Jungle Trekking - a messy affair

Chiang Mai Travel Blog

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so we strated our three day trek on the 9th. There were ten of us on our first day and all were nice people. There was one guy who worked at Nottingham Uni and lived in Beeston! Crazy what a small world! There was also the obligatory annoying one but there is always one!

Our trek was in the Doin Inthanon National Park and Mae Wang. It was a stunning area and the terrain made for a challenging trek in the heat! The practice runs in derbyshire were good but i should have been wearing at least five more layers to simulate the amount we sweated on the trek! It was quite gross!! I'm glad we were in the middle of nowhere, i bet we smelled terrible!

So first stop was an incredible temple ontop of a mountain - the view was amazing. There were lots of buddha figures around but the best one was at the top It was at least 10m high and all gold. The biggest one i have seen so far. it was stunning.

We then headed off on the first part of the actual trekking. We visited lots of stunning waterfalls and spent alot of time walking down and then up steep sided valleys! It was hard work but realy fun. Myself and Kat had been craving exercise after being quite inactive for a while! This definietly satisfied our craving!

Our camp for the night was a little selection of huts in some rice paddies in the middle of nowhere. our guides cooked us a great meal and then they got drunk quite quickly on local whisky. We attempted a sing along with an out of tune guitar. The guides pretty much only knew the first few lines of songs so murdered those and then we gave up andlistened to the BrodPod which was much better! Our sleeping quarters (cant refer to them as beds, that usually implies something comfortable!) was a hut with a raised bamboo platform and then bamboo mats ontop! Then you had a pillow that was opssibly made of wood it was that hard and smelt like rotten wood anyway and a questionably clean and musty sleeping bag! It was all part of the experience but that involved very little sleep that night. It also included crossing your legs if you needed the loo as it was a squat toilet in a very dark hut 100m fom the bedroom!

The second day started with splitting the group as some were only doing two days. So it was down to me, Kat and a guy from Austria called Joerg who was cool for the rest of our tri. It was a day of hard trekking and waterfalls. Our lunch was a takeaway one made by the guides that morning. iT was noodles and veg wrapped in a cool little banana leaf package! We finally made it to our camp after a very hot and sweaty day and encounters with large spiders(!) and raced for a shower. The shower was in a concrete hit and came out of a hole in the wall, it was so cold it took your breath away but was so refreshing and got rid of some of our grime. The setting of the camp was again eautiful and was connected to a Hmong hill village. Our guide made us another great meal and me and Kat collapsed in bed at 9pm! However it was another night of little sleep as this 'bed' was harder than the last!

I got up as soon as it got light to go to the loo and it was all misty and dewy outside and around the mountains the clouds were hanging really low. Was so pretty. Thankfully we didnt have to do much more walking today, me and Kat were doing Whaite water rafting. This however turned out to be a very sedate paddle on a river! We then headed to the elephant camp for a ride on an elephant. The elephants were gorgeous. Our elephant was very stubborn though and mostly had to be bribed away from eating all the time! It also felt the need to spray us with mud which was much appreciated! I enjoyed it but not 100% sure about the ethics of the whole thing.

So the last thing on the agenda was bamboo rafting. We had been really lucky with the weather and it hadn't rained at all until we got on the raft and the heavens opened with three days of rainy season water! We were soaked through in minues! It didnt matter though as bamboo rafting is as rickety as it sounds! POles of bamboo are strapped togther with old tyres and then when you sit on the raft it sinks 6 inches into the water!! Itwas alot of fun but not sure what health and safety in england would have said!

So after that it was time for me and Kat to say our godbyes as she is heading down to the islands and I am staying up here for a while. There were tears and all of a sudden it was all very daunting! But we are both ok now and will meet up in UK. I managed to find myself a guesthouse for the night which turned out to be owned by the same people as where me and Kat had been staying. It was 150 Bhat for the night with a cold shower. I didnt mind as long as it had a bed and no bugs! What more do you want for 3 pounds!! I did my own laundry and got myself organised for my trip omorrow down to Sukhothai.

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Chiang Mai
photo by: Stevie_Wes