|The Trek out of Chiang Mai was a great experience, it was 3 days and 2 nights of hiking through the bush. 8 of us traveling together and 2 guides that made things pretty interesting. The hike was okay, some big nasty hills but for the most part a good hike. We hit a few different Villages that ranged quite a bit, one of them were so used to tourists and getting things from them it kinda took from the experience. The other Villages you could tell that some of the members weren't all that excited about new comers as they probably figured we were going to try to put in a KFC as soon as we could get our claws into the place. The 'less traveled' Villages were awesome though, they lived in huts and were just one big happy family. Pigs, Dogs, Cats, Goats and Dirty happy little kids running around all over the place in perfect harmony (well.. almost.. we did see a dog or two chasing after a chicken for the kitchen scraps they wanted a part of). I'd say that I was more Jealous of the way they live as opposed to felling any sort of sympathy. They dont have much and they like it that way, life is simple, beautiful and you can feel the warmth of the place. So different and strangely enough - it felt so much more evolved from City life. Both nights we stayed in the quiet little villages in a big hut on mats on the floor with no power of course. The Second day our hike was broken up with Elephants taking us part of the way. They were huge and beautiful and they didnt eat us or anything. We thought for sure we were going to fall off or get rolled on or a mouse would show up and scare him or something but - nothing. Just a nice little ride through paths and streams. Our last day we took Bamboo rafts down a river to finish off the last leg of the trip. 4 of us, on a raft, standing. Our guide.. realllly funny guy that thought it'd be fun to take us through mini rapids, under branches and up against tree's that we'd have to duck under and maneuver around without falling in. Everyone fell in at some point.. except Tyler the Super Jock of course. I cant describe the rafting in words that'll do it justice. It was just serene and amazing and beautiful. No one in sight except us and a Village kid here and there peeking around tree's at us. Chaing Mai itself was a cool little city, lots of shopping and lots of great food. The city is surrounded by a Moat that was built 700 years ago to protect them from Burmese invaders. Finally saw some Thai fights on our last night there, they were some good fights I tell ya. Eatin Peanuts, Drinking some Singha (Thai Beer) surrounded by Thai men betting and waving money and yelling at their fighters. There were 8 fights and 2 were won by Knock Out (Sorry Darryl - Still no flying back-spin-kicks).