Our last adventure in Chiang Mai
We climbed up a waterfall! I didn’t even know that was something that could be done! But apparently it is!!! One of the many fun things about meeting other families travelling with kids is that they can give you a pretty good idea of the activities that are actually worth doing with kids and this was one that kept repeating itself!
We wanted to do one last outing with the kids before leaving Chiang Mai and of course even after being there for 3 weeks there were still a whole lot we could have chosen from... a day trip to Chiang Rai maybe? See the famous white and blue temples that everybody who has been here has seen... the pictures we would have brought back with us would have been amazing of that I’m sure but how about the family quality time? The kids had told us many times already that even though they loved visiting the temples and admiring their beauty, they felt like we had seen enough!
So that took care of that!
We had talked about visiting a long neck tribe but when we were considering our options and actually asked a tour guide where we could go, he suggested a little village just a few kilometres away... it kind of seemed like a tourist trap more than the authentic experience (even though Jeremie laughed at me when I shared my thoughts out loud asking how a long neck women could be unauthentic!!!;p) but still...
Another option would have been to take a day trip out of the city and into the mountain to visit local tribes but that demanded a little more planning than we were willing to commit to at this point... to be honest, we were(and still are) longing for the wilderness and open spaces where we could just let the kids be kids and run free without us having to hover over them!
So we went with the next best thing... Bua Thong waterfall also called Sticky Falls! It is a small and beautiful, multi-tiered waterfall made of limestone and mineral deposits. It has been nicknamed ‘the sticky waterfall’ because the limestone creates enough friction to stop slipping, so making it very easy to climb up the waterfall. The limestone is slightly rough but it isn’t painful to step on, and forms an interesting bubbly pattern(which the kids thought looked like buttocks of course;p)
There are 5 different levels to experience and steps on the side of the waterfall leading all the way to the bottom. Most people walk to the bottom and then climb up the waterfall to the top. On a hot and humid day the water is cool and refreshing.(Description from Hotels.com... and it got us sold on the activity!)
We called the taxi driver that had taken us to the National Park we had visited the week before and again bargained a price for the day. He would take us to the falls which were about 1:15 away and then patiently wait to take us back home!
We arrived a little after 10 and started our descent using the stairs... we weren’t too sure how these sticky falls were supposed to « work » but I had read that climbing them was way easier than trying to go with the flow.
After a while, we had no other choice but to walk down the last section of the waterfall and that little part was a bit tricky for the little ones... we were glad we had opted for the stairs!
Now at the bottom, we could let the fun begin!!! We could make our way back up climbing the waterfall!!! It was so cool! We went barefoot and the limestone that is the base of the waterfall really felt like it was sticking to our feet! We climbed the whole way to the top, even climbing the last level which required us to hold onto ropes so we wouldn’t fall back down(and even though they are mostly sticky, some parts were very slippery!)
The older kids made it to the top way before us! Norah had so much fun, she climbed to the last level all by herself and then I had to shove her under one arm trying to hold onto the rope with the other so we could actually make it to the top!
Jeremie who had been documenting the whole thing with his camera had to get a bit more hands-on helping Keilan through the last level trying to keep the camera and our huge backpack that he was carrying out of the water!
We all met back at the top, I was soaking wet, Jeremie had managed to stay dry don’t ask me how he did it and the kids had a few scraped knees but we had such a blast that everyone wanted to do it all again... so we did!!!
After taking a short break to change into dry clothes and share the leftover humus and chips we had from the night before we took the short hike that took us to the origins of the falls!
Norah wanted to walk by herself... I think I might be loosing my little back rider buddy! I was complaining that she had gain weight and must have grown a few inches while on this trip but I had forgotten for a minute that that also meant I probably will never have another little one strapped so close to me and that, I must admit, brings up a whole lot of mixed emotions!
The end of the hike meant ice cream for everyone and then back to our red truck for the ride back home!
The scenery that was hurtling through the open windows of the truck was refreshing even though the air still smelled like smoke from the fields that were being burned all around us!
We enjoyed a quiet and relaxing ride back home reminiscing on the highs and lows of our trip as we all knew this was gonna be the last of our adventures in Chiang Mai!