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Three days in the jungle

Pai Travel Blog

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Jungle trek

Have returned from a wonderful if painful trip through the northern mountains of Thailand, almost as far up as the Burmese border...

We ended up with a group of about six, including two guides from the province and spent three fantastic days roaming through the jungle.

Day one we left the comforts of the hotel for a long drive on the back of a ute up into the hills, then trekked for a few hours to a village of the Karen hill tribe in the midst of rice paddies. Spent the night in what was literally a shack, slept on the floor, and 'showered' in the river... the tribal people were lovely and cooked the most delicious Thai dinner.

Awoken on day two by the village roosters who start their noise at about 0330, and the pig who was underneath the hut squealing for breakfast.

a bed for the night
After packing up we commenced an agonising trek up through the mountains- although given the recent heavy rains I spent more time sliding straight back down the slope than making much upward progress! Determination and pain was rewarded after reaching the summit with a steep downhill slope to another tribal village where wild elephants roam and some are kept for transport. After washing my elephant I climbed up her and clung on as she took off... it would have been almost relaxing except that she had a tendancy to want to snack the whole way along- and seemed to prefer the bamboo growing on the downside of the steep slopes, leaving me perpetually about to slide down over her head!

Elephants delivered us to another hilltribe village and home for the night was a bamboo hut high off the ground with a family of pigs and chickens underneath.

the view from my elephant
In case we weren't quite tired enough for the night we started construction of bamboo rafts for the following day...

Day three started much the same way with a rude awakening at 0400 by several determined roosters. Finished constructing the rafts in almost monsoonal rain and took off in the strong current and Grade 3 rapids of the Mae Taeng river for a five hour journey punctuated at regular intervals by capsizing and running into rocks etc. I'm going to be sporting some impressive bruises for a while I think!

Picked up after over five hours in another dodgy ute and sat in the back for a two hour terrifying (?exhilarating) ride back to Chiang Mai- never have I been more excited to see a solid floor, roof over my head, clean clothes, a shower, and no squat toilet!

Heading on a six hour bus ride up to the Laos border tomorrow, and hope to make the border crossing tomorrow night rather than spend the night in Chiang Khong.

elan says:
Yorick adds "Whatever!" - "Elephants are really only like big dogs anyway. As for the lachrymose monk; obviously a man of excellent taste beset by some less than fortunate disorder. Still i suppose it would keep washing the dust out of his eyes. I can't quite think of the name of that Ancient Established Disorder of Perpetual Crying... butmaybe it iws actually just an Ancient Religious Order of Lacrimosa Perpetuum. Trip sounds o.k.......... OKAY ! Sounds fantastic. "Girls Own" Adventures eat your heart out. What a great pleasure to have the chance to share your bulletins of excitment without the pain. What a girl you are Dr. Young! (HE sends his love too - covered in shaving soap before Uni. had mistakenly put in travel not trav. He'd probably just get lost or actually fall off the elephant; then you'd see some REAL crying !.
Posted on: May 24, 2006
elan says:
Wow Bec you are taking us right into the heart of your experience. I have lingeering images of the crying monk and the distance between you and the head of the elephant. Yorick's head from above not so dissimilar, but dwarfed in comparison! Elan
Posted on: May 24, 2006
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Jungle trek
Jungle trek
a bed for the night
a bed for the night
the view from my elephant
the view from my elephant
rafts under construction
rafts under construction
elephant ride
elephant ride
Pai
photo by: Stevie_Wes