Not All That Glimmers is Gold

This post is going to be very different from most.  We’ve traveled to some incredible places and found wonderful things to do as a family in Thailand and in the region, but that’s not to say that we haven’t had our share of busts as well.    I’ve been thumbing through a lot of mom blogs lately and it is shocking how many are sponsored.    I realize that virtually all of my posts offer gleaming reviews of the places we’ve stayed and things we’ve done, and that is because I want to share our best experiences with others.

Well, not today.  Today I’m going to outline some of our not-so-great experiences.  You might be shocked by some of these; you might disagree, and that’s completely okay.  They are just things that didn’t work out for us for one reason or another.  So, let’s get this non-party started.

1. The Greenery (Khao Yai)

We are no strangers to Khao Yai.  We love Khao Yai.  Usually we stay at the Kirimaya/Muthi Maya (which I do highly recommend), but this time we wanted to do something different – so we stayed at The Greenery.  The place does a good job of luring you in with its website – fancy pictures, beautiful scenery, things for kids, etc.  What really drew us to the resort was that they have a small water park onsite – which looks like a lot of fun, but in reality, it’s not fun at all.  Every few minutes a bell rings and a huge bucket of water comes crashing down on everyone’s head.  This scared the sh*t out of my little one and it made Logan super-cautious.  To top it off,  the room was expensive and not that great.  It was a bust, for sure.

Khao Yai Golf Carts

After The Greenery, I think we’ll probably stay loyal to the Kirimaya/Muthi Maya (pictured here)

2. Saturday Story Time at Neilson Hays Library

I have been looking forward to doing this for a long time.  Well, last weekend we went to Neilson Hays for the pirate-themed reading and craft, which they described on their FB page as “a morning of swashbuckling pirate adventures” — and we all left very disappointed.  I was falling asleep listening to the volunteer (bless her heart) read the stories.  She used a microphone which muffled her monotone voice and made it almost impossible to understand the words she was reading.  There was a pirate craft afterwards – but one with pointy sticks to make a pirate sail – so,  needless to stay, I steered Katelyn far away from that one.  And the swashbuckling adventures?  Either they never happened or we left too early.  Shame.  To top it off, parking is a complete hassle because the lot is so small.  Total downer.  I like Neilson Hays, but I would recommend taking your children on your own and reading to them.  The Saturday Story Time was a disappointment.


We like Neilson Hays, but we aren’t keen on the Saturday Story Telling

3. Dusit Zoo

Yes, yes, some of you may love this place, but we dislike it.  The first time we visited we got stuck on “Bird Island” the whole visit and missed all of the big animals (so if you do go, know which direction to go upon entering).  It always feels a bit depressing, a bit lame, and very hot.  It just wasn’t for us.  That being said, I have heard you can throw cabbages into hippos’ mouths at feeding time.  That might be the only saving grace about the zoo, because you could NEVER do this at home.  Also, the dinosaur exhibit (you have to pay extra to enter this one) is semi-cool.  I recommend checking out Chiang Mai’s night safari instead.  It is considerably neater.


The pretty sad Dusit Zoo


Feeding these monsters might be the only redeeming factor

4.  Funarium

Many parents swear by this place.  I hate it.  I’m sure that a big part of that is because I live in the Chitlom area and Funarium seems like a long way away during the week in traffic.  Unfortunately, it’s not near the BTS.  I’ve been to the place once when Logan was still under a year and I found the area for little kids pretty sad and kind of dirty.  We haven’t been back since.  I can see where it might be more enjoyable for older kids.  If you have younger ones though, the fairly-new Kidzoona in Ekami (adjacent to the BTS) is a much better option.  And of course for older ones there is Kidzania.  Play Time (also in Ekami) is also a good option for all ages.


Gateway Ekami’s Kidzoona is much better-suited to young children than is Funarium

Now that I’m thoroughly depressed, I promise to go back to posting only about awesome things next week.  I just wanted all of my readers out there to know that when I offer my opinion on a place or a product, it is 100 percent my own opinion .  So there you have it.

4 thoughts on “Not All That Glimmers is Gold

  1. Ami says:

    It’s good to know that not EVERY place you go is worth writing an article about. Keeps it real! Glad to hear you didn’t like the library that day. We just became members and I felt bad we had to miss the pirate exhibit. But not now……………..

    • Loren says:

      Hi Ami! Yes, we love the library and the selection of books they had for kids, but the story telling just didn’t do it for us. Maybe it would be different on a regular Saturday with a different volunteer and fewer kids?

  2. Elissa says:

    Hi Loren, I’m a volunteer with the Neilson Hays Library. I’m so sorry your first Saturday visit coincided with the trial of our speaker/microphone setup. I agree it really didn’t work but hopefully we’ll have it resolved soon. Our events are becoming increasingly popular, which has led to the need for a sound system so that everyone can hear above the chatter. It also means our carpark is in demand – we have an overflow carpark across the road, there is usually a sign giving these directions. Sorry you left before the treasure hunt activity outside, the children really seemed to enjoy it.

    I do hope that you and your family come back to one of our future events! We have our regular storytime/craft every Saturday morning (free for members/100 baht visitors) and once a month we try to have a bigger event with an additional activity (again, free for members/200 baht visitors) – our next ‘big’ children’s event is ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ on Sat 27th July, which is a follow up to our very popular Gruffalo event in April.

    Lastly, we are always looking for volunteers – if any of your readers would like to get involved with the children’s program, or with the library in general, please send an email to We are a mostly volunteer-run organization, so we always love to hear from new people. Hope to see you at the library soon, best wishes, Elissa

    • Loren says:

      Hi Elissa:

      Thank you so much for your comment – I very much appreciate it.

      I was in touch with Elaine last week and she mentioned that the library was in the process of procuring a new sound system for the story telling time and I think this will be a great improvement to the overall experience. I, too, am sorry that we missed the treasure hunt, but unfortunately I just couldn’t keep my little ones (my youngest is one year old) engaged long enough for that part of the event. We love the Gruffalo and are willing to give the Saturday story telling another try. I’ve also told Elaine that I would be willing to read once the new sound system is installed.

      Thank you so much for what you are doing. It is a true service to the community. Although we were underwhelmed by the Pirate Story Telling Saturday, we are willing to give it another try.

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