While staying at our hotel in Chiang Mai, we checked out the offerings at the travel desk, a common feature at hotels in Thailand.  We were amazed by the value of the 3-day, 2-night trekking package and signed up immediately.  The package included a 24-7 guide, transport from and back to our hotel, one night’s accommodation in a hill tribe village and another night’s accommodation in a hut in the jungle.  The total cost of the package was only 1700 baht (approximately $50) per person!  But it also included a visit to a Butterfly House/Orchid farm, white water rafting, bamboo rafting, a visit to a village to see the Karon ‘long neck’ people, local markets, a one hour elephant trek and all seven meals!  Incredible value!

Our Thai guide ‘One’ spoke very good English and was keen to advise us, explain things and point out items of interest along the way.  He explained local remedies and taught us the 5 laws of Buddhism, all of which he managed to break during the three days!  Next time you get bitten by a scorpion, remember to piss on the wound!’  He gave us a choice of ‘medium’ or ‘difficult’ trekking.  Thankfully we chose the medium, because it was tough!  We were used to lots of daily walking but this was relentlessly UPward.  Towards the end of Day 1, Jenny and one of the Estonians were really struggling.  Thankfully a local woman arrived on her motor-bike and was able to take Jenny the last couple of kilometres, for a  small fee.  The Estonian was not so lucky!  The evening was relaxing with a prepared meal, drinks and some singing by the local children.  I even took up the offer of a massage, which turned out to be TWO women at no extra charge.

We were woken by the village roosters, but had the luxury of a sleep-in.  Day 2 was just as tough as Day 1, only there was some relief from the fierce Thai sun.  We trekked through lush jungle terrain with massive trees stretching upwards towards the sun.  Two fantastic waterfalls, where we enjoyed a refreshing swim, and a lunch stop, broke up the day.  We would occasionally meet up with other groups of trekkers and exchange details.  The muscles were really straining as the day came to an end, so it was great to relax when it was all over.  Beers, another great meal, chatting and cards followed.  We ended the night around a camp fire exchanging stories.

Thankfully there wasn’t much walking on the final day because our muscles were screaming.  It was mainly downhill and included the whitewater rafting, bamboo rafting and ‘long neck’ village.  Lots of photo opportunities.  We would highly recommend the jungle trek, or anything similar, to our readers.  The pain is worth it.

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Jungle Trek