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Hill-tribe Trekking

Fang Travel Blog

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In the cool morning we began to sweat as we climbed steeper and higher into the hills through stands of teak, redwood, oak, and evergreens. The first ridge offered dramatic views of surrounding green hills rising above white morning clouds. By mid-day, we had traversed two more ridges and valleys, reaching the village in which we would spend our second night; another Akha village.

 

While children played games with stones, a man chopped tobacco leaves, his teeth blackened from years of opium use. Older women, puffing on pipes, wore short black dresses, black shirts and vests, and black leggings below the knees. They wore wide leather belts stitched elaborately with red and blue designs. Black and red sashes, decorated like their Akha headgear, hung at their sides. Two old men appeared and offered opium. A few more arrived, walking pack-horses from the hills laden with burlap bundles of unknown cargo. 

 

In the afternoon, we left our backpacks and scrambled up a steep and winding trail to a small village precariously built on the hill-side. Six children ran up to us with outreached hands, yelling, "Bobo! .... bobo!" Chris reached into a bag for a packet of dehydrated pineapple pieces, intending to give some to each, but the packet instantly vanished in a tightened ball of twelve greedy fists. The huddle of screaming kids staggered in wide circles for a solid ten minutes. When the dust cloud settled, several of them gorged while two others, the smallest, pouted in anger.

 

While numerous pups pranced around the village, we inquired about the absence of full-grown dogs. We were told that they were eaten. As the sun grew low in the sky, we wound our way back down to our own village. Dinner was once again delicious and included a soup of cabbage, onion, and some type of root, and a main course; rice, pork and vegetables. At least it tasted like pork.

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photo by: rotorhead85