Too much to catch up on, dear readers! I’ve spent the last three days in Chiang Mai, and my time here has been full of adventure.
Initially when we arrived, Helen and I had a hard time deciding what sort of trek to go on. She was concerned about the way the elephants were treated, and some of the hill tribe visits seem like a big theatrical production. In the end, I decided to go on a two-day trek, and she did a one-day with a separate elephant training course. We were both happy.
So away I went! I got picked up from my hostel in a truck with benches and a cover in the back, and four other travelers and I embarked to the forests south of Chiang Mai.
The first day was just walking. We saw this pretty waterfall…
…and we swam in this waterfall/pool thing while some locals did their laundry and two girls swam around in pink dresses…
…and then we walked to our jungle paradise bungalows.
We had dinner prepared by our guide, had a couple brews, then played a clapping game. If you messed it up, you got punished with soot on your face. I only messed up a few times, but our guide Leon particularly liked beautifying my face.
The next morning, we checked THE bat cave. We didn’t find Batman or Robin, but we did see this disgustingly huge spider.
Next up was another waterfall, with nice rocks from which we could throw ourselves off of.
And because we hadn’t done enough yet, we took a pleasant float down a river on a bamboo raft. I even steered it around (very poorly) for a while.
And then, saving the best for last, ELEPHANTS!!!
I got to ride a momma elephant around bareback for about half an hour. It was hard work, and I felt like I was going to fall off more than once. But it’s an incredible feeling, being on top of such a huge, magnificent animal.
So that was my Chiang Mai trek! Super touristy, sure, but still a fantastic experience. I mean come on, I RODE AN ELEPHANT AND JUMPED OFF ROCKS INTO A GORGEOUS WATERFALL. That is all.