Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Final Days In Chiang Mai, Thailand

{**We are now home safely!  I will blog more about how ridiculously terrible we are all doing thanks to tummy bugs and jet lag and a teething toddler.  The good news is that the flights went almost as well as they could.  The other good news I guess is that I finally lost all my Nya weight thanks to this Thailand tummy bug.  Now to keep it off....**}

We took a nice taxi to the Elephant Conservation Center.  We each had our own seat!  Nya lasted like this for just two minutes...then she would just rotate between our seats.  I know my shirt looks wonky but I just wanted to show the ideal outfit for feeding your baby wherever you go...tank top under, large light shirt over...The best part of no car seats was that I could feed her whenever she wanted.  The bad part? Nya would have done much better contained.  Looking back, I think a travel sized car seat would've been ideal for her. 

We chose to go here because based on my limited research it looked like the most elephant friendly place.  After talking to an English couple who were travelling the world for a year, I found out there was a much better place where you can't ride them and there is no show and you can bathe them.  That would've been ideal.  I did feel comfortable with how the elephants were treated here though, and their conditions etc. So that is good.

The second we showed up, the boys were ecstatic!  They could not wait to touch them and ride them.  Gary and Koen went first and just did a 10 minute ride.  This place was an hour away and we didn't want to be gone for more than 4 hours as our little monster needs her naps in her bed.  

While they were on their elephant ride, Kai fed the other elephants some sugar cane.  For just less than a dollar, he got a whole stack of sugar cane.  In Canada, they would charge you like $20 to do that:) 

{You can see Koen loved his chance to feed them too!}
{Watching them bathe was fun and they sprayed us a bunch!}

Then it was time for Kai and I to go while Gary held Nya.  I just didn't want her on the elephant twisting and turning.  If she gets in a mood, it's not pretty.  We also just did a 10 minute ride, more than enough.  It wasn't scary at all.  I was imagining the ones in Kenya that were much larger.

We then visited the elephant hospital and baby nursery there.  Interesting to see an elephant size IV hanging from the ceiling!   This little guy is 6 months old.  We watched him playing with a soccer ball and I felt like he was just like Koen :)  The difficult thing is that I normally ask so many questions to learn and it was very difficult for us to understand eachother so we didn't get to learn as much as I had hoped.

That afternoon we took a tuk tuk to the Lotus Hotel nearby.  They have a huge rooftop pool which was perfect!  The weather was warm and humid the whole time so it was nice to cool off.  Kai has really improved in the water and can now swim and do summersaults etc. I have a bunch of photos of food vendors and different foods that we ate but I can't even look at them and can't even talk about it as we are still just eating bread right now....

{Gary went and took a bunch of photos of the temples.  I'm not into history or architecture, ya ya, boo me, but he is so here are a few for him....}

And then.  The day before we left...we awoke at 5 am (which is normal, we awoke every day at 5am due to the kids) to Gary vomiting.  I knew immediately that it was from the food we had the night before.  I was so afraid we'd all wake up sick.  My stomach felt like it was in knots, it still does days later.  Usually Gary would take Nya at 5 so I could sleep for an hour but instead, I took all three kids out for four hours so he could rest. Finally, at Nya's nap time, I put her down and took the boys on a little adventure.

We took one of the red trucks, Songthaew, which is sort of like a public bus.  Gary had really wanted to go to this one temple; Doi Suthep, so we went in his place. It took about half an hour to get there.

{These are all iPhone photos as I had zero energy.  We climbed the 300 steps to the top.}

I had promised them ice cream.  It was a bit tricky up top because it was so slippery from all the rain and Koen had on flip flops which had him sliding everywhere.  I had to hold his hand the whole time which is not ideal.  We also had a few emergency stops to the bathroom so it was not very relaxing but it kept the boys busy while Gary rested.

{Looking out over Chiang Mai}
{Vendors along to the steps.  I bought Nya a traditional Thai dress.}

Once we got home, Nya had woken up and Gary was still really sick.  He stayed in bed and I went next door to the doctor and got him some medication.  I also went and cancelled my one hour Thai massage:( Boo.  The boys played a lot of `restaurant' while we were there. Not a lot of space to run around freely but there was this  deck below our room.  So hard to keep our kids quiet when they are up at 5 am every day and people are sleeping until 10am!

I don't know if I've said this but I was up with Nya every 2 hours at this point in our trip.  She was teething and out of sorts.  We did give her rice cereal every morning and tried to just feed her food that was as normal to her as could be, like fruit, but wow, she was out of sorts.  She also has about 30 large bites which I'm sure weren't making her feel well. At midnight, on the day we were to leave, I woke up to Nya vomiting.  It was terrible.  Gary took a shower with her while I cleaned everything up and then after about 2 hours, I got her back to sleep.  Fortunately she did not vomit again but she did struggle with diarrhea.  I was so nervous that the whole family would wake up vomiting and we would have to change all of our flights or something.  Fortunately, we were all in decent shape that morning.

{Goodbye room 87!  Nya lost our room key by the way, what a punk.}
I had asked for prayer for the flight home and it was truly answered.  It was a long 24 hours but we made all of our flights and there was no vomiting on the plane.  Other digestive issues but no vomiting.  The two long flights were in the seats with more leg room for the kids to lay out and for the 12 hour flight, we even tried Nya in the bassinet that they attach to the wall and IT WORKED!!! She slept in it for at least 5 hours (not in a row but still).  It allowed me to sleep at least 4 hours or so.  We had some Thai Bhat ($) left over that were were planning to spend at the airport but none of us had an appetite so now we just have money leftover.

It is so good to be home and sleep in our own bed and have our own bedrooms and just let Nya roam the house.  We are going to reflect on our trip a bit more over the next few days and I'll have highlights from everyone.  Right now, we are just really struggling with jet lag (14 hour time change).  We've all been up since 3's going to take a good week I think to feel healthy and normal  again.  And wow, Nya is still getting up every 2-3 hours.  She is in pain which I"m assuming is teething pain, so I don't let her cry long.  Hard to get over jet lag when you can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time!  I am going to start giving her whole milk now and not sure if we'll stop breastfeeding all together.  If I could even just get it down to once a day, that would be awesome.  10 times a day is a bit much for a 14 month old!!!  Crazy monkey!!

Thanks for following along.  It was a big trip with so many highlights and overall, we are thankful for the opportunity and soooo happy to be home!

Love, Team Chapman back in Surrey


  1. Amazing photos and stories.
    So glad to hear that you are home safe and sound. I hope everyone is feeling 100% soon so that you can reminisce about the incredible journey you went on!!

  2. Just catching up on your time in Thailand :) Sorry to hear of the tummy issues, but glad you otherwise had a great trip and are home safe! Hope you rest well this week :)

  3. Welcome home! So sorry to hear about everyone being sick, food poisoning is the worst! Thanks for sharing so much about your trip, it was fun to follow along :)

  4. Just catching up on your trip - wow, what an adventure! Definitely makes me want to go to Thailand and the Philippines one day. Kudos to you mamma, I couldn't have pulled it off without a few meltdowns (from me, not the kids) ;)