Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 13 of 16 › view all entries
In the morning Cimi and Te (with helpers) made the bamboo rafts for our dayâ€™s trip. We went to the village school, which was quite large, with around 40 families in the village, and other children from other villages attending. We could see children from all the different tribes by looking at their traditional costumes.
We were loaded onto two rafts, with warning that the constant rain had made the river very high, and we might need to abandon them and walk the rest of the way. The rafts were controlled by poling, which was normally smooth, but in some places the swollen river turned into white water in the rapids. In these places those people not poling had to sit down (on a raft already a few centimetres under water) to help balance. The waves made the water come up to our waist, and we had to hold on to prevent ourselves being washed over. In one place we lost control and nearly hit the rocks. The raft nearly tipped over and Jodie fell overboard. We slammed into a thorn bush which cut up the ear and shoulder of the Swedish boy poling (as he was standing up at the time), but in the end we helped Jodie back on board and safely arrived in Sob Kai. We had a wet lunch and then a wet two hour drive back to Chiang Mai.
Back in the Chian Mai Plaza Hotel, it was a pleasure to shower and dress in clean clothes. We had a small rest, and then hit the night markets, doing most of the shopping we have done on this trip. The night markets were fantastic, with hundreds of tiny stores selling all sorts of things and Akha tribal ladies wandering around selling jewellery with their grotesque teeth (from chewing betel nuts). We bought many things, including clean clothes for the next few days and a trekking backpack to put all our new purchases in. For tea we had pizza (my first meal since food poisoning) and then back to the hotel for a comfortable sleep. Well deserved, we thought.