Jing-Jang-Jungling Fun

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 20 › view all entries
Well... after my last email we hopped, skipped and jumped over to a busy khao san bar to meet mr. symes (mark) and we sat and dawdled over pepsi until midnight when we got kicked out and headed to gullivers which was full of sweaty youngsters dry humping each other on the dance floor so we scarpered upstairs and minced around watching boxing or the nearby thai lady kicking the brits ass' at pool. It had hit 1.30 and I was tired and the pepsi was unsettling my stomach again so i set off back with lindsay in tow, much to mark's dismay (bless you)

We giggled and messed about with our bags for ages trying to sort out what to take trekking but in the end we gave up and shot off to sleep. I heard the beep beep of my alarm next morning and snoozed it for an hour until we had rush around like blue ass flies fixing our stuff up and attempting to shower and get out of room before 12, when you incur an extra charge! We slid downstairs about 20 past but no one seemed to notice we were late and so we locked our bags up with a bicycle lock and attached all four together before tottering off down the street to get breakfast and postcards that i could scribble on and get rid of in time for christmas-yeeees, i know-i'm cheating-hahaha!!! but least the thought is still there.

After mastering the art of multitasking-coffee in one hand-pen in the other, i flew through my cards in no time and after checking my email i bolted off up the street to post my worldly goods and my gran's birthday present-you see, that's why i should get the title of "favourite grandchild", as i'll probably be the only one who remembers!! After posting my stuff we set off shopping for baggy clothes to scruff up in the jungle and landed on some pants that look like they're from a weightwatchers advert-"i was once this size" sort of advert-i dove right in there and bought some but knew they were going to be difficult to master but i was determined, all the same. After picking up some cheap ass clothes and tops we headed back to the hostel to collect our washing and sort out our bags for said jungle trek which we set off for at 6pm by bus to chiang mai. Yet another long bus journey-whoop whoop!! Lindsay's card not working as usual, I had to get excess cash out to sub so we could get food for the bus. After struggling with our big bags and changing in a toilet and hitting the 7/11-I was rip roaringly ready to go and looked like a trooper.

We hid our bags in a store room under lock and key and just took our small rucksacks and headed for the bus, we all spread out but then it began to fill up so me and lindsay had to squash onto two seats with our overfilled little rucksacks and so sleeping was virtually impossible unless you had tranquilisers or valium! In between some stifled groans, snoring and jolts of the bus, i picked up about 20 minutes of sleep. I knew I'd be feeling great for the jungle trek in the morning-grrrrr...! Then the bus driver stopped once every hour and no one could physically be bothered to drag their butts off the bus except the drunk one's so we all just huddled together dribbling against the window, looking like kids on a special bus! The air con wasn't on and we were sweating like I don't know what but when he did turn it on, half way through the journey, even the window was shivering-it was like the antarctic!!! Yes... even worse than yorkshire on a cold day!!

6.30 soon came by and we touched down at base about 15 minutes from the centre of chiang mai and after we separated ourselves into our colour coded groups we made like a banana and split, driving off in different directions to different locations until our minivan shuddered to a stop, then we clambered out checked in, got our passports photocopied and then were frog marched to hotel rooms where we could shower or sleep for two hours before we set off. We met in the lobby about 9am and had a bit of breakfast before being ushered into the back of open back taxis but we had too many people in ours and injuries from going over bumps were a must have accessory after our ride from hell.

First stop was to the police station where they checked us off on their trekking list and took our photocopied passports in case we got lost in the jungle. Then with the rest of our group-4 swedish, 2 germans, 2 dutch and 2 elderly english people we set off to an orchid farm where we looked around at the beautiful flowers and stalked a big hairy spider that hung above our heads. Next on the agenda was a snake farm where they put a snake down some poor unsuspecting tourists shorts-a jungle snake that jumps but the snakeman had told it to roll over and sleep and it just did!!! Who knew you could train snakes to roll over and lie down and sleep etc!!!??? After watching a python go swimming with a snakeman and then appear above the surface wrapped around his neck, we trotted around the park noticing that all the snake cages were unlocked and the only thing that was locked up was a chicken!! Doubt a chicken would wreak much havoc in a place like that!!

After the snake farm we hit a market and bought some sweet stuff from the bakery and some water for our epic mountain climb later on in the day. After a 1 hour bumpy ride along the hill tops and a mouth full of dust, we finally came within sight of lunch and so we settled down to a feast of fried rice and fresh pineapple before attempting the trek up the mountainside, through the wicked jungle. We were given a bamboo walking stick to help us on our way and so our group, led by our guide, looney, (hmmmmph... enough said) set off up the hillside in a gradual climb batting back bush after bush, crawling over tiny bamboo bridges and tiptoeing over stepping stones until we reached the other groups who were sat resting on a rock and while we rested-they set off.

I was at the front of the pack for a good 60 minutes but then the hill became sheer and unsettled and so i lagged at the back puffing and panting with the rest of them as we made our way up the path. Well.... I call it a path but it was just a dirt track that had hardly been worn in and was extremely difficult to manouvre on. After about 45 minutes, we had made it to the top and we looked out at the other group below taking another route yet equally as dangerous before heading off into the tribal village for dinner. We lay our weary feet out in the dying sun while in turn, everyone took a shower and settled down for the night but me and lindsay fell asleep and had to be woken up by the english lady who removed us from our beds for tea round the indoor campfire. The food was a feast for a jungle trek as last time I did one we lived on fried rice and egg and it became tasteless after the first day, let alone the other two!! We had fried chicken, rice, fried vegetables, sweet chilli sauce, deep fried babycorn and pineapple and melon for dessert. In the words of a Bristolian-GERT LUSH!!!

After tea we sat snuggled around the campfire singing the ABC. Random choice, i know but the thai people only knew bits of english songs and so remixed the beatles with oasis and then the liverpool theme tune and by the end of it we were so depressed by the singing we just did the ABC from every country sat round the campfire cos everyone knew the words to their own language ABC however me and lindsay cocked up as we forgot the tune to it and then the other english people wouldn't sing-booooooooooooo!!

After 2 hours of painful singing and me getting pestered by the deaf and dumb guy who kept prodding me and touching me and giving me things while i was half asleep and half blind from the campfire ( I had to sit in sunglasses for the entirety of the night as I couldn't stop tearing up with the black smoke shfting around in my eyes) we all scuttled off to bed-one by one. The beds were in a wooden hut made of bamboo, a small dorm room beckoned us and a double mosquito net hung from the ceiling skimming over two single thin mattresses-we had to huddle under two blankets as it is winter here now and very cold on the hills at night. Even the dogs tried to cuddle down next to the fire for warmth! The deaf and dumb guy was a very funny but when we were all tired, he picked me to try get attention from and I hadn't the energy to play, not that night and so I chatted to him in the morning instead through some sort of signing that he understood. Next morning we all sat round the still smokey fire eating pancakes with honey or jam and cups upon cups of coffee preparing for the 5 hour walk ahead.

The Germans and Brits left to just do the 2 day tour where as we left our guide and joined another group and eventually there was about 40 of us pounding the oncoming hill but as I got my speed up, my group became dots in the distance and so I ploughed on with a group of Danish people who were speeding up the hill but I didn't find the pace threatening and it was nice to meet some new people. Little did we know that the other group had taken an easier route and so I had climbed a ruddy great big hill (in the words of my dad) for nothing!! We were gutted but carried on regardless as what goes up, must come down. We eventually reached a village and played with the pigs and puppies for a while before jetting off down towards the waterfall while getting chased downhill by a few unruly cattle. Our guide was an absolute geezer and even though he couldn't speak-he could sign and he made us new bamboo sticks and fed us berries from the trees telling us what was good and what wasn't. I was loving the new guide-he wasn't mine but he was cool!

We made it to the waterfall and I found my group, then I was ushered down to eat with them before leaving my Danish friends and setting off with the brits and the rest of my group. We slid over hill, over vale, climbed across wobbly bamboo bridge after bridge and shot across slippery rocks in order to get to camp. Everyone had fallen at some point but we all laughed and didn't give a hoot and then we came into the valley. The light bounced off the glossy carpet of grass and the trees went on and on until they clawed their way into heaven-it was magical and I was totally in awe. We shuffled our weary bodies down the rocky pathway and finally made our camp by 3.30 where I proceeded to hit the shower but unlike the last place that had a hosepipe sticking through the top that ran like a shower, this one was old school and errr... basic=bucket and cup of water. NICE... real jungle experience!

After showertime we went and hung out by the river watching whitewater rafters fall in or people lose their helmets and just generally chatting about random stuff like my childhood or cara's pvc pants-hehehehe!! Then we wrapped ourselves up and tottered along a wicker bridge high above the river and went to watch the boys fish with a stick and, a bit of rope and a hook and I'll give them their due-they actually caught something but instead of bringing it back to camp they sawed it in half with a rusty machete and left it on the riverbank-muppets!! Not that we would've eaten it anyway.... Then we had tea and all sat round chatting with beer and whisky over pumpkin stirfry, rice, soup and fried vegetables. After tea we flung ourslelves over to the campfire nicely burning away in the distance and cuddled together trying to get warm while some flitted over to their cabin for copious amounts of opium-yeeesh! Surprised they weren't sick for rafting today!! Creepy McCreeperson aka Rich was a silly boy and was fawning all over me like a bad smell-telling me that I wanted to kiss him etc. Errrr... NO!!!! Word to the wise, matey, A-arrogance is not hot, B-you are slightly scary and C-jog on! Me and Lindsay sat laughing at him then mingled for a wee while longer before we all headed our separate ways and my group headed for bed and squeezed down into our rugs as it was freezing and we were right on the river and had no door to protect us from the harsh thai wind battering our bodies.

This morning I woke up to an earthquake (shivering bodies all around me). Clearly I must be used to the cold and was fairly toasty even at 6 am in the morning. So after I couldn't get back to sleep I went and showered and believe me-then I was frozen!! After that, I dressed, grabbed arug and my coat and went and stoked the shimmering fire until actual heat radiated from the embers and the fire sparked once more and so I sat pondering the world in my wee seat surrounded by dogs and then eventually, the Swedes before being summoned for breakfast.

After a coffee or 3 I watched the elephants go down to the river and get bathed and scrubbed with a flip flop-novel, I know. Then I went for toast and fresh pineapple and to brush my teeth and when I came back there was a queue for the elephants and so I ran like wildfire to Lindsay's side and climbed on top. We named our elephant speedy as it kept running everywhere even up big hills and he was naughty and sprayed mud on me or sprayed his dirty breath all over me-mmmmmm.... tasty!! He pounded down the riverside trying to nick stuff from a lady's house on the way and then he kept on going and wouldn't stop for photos as he was on a mission. When he finally slowed down it was cos I was bribing him with bananas but the other elephants came from behind and tried to steal them-thieves, eh!? But I wasn't going to mess with a beast that weighs a ton. After taking speedy back to camp we proceeded to get our helmets and lifejackets for whitewater rafting and dressed like wee orange midgets we carried our raft down the bank to the river where we were under instruction on what to do when. We climbed in and away we went.

After a few hairy rapids and me sat at the front on the right hand side getting sogged-word to the wise, sit at the back on the left.. We merrily got into the swing of things but soon after we hit a rapid on my side sideways on and the boat capsized. We were told to cling onto the rope so we all hung on for dear life. Lindsay slid onto the bottom of the raft, I fell out the sidehead first but still clinging on and the swedish girls fell fully out but managed to hold onto some form of rope, we all managed to pile back in and we set off again with adrenalin pumping threw our veins at high speed but the raft ahead of us got stuck on a rock and we got stuck behind them and after they managed to slip away-we got stuck!! Bloody brilliant.. Then we were instructed to all move over to the right to push off but it didn't work and our raft was quickly filling with water off the rapids above but even though the raft tipped, it didn't budge. Then we all ran to the back of the boat and eventually it moved slowly but surely and the water seemed to drain away gradually and so we jotted off down the rest of the river in a mellow organised fashion unlike 10 minutes previous when there were legs and arms everywhere and the photographer just happened to film us just beofre it happened-we look a mess. Another photo to throw darts at!

After the white water we made it onto a bamboo raft but that was sinikng all the way down and after resting a while and getting sunburnt again I opted for paddling and so I stood up waving my stick around the water like a crazy woman trying to move the raft but I drove us into the bushes and we almost fell off. After another 30 minutes of splashing each other and getting suitably drenched we had come to the end and so crawled out the river looking decidedly wet and brown-nice. We washed ourselves off with a hosepipe and changed before lunch of pad thai and pineapple-I am SOOOOO going to turn into a pineapple. After photos and goodbyes, we set off in different vehicles and eventually got dropped off at our hostel-panda guesthouse. Which just so happens to be run by ladyboys-ha!! So now I'm properly showered, have had tea and am feeling fine we're off to the night market to totter around and eat pancakes-yum!!

Another chapter ends..... que sara sara xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes