A 3 day jungle trek in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
So, after 1 day of Cold chillin’ in Chiang Mai city, I signed up for a 3 day ‘Jungle Trek’.
The trip was amazing. Over 3 days/2 nights we would trek 25km’s through deep Thai jungle, spend 2 nights living in huts with ‘Jungle Tribes’, traverse rivers, get drenched in rain, covered in mud, shower outside in freezing cold (pre-collected) rain water, and bath (and shave) in waterfalls! And if that hadn’t satisfied us, we would then ride Elephants and float down a river on a Bamboo raft!
I was with an amazing group of people (4 months after the trip, i ended up living on one of their sofa’s for 3 weeks in Melbourne!). At one point in the trip my friend took off his backpack to grab his coat (as a downpour of rain was correctly predicted, about 2mins before it had started, by our Jungle guide!), to be greeted by a Tarantula crawling on his bag!
We stayed in the most basic bamboo huts, about 12 of us huddled inside one! And we woke with the sounds of Pigs, Dogs and Chicken running around the Village. There was a little kid who I was playing with. The game consisted of him throwing the sole of a flip-flop at me, laughing his arsed off, and then me throwing it back to him. There is a real beauty in simplicity!
After a second day of hard trekking through Rice paddies (and witnessing ‘bird eating spiders’!!!!) we spent our second night next to a huge waterfall (my Krab underwater casing came in handy!).
During the trek, I will never forget the river crossings. There were no bridges, as such, just cut down tree trunks laid across raging rivers. There was nothing to hold on to. If you fall, you are, pretty much screwed. I remember repeating my personal mantra ’Don’t look down….Don’t look down…Don’t look…..OOOHHH F**K!!!’ (when i did actually look down)
The 3rd day consisted of more trekking, followed by riding on Elephants (who stole our bananas) and then a supposedly ‘leisurely cruise’ down a river on a bamboo raft. It was leisurely until we came to the rapids and the 2m waterfall. That was definitely more ‘scary’ than ‘leisurely’.
After 3 days of intense trekking, rather than having a good rest, me and my friends celebrated our survival by doing an all-night drinking session, which ended up at 11am the next morning, in a swimming pool, and me learning to dive (something that i had never done before)….
Ahhh, Chiang Mai….You were golden man! You were golden!