Today we took a trip to the zoo! We're not normally "zoo" people, but really couldn't pass up a chance to see pandas. That's not an opportunity that comes along often, so off we went......
Our trip started with another new mode of transportation for us--a songthaew! That's a small pick-up with a tall canopy on the back, and it has bench seats on each side to sit on. It generally costs less than a tuk tuk ride. Here's David, doing the ever-necessary bargaining for the fare:
The zoo is on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, and is in a hilly, jungle area. It's very lush and green, and beautifully landscaped.
Here's the pretty entrance:
I love the lush jungle:
As our main reason for going to the zoo was to see the panda exhibit, we went there first. It was quite a process to get into the panda area, we had to go through a shoe washing station, and then they taped over the flash window on our camera. Photos allowed, but no flash, and they were serious!
It was a treat to see the pandas, they are really beautiful animals. Sad to know that there aren't many left in the wild.
David shot two very short videos of this big guy munching on some bamboo sticks:
Next up: Elephants, of course! This little cutie is about 2 years old--he liked having his ears scratched!
This big boy is 17 years old:
The Chiang Mai Zoo has a very nice bird exhibit, it's enclosed and "walk through" so most of the birds are flying free.
This handsome bird is a painted stork:
Of course the Chiang Mai Zoo has all the other animals you would expect to see in a zoo, but we kind of whizzed past most of them, as we've seen 'em all before. It is a very nice zoo and well worth the trip, even if it's just to see those beautiful pandas.
We rode the zoo trolley back to the entrance, and found an available songthaew. Our nice driver took our picture:
This hall was covered in mirrored mosaic, but a photo just can't capture the beautiful sparkle:
This restaurant specialized in Northern Thai cuisine, and we had a scrumptious meal.
A vegie/pork stir fry with crispy noodles; good, but rather bland. I fixed that right up with a bit (too much!) hot pepper seasoning!
Davi'ds Northern Thai Chicken Curry was especially delicious-a very different curry flavor than we've ever had:
Very good veggies-still tender-crisp and full of flavor: