Trekking in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 11 of 44 › view all entries
We were picked up from the guest house at 9 a.m and driven about an hour to a market to pick up some supplies for our trek, the market was a local food market selling fruits such as durian, rambutan, dragon fruit and figs as well as large chunks of meat such as monitor lizard...yum! Another stall was selling a selection of dried bugs which suprisingly didnt tempt our tastebuds so we stuck to some water and ice creams!
We reached the bottom of the mountain about and hour after leaving the market and the fun began. First on the itinary was an elephant trek. The elephant camp was down a little dirt track and was surrounded by paddy fields and fruit trees, we clambered up onto the elephant who dutifully led us around the same circuit it takes people around every day!
Our guide didn't tell us exactly how long the trek would last but informed us that it was all up hill which, as you can imagine I was thrilled about! It was a baking hot day and we began the climb, it was arduous to say the least! Once leaving the rice fields we entered some forest and slipped our way up the muddy track which led us up the side of a mountain.
After leaving the cave it was a final push for 15 minutes to the Lahu village where we would spend the night. On entering the village we were greeted by a cacophony of animal sounds. Snarling dogs, squeeling pigs, crowing cockerals, tweeting chicks and screaming children! The village was like a picture from a story book with its small bamboo huts on stilts under which the livestock sheltered from the blistering sun.
We had an early night after an exhausting day and couldn't wait to collapse into bed and fall asleep. However, this sadly was not realised as after getting into bed the dogs started howling which was then followed by a chorus of cockerals which went on from about 1.30a.m until about 6.30 which was when the village woke up and the children started their antics!
After breakfast we started trekking back down the other side of the mountain which was thankfully all down hill. Although at first this appeared to be a blessing, it actually turned out to be quite scary as there had been alot of rain during the night so the steep muddy tracks had become pretty trecherous, on the way down both Ben and myself only managed to fall once and the trip down was much quicker than the trip up. We arrived at the river rafting camp after a couple of hours and were kitted out in life jackets and helmets. We got into the raft and began our decent down the muddy swollen river. There were about 3 patches of choppy white water on the river which provided a thrilling ride and lots of laughter as we were nearly catapaulted out of the boat. After some time, and the choppy water had passed we were transferred to bamboo rafts which gave a more tranquil journey. It truly was a thrilling couple of days of exploration and more fantastic scenery.