August 15, 2013

Family Vacation to Mae Ping National Park

Filed under: Our Work,Personal,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 3:10 PM

It was actually almost a month ago that we took our family on vacation. But hey, it’s hard to upload a whole bunch of pictures, pick some for you to look at, and then write something about it! Sorry about that. But I do have like 50 pictures for you to look at, if you want.

We actually knew very little about where we were going. Cindy managed to find the number of a “resort” (really just a couple of houses and rooms rented out by the German-Thai couple who own them). We’d heard there was a lake and a waterfall and houseboats. We figured at the very least, so long as we had a place to sleep (and a swimming pool, they said) most of our kids would be happy.

I can’t call it a failure, because it was so much fun. But it was nothing like what we expected.

So, there was a lake, but when we got there, it looked like this:

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I drove “near” the bridge and Cindy started screaming at me not to drive over it (I wasn’t going to, but it was fun freaking Cindy out). We walked over it and found a bunch of day-trippers having a tailgate/swim party in what was left of the lake (they had, apparently, driven over the bridge).

Ten minutes later it started pouring rain.

I saw it coming, but there wasn’t much I could do, and some of my kids had run down to the “lake,” so I couldn’t leave them anyway. We got soaked, then one of the day-trippers loaded us in their truck bed and drove us back to our truck.

The next stop (we figured) was a waterfall we’d seen signs for. It sounded cool, so we followed the signs. It took a while to get to where the road ended. In front of a dirt track through the jungle was a sign that said the waterfall was only 12 km ahead.

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“Really? Is this the way?”

“There’s nowhere else it could be. Anyway, maybe the road’s paved farther on.”

It was not. It took us nearly an hour to drive those 12 km, going up and down steep ditches, across more rickety bridges, nearly getting stuck a couple of times, praying it wouldn’t rain again (which would for sure get us stuck), wrecking our truck’s bumper, and trying hard not to think about how isolated we were and what would happen if we did get stuck.

And what do you know, we made it.

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Of course there was no waterfall, but the pool where it used to be was super pretty, and the kids had a great time swimming. I even got a rare picture of Lu actually doing something.

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Then we did some other stuff (went home, got dinner, swam in the pool, slept, etc), and in the morning we checked out and went to a cave.

The cave was actually what we expected (well, what I expected at least). Caves here aren’t like they are in the States. In the States, caves are kind of sacred. You don’t touch them. You only go in with a certified tour guide. You never go off the path. You are never unattended or alone.

Caves in Thailand are sacred, too, but in a different way. They fill the thing with shrines and stairs and lights. And because it’s Thailand, nobody cares if you go in alone or what.

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So there’s the short version of our trip. Thanks for reading.



  1. This makes me miss Thailand.

    Comment by André Landwer-Johan — August 15, 2013 @ 3:26 PM

  2. Sounds like a great trip! Can’t wait to see you guys next week!

    Comment by Diane — August 15, 2013 @ 3:28 PM

  3. That pool! What a magical spot. Well worth the adventure getting there, I’d think.

    Comment by Matthew MacNish — August 15, 2013 @ 8:56 PM

  4. Well done. Were you actually calm through all of this? Beautiful pictures, beautiful country, beautiful kids.

    Comment by Grandma Jean — August 15, 2013 @ 11:23 PM

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