My family (hubby and two kids) and I moved to Thailand last year for me to teach second grade in Bangkok. We come from California, where we owned an outdoor retail shop from which we guided backpacking and snowshoe trips, and also kayak trips in California's awesome Sierra Nevada mountains and the Pacific Ocean. We find it hard to get outdoors here, but little by little we are finding new places to go all the time. My goal right now is to get us out of Bangkok and into natural places with increasing frequency over the next year.
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I am from California, we have 10,000 foot (3000 meter) mountains, volcanic in nature. I lived for my first 41 years of life 2 hours from Yosemite National Park and many other wilderness areas, marked by evergreen trees with needles and snowy winters.
Thailand's landscape and weather is a huge contrast for me. I love it! God is so creative! Here, in this part of Thailand (Bangkok/central Thailand) you have coconut palms, banana trees, many other tropical fruits like Durian, Lychee, Mango and much more!), geckos and beautiful birds, monitor lizards and cobras, and lots of thunder and lightning storms. There are three seasons here, which we have now lived through all of them. There is hot, hotter, and hottest! Actually they are called Hot Season (March-April), Rainy Season (my favorite, May/June-October), and Cool Season (but it's not really that cool! November-February).
My husband as we pedaled along one of Bangkok's many raised cement paths. Rainy season in this area lasts from May/June to the end of October, and we were pounded as soon as we stepped off the ferry. But the weather is warm, so it felt great.
Waited out the worst of it in a bike cafe, and had a nice little section of mud to ride in the botanical garden, but mostly it was a paved day of riding.
There is an area of Bangkok called the "Green Lung" to which we like to escape periodically. It is an 8 k ride down a busy highway to the ferry boat crossing, which costs 7 baht (about a 25 cents). When you step off the ferry, you have left the concrete jungle behind and enter Bangkok of old, with traditional teak wood housing on stilts and green everywhere, both natural and some orchards.
There are raised cement paths everywhere (typical around much of Thailand due to rainy season) which are fun to ride on - you never know what you'll find. This day we went into the botanical gardens which has some paved trail and also some dirt, which was mud this rainy day when we went a couple weeks ago. The pic is taken from a bird watching tower.
Island of Koh Chang - Hubby had to do some work, so the kids and I joined some friends for this short hike to Klong Plu waterfall that turned out to have great cliff jumping. The trail was well-maintained. Wasn't too crazy about the $5 fee to access the trail, but it was cheaper than entering the nearby national park.
In January I fractured my 5th metatarsal (playing soccer), which put a hiatus on any active adventures for over 6 weeks. This photo is from 2 weeks after I got my cast off, it was my first ride since before breaking my foot. I was super excited to be back on the bike, and have been slowly building up a few kilometers at a time again. It is so hot riding here, so I only go at 6:00 am, right when the sun is rising. Good thing I'm a morning person!
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand's first national park - this was a day of exploring mostly by car and scoping out some trails for future trips, as I'd just got my cast off from a fractured foot, and my leg and foot were weak from being in the cast for 6 weeks so I couldn't hike much. We plan to do an overnight trip here next November (at the end of rainy season when wildflowers bloom). A three hour drive from Bangkok.
Our youngest doing some rock exploration at Nam Pha Pa Yai climber's camp. This camp is awesome, less than 2 hours from Bangkok near Latburi & Saraburi. Tons of limestone rock to climb here, you can rent gear if you don't have your own. You can also book a repelling adventure, as well as use the zipline. The food here was fabulous - authentic Thai and cheap. We enjoyed camping in the cool season, just before Christmas. Had planned to go back in February, but plans were derailed when I fractured my foot playing soccer!