Trekking Times in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 4 of 14 › view all entries
We decided on a whim that we wanted to get out of Bangkok and booked the 6pm overnight train to Chiang Mai within the hour! Of course we got a bit scammed, it was an expensive trip and our upper bunks were small but comfortable! We met some fellow travellers on the train and proceeded to play, to the dismay of every other passenger no doubt, very loud card games well into the night. Highlight: accidentally waking up the train staff on a quest for more beer... so we stocked up on 10 big Chang beers from a disgruntled attendant!!
Unfortunately I will have to put more soon about the actual trekking later and I promise pictures will be added soon! Tip: make sure you charge your camera BEFORE trekking into the jungle!
The trek really was awesome and I'm sure we got ripped off and I'm sure we did all the touristy things even though it was the "non-touristy" route but HEY we had a great damn time!! Our guide was a humorous little guy (whose name escapes me right now but I'm sure it was Johnny or Danny or some other random farang name).
Then it was off to a fresh food market to stock up on food for dinner, and ogle at the things Thai people cook as food... every kind of bug you can imagine for starters. The smell left a LOT to be desired.
We stopped for lunch at a lovely little place where we dined on fried rice and looked out over the vividly green rice paddies before taking a short walk to an Elephant park. As always you feel a bit guilty riding on these majestic creatures and seeing them chained up. On the other had we guessed that if no one paid to take the rides it would be the gentle giants that suffered even more.
After the rides it was off into the jungle. We trekked for several hours and though it was hard work it wasn't nearly as tiring as we'd feared. At the end of the climb was a gorgeous waterfall that made us forget every ache anyway. We splashed about for a while before drying off and continuing on to the village where we were to spend the night.
Ok so I know it's naive to expect tribal clothing and quaint little huts, but we were a bit surprised at all the satellite dishes on said huts!! The tribespeople kept mostly to themselves apart from a few who came to help us cook and wash up after dinner. Memorably, a seemingly innocent old lady came over to our hut and dumped an impressive bag of marijuana in the lap of our rather surprised trek-mate.
In the morning we woke (very sore from sleeping on the floor) and trekked further along the valley to visit a "bat-cave" actually I thought the walk was more impressive. We saw some great views and walking through giant groves of towering bamboo was a highlight of the trek. The jungle so easily makes you feel small and vulnerable while being achingly beautiful. The path was just worn enough to be relatively easy without seeming "touristy".
After a quick peek into the cave we all marched back down again to have another fried rice lunch before heaving ourselves back into the cars to head back to Chiang Mai.
Easily a highlight of my trip and I recommend trekking to everyone and anyone!