Butterflies and Biking

Fall has arrived in Bangkok.  The beautiful, blue sky fall.  I would add “cool,” too, except for the fact that it was a balmy 95F last weekend, which in my book does not really qualify as “cool.”  How about cooler?  Ok, yes, let’s settle on that.  So, the beautiful, blue sky, cooler-weather fall has arrived.  And you know what?  It’s a travesty not to spend it outside.    There are lots of great options for a little trip away this time a year.  Get your ancient Thai history on and head up to Ayutthaya for a day spent marveling at the palatial ruins.

Family trip to Ayuthaya soon after we arrived in Thailand

Take a two-hour drive to Hua Hin, relax on the beach, and try out the new water park.

Enjoying the walk-in beach pool at the Grand Hyatt in Hua Hin

Mosey on up to Khao Yai and enjoy the national park, wine country (just the country; not the wine), and let your little ones delight in feeding calves and goats and riding ponies at Chokchai Farms.

Logan feeding calves at Chokchai last month

Or, for an even closer option, spend a morning at Rotfai Park.

Beautiful day for a bike ride in Rotfai Park

Rotfai is nice and shady; perfect for biking and jogging

It took us two good friends (thanks Jane and Rob!) and a year and a half on the ground before we discovered Suan Rotfai.  And since that discovery a few months ago, we’ve been to Rotfai five times.  Nestled close to Jatujak Weekend Market, Rotfai Park is an oasis of shade, bike paths, and butterflies.  It is serenity.  There is plenty of space for your little ones to run around, practice their bike-riding skills, and take in nature.  Aside from the shade, the best part about Rotfai is that you can rent bikes at 20 baht a pop (yes folks, that is less than 0.75 cents) – bikes for adults and kids of every age and size, bikes with training wheels, bikes with bike seats for children, bikes with baskets, bikes adorned with Hello Kitty – they have it all.

Step One: Rent a bike

After shelling out 20 baht for a bike, stroll through the park to the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, an indoor type of arboretum, which is home to many beautiful butterflies, and your occasional fish, tadpoles, and frogs.  Toddlers love this place.  Parents should love this place.  Kids can run free, up and down ramps, across bridges, around in circles, all the while admiring flora and fauna.

Step Two: Park your bike at the Butterfly Museum and wander inside

Step Three: Let your little ones explore the museum until their hearts are content

Beautiful butterfly

Butterfly deux

Butterflied-out, head around to the park’s playground, part of which is sponsored by Michelin  and boasts tire swings, tire bridge, tire ladders, tire seesaw . . . you get the point.

Step Four: Visit the playground

Step Five (optional): Check out the park’s heavy equipment

Your best bet is to go to Suan Rotfai early.  It’s a great thing to do as a family, but can be even more fun with a few families and several bikes in tow.  I don’t dare try to give you directions to Rotfai because I would probably get you lost.  Instead, I’m going to leave you with some additional reviews that provide maps and directions, including the official Suan Rotfai link:  Bangkok.com – Bangkok Parks, the parent vine – Rotfai Park, and the Government of Thailand’s official Rotfai Park site.

Rotfai Park makes for an awesome weekend morning spent out with the kids this time of year.  We highly recommend it.  Get out and enjoy this gorgeous weather!