Kids, especially ours, have energy to burn. They need fresh air, active play and some stimulation.
So we try to plan day trips here and there. And one particularly successful excursion was to the Buatong Waterfalls in a national park in Nam Dtok, about a one-hour drive north of the city on highway 1001. It's in the Mae Taeng district.
We looked it up online before going and though the directions seemed somewhat vague, it was easy to find. As directed, it took us one hour. Signs are in English. We turned off the road, parked up and a short walk away were the splendid waterfalls also known as the "Sticky Waterfalls", because of how it feels underfoot, and "Spring of Seven Colours", referring to the colours from the reflection of the sun.
It's a glorious place with plenty to explore and little creatures, like spiders and crabs, all over the place if you look closely enough.
A word of caution, though: some of the rocks, especially where it appears darker, are ultra slippery, almost like ice (most of the falls are safe). I twice went down - and that was treading carefully! Zenchai took a tumble, too.
Thankfully, with Jamie carrying Kobra, that was the full extent of our mishaps. Otherwise we spent a delightful two hours playing in the gushing falls, which were the perfect temperature. There is more to see, though, like caves and springs. Make a day of it.
Zenchai made friends, too - with a little butterfly that landed on his head and wouldn't budge. Zenchai became quite attached to the insect. The butterfly remained perched there until we reached our car after having walked up the many wooden stairs that run alongside the falls. Then it flew off. You can imagine how a six-year-old with a vivid imagination interpreted the whole episode. Needless to say, though, he's now in love with butterflies.
Entry to the national park is free and it doesn't get too busy. There are toilet facilities and shops selling refreshments. We took our own, as did many other visitors, and preferred to stop on the way home at a roadside market in one of the many villages we passed through to top up our food supplies.