"It's A Jungle Trek Christmas" - Chiang Mai
Dec 22, 2008
After an all nighter bus ride that I really didn't sleep on, we arrived in Norhtern Thialand the city of Chiang Mai where we were picked up by 2 guys from our guest house that we were going to spend the night at and also is who we booked a jungle trek with. Chiang Mai has a great old town with a very tasty night market with all the meat on a stick and cheap noodles and thai dishes you can get your grubby hands on. I decided to treat myself and get a killer one hour foot massage, just to try it. And it was incredible! It only came out to 250 baht(about $4 USD).
1st day of the 3 day 2 night jungle trek, and I'm pretty anxious and excited to jump in the the jungle and grab onto some adventure. The first leg of the trek we went to the elephant camp and went through the jungle for about an hour on the back of our elephant. The elephant Jamie I got was pretty rambunctious and also a teenager, so he was doing whatever he wanted. A few times he went off the trail and up the side of a hill almost causing Jamie and myself to fall off. But it was a good time and a lot of fun. After the elephants we hiked up to a waterfall, then proceeded 3 hours up the mountain to our base camp. The base camp consisted of a big bamboo hut turned into a dorm with thin sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and mosquito nets. The camp was situated next to a river where everyone rinsed off and bathed in. My trekking group consisted of 13 people. 2 Canadian girls we met a few days ago in Ayutthaha, 2 Belgiums, 2 Hungarians, 3 Australians, 2 English and jamie and I represented team America. We all had dinner around a fire with our trek guides and sang songs with one of the guys guitar. Everyone also sang their National Anthem which was quite interesting to hear other countries. The Canadian girls came to think their song was best.
Day 2 of Jungle trek. Today was spent on foot doing a 4 hour trek through the jungle, crossing rivers, playing and swimming in different waterfalls, and washing off and swimming against the current in the river. The 4 hour hike had much better scenery than the first day. Got to our 2nd camp, again by the river but more down stream. The village tribe we stayed next to was the White Karen tribe's. I bought a scarf for my mom here from one of the village women who was weaving them in her bamboo hut. Our trekking guide killed and cooked a snake and made some really good spicy snake curry. The snake tasted a bit rubbery kinda like calimari, but you couldnt really taste due to all the spices.
Dec 25th -- Merry Christmas!!
Woke up early this morning, washed up in the river and walked over to the white Karen Village. The village had about 80 people living there and it was very interesting to see how they lived and worked. We proceeded to walk 2 hours through the jungle and jumped on a bamboo raft for our last leg of the trek down the Mae Waang River. The rafter in charge of steering my raft must have been 10 or 12 years old and pretty damn strong! We even went through a few small rapids and got pretty soaked! 5 people in my trekking group ended up getting sick and throwing up. Luckily the 5 didn't include me and Jamie. We both had our taste of that in the islands! Our stomachs should be good!
For dinner we found a burger joint in Chiang Mai and pigged out on a greasy meal. Then we celebrated the rest of the night at The Roots, Rock and Reggae Bar and saw a couple of pretty good local ska/reggae bands play with some of the people I went on the trek with. It was a great time, but it certainly didn't have that Christmas feeling.