View of part of the resort where we're staying up in the mountains.
You may have (or maybe not have!) noticed that I haven't posted much in the last week. We've been on holiday, as many of you have. Believe it or not, I only just now have a laptop so I can do work and blog while away.
Being expats, our family wasn't quite sure where to land over Christmas and New Year this year; it was a toss-up between being in England with family or heading off to Hong Kong. The main appeal for Hong Kong was cooler weather and, of course, Disneyland. Sadly, Disneyland hotels were totally booked-up and rather expensive. Flights back to the UK were quite costly, too. We also are all out of winter clothes. We kept them in storage back home; sadly, they were destroyed in the fire.
So, if you've been following my Facebook page, you know we opted for Thailand instead of Hong Kong or England. At first we thought it was a little lame visiting Thailand since it's so close and somewhere we can easily go; but we left it late to book anywhere (it was hard to believe Christmas was so soon when it felt like July-weather to us!). Yet, Thailand is amazing and we've been having a fantastic time.
The last several days, we've stayed just outside the city center of Chiang Mai, which is in the northern part of Thailand. It's the second largest city here, but it doesn't feel super congested.
The first hotel we stayed at had a freestyle lagoon-like swimming pool. It was very cold (you eventually got used to it), but it was still incredible with water features and a little kiddie section. We spent quite a bit of time lounging around.
We don't have a bathtub in Yangon and our shower water pressure is...welllll....weak, to say the least. Soaking in any kind of bath is a luxury for me now and it's one of my favorite things to do. It was a wonderful surprise to find a massive tub that could easily fit two adults. The shower had seven or eight shower heads with super strong water pressure...I was in heaven!
I spent quite a bit of time in the bath and in the shower! (Those of you with good water pressure and a great soaking tub: don't take it for granted!)
We spent Christmas day at the hotel. I managed to buy a couple cheap mini Christmas trees and packed them up with our stockings. It helped make the hotel room a little more festive. The day was relaxing and it ended with a fantastic cultural night show at Khum Khantoke which specializes in Northern Thai culture. There was dinner with the show as well. Totally recommended.
Chiang Mai is a very family-friendly/kid-friendly destination. You can go to the zoo (which has an aquarium and a snow cap area. You can also see Pandas and feed jaguars!); pick strawberries in season (now); go on the Night Safari, visit Tiger Kingdom or the crocodile farm or the snake farm. There's so much to do!
Today, we've left the city of Chaing Mai for the mountains. We're still not too far: just an hour or so out of the city in an area called Mae Rim. The place we're staying is amazing and we got a very good deal on Agoda (if you're planning to travel around SE Asia, Agoda is similar to TripAdvisor, but specifically good for this region. You can get really good discounts on amazing hotels. The rating system is good, too).
We haven't yet explored around; I'm just happy to be sitting here, writing:
Patio off the room where we're staying. Heaven! Even has that little table to put my lap top on!
Inside the hotel room, my daughter is blissfully watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on her own little bed. (Yes!) The husband is working.
The resort where we're staying. This isn't from our room! lol
Perhaps this fresh mountain air is just what we need: none of us having been hacking up our lungs quite as much in the last few hours!
I also feel like I have found the perfect spot for me to write, reflect, and relax: right here on this patio.
What have you been doing over the holidays?