and look out for each other. Do watch out for green moldy patches (and leaves) on the ground as it might be slippery.
Sticky Waterfall

My kids became good friends with the local “guides”, there were at least 4 or 5 of them, all friendly! (checkout Video above on how they climbed the waterfall with us)

After the third “hike”, you will start to feel soreness in your under-utilised core and muscles haha. When we are having FUN, and with the constant showering, we tend to forget about tiredness 🙂

 

There are three segments to Bua Tong waterfall, top, middle and bottom.
For most folks ( ie you and me), the top segment (slope of up to 45 degrees) would be more than enough.

A climb up would take you between 3 to 5 minutes. Sometimes, we need to go on all fours to maintain our balance and grip.

The slopes for the middle and bottom segment are much steeper (up to 75 degrees!) And you would definitely need the ropes to pull yourself up.

Bua Tong waterfall photos

Some visitors were swimming in the bottom ponds, it looked Fun but I had to skip as I needed to look after the kids.

Not sure why a waterfall lime stone (deposits) surface can be non-slippery, but we know Bua Tong waterfall scores 4.5/5 for sheer Fun Factor, and it is FOC!

Map of Chiang Mai North Area, relative distance  from Chiang Mai city (Train Station) 1. Bua Tong Waterfall, 2. Siam Insect Zoo and 3. Doi Suthep (Temple)

Chiang Mai Map

We spent almost two hours at Bua Tong waterfall.

More photos from Day 3 is on our Facebook album .
Tips to enjoy sticky Waterfall:

– You need at least 1 hour to fully enjoy the “climbing” experience. If you have more time to relax,  spend 20 minutes at the 7-colour pond, and another  20 minute for picnic after exercise

– Go early to avoid crowd, you will have the waterfall to yourselves

– Bua Tong waterfall GPS – 19.070030, 99.080118
(about 60km North of Chiang Mai Railway station)

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If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
Day 1Airbnb stay, Grand Canyon Waterpark
Day 2Doi Inthanon
Day 3Buatong waterfall, Siam Insect Zoo, Doi Suthep
Day 4 – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

 

Chiang Mai Doi Inthanon attractions

Doi Inthanon attractions include Waterfalls, Flowers (Royal Project) , suteps (Pagodas) and nice cool weather.

In Thailand, “Namtok” means waterfall, and “Doi” Mountain. Follow our hashtag #skbChiangMai for the updates on Instagram (skb= SengkangBabies).

From city area, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hour driving distance to reach Doi Inthanon. This mountain happens to be Thailand’s highest peak at 2565 meters, so it attracts a lot of visitors, locals and tourists.

As we go higher, it gets cooler and road became more winding. At certain sections, we can see and feel the mist envelop the valleys and roads!

We ran out of time to visit the King/Queen temples at Point #08. (chedi (Naphamethinidon and Naphaphonphumisiri) . The temples look spectacular even from a distance.

Sunrise view of the two chedi should be spectacular.

The van will bring you up 90% of the route.

Grab below map from Thailand Tourism office (Orchard Road). You will not find this English-detailed Map in Thailand airport nor Chiang Mai (perhaps only in some city tourist offices).

 

Our hiking start point is at point #09 Kio Mee Pae Nature Trail.

(GPS 18.555613, 98.482396)

Doi Inthanon map

The temperature can dip to below 10 degrees during cold spells. Our hiking temperature was a cool 15 degrees. Not chilly as we were working up 🙂

Refer trail map below, young families can u-turn at point 10 (to and fro under 2.5 hours), if you feel adventurous enough, go through more countryside, take a loop along 11,12 and back to start point again (21) (estimated 3 hours plus)

 

The best thing about hiking is the discovery of flora and fauna. We stop along the trail to admire the ferns, moss and beautiful blue beetles!

Relax, catch our breathe, to minimise any altitude discomfort. Plenty of stylo photo opportunities 🙂

Doi Inthanon attractions
Doi Inthanon attractions

 

Although it is cooling, you can still perspire. Make shift walking sticks are not necessary, path is very easy to hike.

As we exit the forest, a magical landscape embrace us. Simply awesome to see the waves of mist floats in and cover the slopes and meadow!

Misty Doi Inthanon

 

Our view is blocked by the mist, on a clear sunny day you would be able to see neighbouring mountains and peaks.


Our hiking reward? One of the best Aroy (pork) we ever tasted in Chiang Mai. Smoked pork in cool climate, perfect combination 🙂

We stopped halfway down Doi Inthanon for our lunch.

Next stop, Royal Project (point #04).

(GPS 18.545188, 98.521962)

 

Pretty landscaping at every corner! Think Gardens By The Bay, but more natural, larger scale, and natural aircon 🙂

I loved the Royal project flowers and landscaping, but flowers might not appeal to everyone.

The late King has designated Royal Projects as a means to help farmers improve the life and yield. Flowers, vegetation, stocks and fish, R&D were injected to encourage more efficient farming methods.

The revered Thai King. Portraits for Thais to pay their respects.

More nice photos, and you do not even need a tripod. Thais would be very helpful to help you with your photos. Did I mention the folks in Chiang Mai are friendlier than Bangkok folks 🙂

 

Local make shift market next to carpark.

Tickets to Royal Project are 20 Bht per person, and 1 to 2 hours will be enough for most tourists (unless you go hiking at the trail)

You know kids are enjoying their “outdoor” activities when they are jumping and dabbing or enjoying some Fresh air.

 

Last stop, a waterfall. Refer to Doi Inthanon attractions map above, any waterfalls would be awesome. We had planned for two waterfalls but we ran out of time.

There are at least 7 waterwalls in Doi Inthanon, but the Mrs and kids will find three waterfalls an overdose :p

Wachirathan waterfall point #03 on map.

(GPS 18.541436, 98.599232)

Additional tips for Doi Inthanon :

1) Plan for a 1/2 day trip, not including transport to and fro from city (about 60km). Take it slow and easy, enjoy the landscapes and fresh air. We recommend a light jacket.

2) You will need to hire a guide (at hiking start point) for hiking at Doi Inthanon, fee for Guide is only 200Bht (Sgd $8 for whole group), we gave extra 100Bht tips. Most guides do not speak English.

3) You can see Sakura blooms end January too. Do pop by this link for more hiking photos and tips. Waterfalls and camping details at this link.

4) If you only got 60 minutes for hiking,  go for point #10 Ang Ku Luang Nature Trail where you will reach the Highest point of Doi Inthanon. Be amazed at the “moss” forest.

5) Toll fees up Doi Inthanon attractions : Adults 300 Bht, Child 150 Bht (to pay at about 0.8km location)

6) We hired a mini bus for 8 hours, rate is about 3000 Bht (Sgd $120). Red tut tut can go up the hills too but will be uncomfortable (less suspension).

7) You can spend the rest of the day eating at Night Market. More photos on our Facebook album

8 ) We heard Kio Mee Pae Nature Trail might be closed during rainy season. Please check availability with local guides.

Video (YouTube link) : Lovely Doi Inthanon attractions are suitable for the whole family

 

If you are looking for shopping centres in Chiang Mai, you would be disappointed. All our 5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary photos have been uploaded :

5D4N Chiang Mai Family Itinerary
Day 1Airbnb stay, Grand Canyon Waterpark
Day 2Doi Inthanon
Day 3Buatong waterfall, Siam Insect Zoo, Doi Suthep
Day 4 – Elephant Jungle Sanctuary