Jun 15, 2005
Oh my Buddha! What a great few days I've had in and around Chiang Mai. It's a much more relaxed place in comparison to Bangkok. But, I haven't been spending my time in the city, I've been having way too much fun in the jungle that straddles the Thai-Burmese border. Our trek incorporated visiting a number of ethnic minority hilltribes (the Karen, Lisu and Ackra - I think that's right). I'd no idea they were so remote! We trekked for hours upon hours and it was mostly uphill in sweltering heat. Of course I prepared well by staying out until 5am the previous night. We stayed with the Karen tribe for a night, and then embarked on making our way out of the jungle. This was much easier as elephants and bamboo rafts meant there was less walking involved. The elephant riding was magical but after 1.5 hours my backside was killing me, and I was glad to transfer to the rafts. The rafting was enjoyable also. There was the adrenaline rush of having to negotiate rapids, and then on the more tranquil stretches it was the perfect opportunity to take in the beauty of the national park. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention that on the first few hours of the trip we visited a beautiful waterfall and Thailand's largest thermal spring (not Yellowstone or Rotorua, but nevertheless it was still good to see). I'm now off to Laos and the bus has just arrived, so I'll catch y'all later.