Weekends are, of course, our more active days.

After 5 days spent in the extra quiet Chiang Rai, we are back in Chiang Mai. We have been staying in different parts of the city for the last few weeks and, for the last one, we decided to have some extra comfort with a hotel along the Ping river. The hotel was fully booked on Saturday so we had to spend Saturday night at the Mini Villa.

It sounds cool and fancy but it isn’t! The Mini Villa has an open air bathroom, it is way too close to the river and it is rainy season in Chiang Mai,  which means that there are millions of snails and other weird creatures coming from the river. They were crawling around the bathroom, having parties in the shower and, the more brave, were coming into the bedroom to say hi! It can be an interesting experience if you love slimy animals, or a traumatizing one if you are a sissy like me. Apart from the wet Saturday night, the place has a nice relaxing setting in a very green area along the river, exactly what we wanted!

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We started our weekend exploring the Chiang Mai Zoo.

I have never been at a zoo before, I really can’t stand to see animals in cages, they have to be free in the wild and in their habitat. My only other zoo-like experience was in Thailand with the tigers, which was very exciting and a little sad at the same time, but that is a long story.

In the case of the Chiang Mai Zoo, it was just really really sad; I couldn’t wait to leave.

In this zoo they have a Panda, which was the reason why I finally chose to go, I really wanted to see one!

We got to the panda section for feeding time. The poor animal was sleeping behind glass windows with people and kids shouting around it. The guard opened a window, dropped some food and made some extra noise to wake him up so he would go eat. The panda slowly made his way to the food, stand there eating his food in front of the noisy crowd.

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The animal really didn’t have much space, with a drawn landscape behind him and a couple of fake rocks…it really made me sad.

In general all the animals in this Zoo have small places and it doesn’t look like they get the proper attention.

I can say that my first zoo experience, was a really bad one, and probably will be the last one.

After the Zoo we went to the old city to eat at the Cooking Love, my favorite place in Chiang Mai, and experienced some crazy weather: very sunny but very rainy, which made a few rainbows.

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Sunday was market plus temples time!

Everybody says that after you are in Chiang Mai for a while you don’t even notice the temples anymore. This is not working for me, I can’t get tired of them, I keep finding something different in each one which makes me want to explore more! I think that I am a real templeaholic!

We took a break from the temple hunting and went to explore Warorot market. The most exciting part has been going upstairs in the covered area and observing the action from the top! I love crowded markets, so I had to drag a less willing Jarel around for a while. We found the flower section, where we found piles of orchids and other coloreful flowers.

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We ended the day, and the weekend, enjoying some sun (finally without rain) in the green landscape along the river. Good ending of another good weekend exploring Asia.

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The next one will be hopefully in the Myanmar, without Jarel this time…who knows what is going to happen!

Oh and like almost everyday, we made some new friends! This one was really busy trying to attack the straps of my backpack like a real lion! You don’t need to go to a zoo to experience a wild feline attack!IMGP7815