Day 18 - Going trekking

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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The trekking group in the back of the pickup

We woke up this morning bright and early for the trekking. We got all our stuff packed, grabbed breakfast, put our big backpacks away in the locker room and waited patiently for the arrival of Mr Sam. He pulled up on a taxi pickup and had 7 other people there. Jamie, Daniel and Tom were from the UK, Pierre and Helen who were French and Phil and Caroline (yeah another Caroline) from New Zealand. So we all pile into the pickup and headed for the tourist police. Seemingly this is just to tell them who is going trekking and where in case anything happens to anyone.

 

Our first real stop on the trek was at the elephant camp to go elephant riding.

Maria, Tom and an other on top of the pickup truck
The elephant riding was class. There were 2 of us per elephant and some elephants had a 'driver' the others were tied to the elephant in front who always had a 'driver'. The elephants knew the path very well anyway themselves so they didn't really need 'drivers'. The elephant trekking lasted about an hour and was a cool experience. As we got into the camp, we could buy bananas for the elephants for 20 baht per bag so we got a bag each! They didn't last for 20 minutes though ... I think our elephant was really hungry. On the way back we stopped at a tap to get them water ... they are actually very smart animals as whatever elephant was at the tap, they managed to fit their trunk over the pipe so no other elephant could steal their water!

 

After we said thanks to our elephant we got back on the truck/taxi and off we headed to the start of the trekking path. The journey here was interesting as there wasn't really enough space for everyone in the back of the pickup, we had 4 people on the roof and 3 standing on the back of it .

Mr Tom Tom and me hanging on to the back of the pickup truck!
.. something you definitely wouldn't see in a developed world country but in Thailand it was pretty normal!

 

The pickup pulled up at the side of the road ... we thought to check something but it turned out to be the start of our trekking path ... so we all put on our packs and off we headed. Mr Sam in front, Mr Tom Tom in the middle and Eddie at the back. We were well marshaled lol!!

 

The walking wasn't too tough really ... the inclines were reasonably gradual and the pathway was quite wide. We spotted loads of spider webs and termite mounds but the strangest thing I thought was the absence of any animal sounds, no birds or lizards or any animals .

Jamie relaxing on the top of the pick up
.. strange for a jungle!

 

After about 2 hours of trekking we arrived at the camp or home stay. It was very very basic but really cool! The room we were staying in was like a shed - holes in the walls ... entire wall panels missing, and a bamboo floor with 14 blankets laid out on it. It was then that I realised why people had told us to take really warm clothes with us because it got cold at night! There was a lovely river and waterfall beside the home stay so we decided to go have a quick dip to freshen up a bit. Phil the kiwi even decided to take a slide down the waterfall ... he survived but i'm sure it wasn't advisable.

 

After our swim it was dinner time.

The river running along side the road ... we'd go rafting down this eventually!
We had a choice of fried rice with potato curry or fried vegetables ... it was lovely! After dinner we had a few beers around the camp fire and Tom Tom brought out the guitar and the rice whiskey as well! He only had about 5 English songs and one of those was jingle bells but he seemed to keep the group going for hours but maybe that was what the rice whiskey was for! We were lucky though that they had loads of beer Chang there too, 6.4% alcohol ... and it took us about 2 hours to drink all f the slab they had. Fortunately the locals were good business people because when they saw the beer starting to run out 2 of them headed away for more ... About an hour later they arrived back with 2 more slabs of Beer Chang which I think we managed to drink the most of too definitely making the beer run worth it!

 

Then the Thai music broke out ... and the host family had taken over from us at the singing ... Of course we all joined in with the words or no words sometimes too and we even tried to loosen out the muscles by dancing along.

 

About 10 o clock we were all knackered tired and quite drunk so off we headed to bed!

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The trekking group in the back of …
The trekking group in the back of…
Maria, Tom and an other on top of …
Maria, Tom and an other on top of…
Mr Tom Tom and me hanging on to th…
Mr Tom Tom and me hanging on to t…
Jamie relaxing on the top of the p…
Jamie relaxing on the top of the …
The river running along side the r…
The river running along side the …
The drop off from the road into th…
The drop off from the road into t…
The view on the journey up the mou…
The view on the journey up the mo…
A shop on the way up the mountain
A shop on the way up the mountain
Phil relxing on the hammock at the…
Phil relxing on the hammock at th…
The entrance to the elephant trek
The entrance to the elephant trek
Caroline feeding the elephant bana…
Caroline feeding the elephant ban…
Caroline and Me on the elephant!
Caroline and Me on the elephant!
The elephants ahead of us
The elephants ahead of us
The pathway narrows ....
The pathway narrows ....
Jessica and David on the elephant …
Jessica and David on the elephant…
The view from the top of the eleph…
The view from the top of the elep…
Annika and Maria and Pierre and He…
Annika and Maria and Pierre and H…
They would make great elephant kee…
They would make great elephant ke…
Our elephant having a drink
Our elephant having a drink
Helen thanking her elephant!
Helen thanking her elephant!
Our elephant (im releuctant to st…
Our elephant (i'm releuctant to s…
David ... following me on the trek
David ... following me on the trek
Me on the trekking path ... i look…
Me on the trekking path ... i loo…
The people in front of me on the t…
The people in front of me on the …
The group further down the hill!
The group further down the hill!
Caroline ... trekking ....
Caroline ... trekking ....
A Termite mound .. we added leaves…
A Termite mound .. we added leave…
The first water stop!
The first water stop!
Crossing the river .... one of the…
Crossing the river .... one of th…
Pierre .. with too much energy!
Pierre .. with too much energy!
Crossing another tree bridge
Crossing another 'tree' bridge
Entering a rice field on te trek
Entering a rice field on te trek
the rice field burned ready for ne…
the rice field burned ready for n…
The straw from this years rice cro…
The straw from this years rice cr…
The rice field from the top of the…
The rice field from the top of th…
Trekking in the afternoon sun
Trekking in the afternoon sun
The river and water fall outside o…
The river and water fall outside …
The group settling in after arrivi…
The group settling in after arriv…
The room for the night .... see ..…
The room for the night .... see .…
The group stopped for anther water…
The group stopped for anther wate…
The cooking area at our home stay
The cooking area at our home stay
Some of the home made goods the ho…
Some of the home made goods the h…
Our dinner table .. or beer counte…
Our dinner table .. or beer count…
Mr Sam (Our Guide) and Phil
Mr Sam (Our Guide) and Phil
The group doing torpedos quickes…
The group doing 'torpedos' quicke…
Caroline, Caroline, Pierre and Hel…
Caroline, Caroline, Pierre and He…
Mr Tom Tom .... entertaining us!
Mr Tom Tom .... entertaining us!
David and Phil enjoying the music!
David and Phil enjoying the music!
The host family members
The host family members
Mr Sam on the cans and Mr Tom To…
Mr Sam on the 'cans' and Mr Tom T…
Annika and Maria enjoying the fest…
Annika and Maria enjoying the fes…
The lock on othe bathroom door .. …
The lock on othe bathroom door ..…
The locals singing .. after a lot …
The locals singing .. after a lot…
The shop!!
The shop!!
The Fridge!
The Fridge!
Mr Tom Tom and Phil inside the hos…
Mr Tom Tom and Phil inside the ho…
The host family members inside the…
The host family members inside th…
The walls in the houses ... not ex…
The walls in the houses ... not e…
Helen, Daniel (trying to play the …
Helen, Daniel (trying to play the…
Dinner Time!
Dinner Time!
Me ... drunk dancing ot the local …
Me ... drunk dancing ot the local…
Mr Tom Tom giving it loads!
Mr Tom Tom giving it loads!
The glow of our fire!
The glow of our fire!
Caroline and Me ... enjoying the t…
Caroline and Me ... enjoying the …
The locals singing their hearts ou…
The locals singing their hearts o…
Me Sam singing a song!
Me Sam singing a song!
Caroline .. a little surprised tha…
Caroline .. a little surprised th…
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes