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 could not survive living in Bangkok without Rama 9 Park just a 5K bike ride away from where I live. Currently I am training for the Khao Yai North Face Trail Run coming up in February, and I can get nice long runs in at this park. It has many paths (paved, no dirt trails), and right now it is Cool Season here, so day temps are 23 to 29 and breezy - way better than running in the heat and humidity. This park is one of the largest green spaces in the city, and it is right next to a reservoir with a 4k bike track loop, which I also often take advantage of as well. Amen to Saturday and Sunday mornings outside!!
In between Chiang Mai and Pai (a 3 hour drive) is a 60 meter waterfall we wanted to check out. The hike in was nice - here's a pic from along the way. I am so used to California rivers, with their very clear water and granite surroundings, but most rivers I've seen since moving to Thailand are always muddy, especially during rainy season (which is ending soon here). But the water was surprisingly cool. Waterfall pics to come soon.
Santichon Chinese Village was one of our stops on our motorcycle ride up into the hills. It was a perfect day as it had rained a bunch overnight, then dried up and made for misty hills and really clear air with blue skies all day. This spot was a hilltop Chinese restaurant with delicious food and incredible views of the hills above and the valley below. The photo shows a Buddhist spirit house and sunflower fields.
I signed my family and myself up for Spartan Sprint a few months back, but due to some physical issues I myself could not participate this past weekend. But I still enjoyed cheering them on! There were 23 obstacles, spectators could only see the last 4. As soon as my peeps took off, we got a typical tropical thunderstorm lasting over an hour - I loved it because it cooled it off a bit, and they loved it because it made the obstacle course that much more fun!
This is the lightning monitoring app (Spark Bug) we use here in Thailand to keep an eye on when to seek shelter. School rules are if it's 10 miles out we clear the fields, etc. At the Spartan race just outside Bangkok this last weekend, the lightning was all around for awhile during an hour or so long thunderstorm. It started just after my family took off to start their race, and the race leaders delayed the next heat for a bit. But they let everyone on the course continue, even with all the metal obstacles, barbed wire crawl, water obstacles, etc. Everyone was safe in the end, no one was struck by lightning! And I enjoyed hanging out under my umbrella refreshed in the cooler temps brought on by the rain.