We left Chiang Mai early in the morning. Up north to start our three day jungle treck.
Sebastian and Clara, a couple from Austria, Martin my travel companion, Veronica, a journalist from London, myself, Mr. Mong, our Trek guide and a cook. A small group of European’s looking for an adventure in the jungle. We started with lunch at Mr. Mong’s house and went on an elephant ride, which took about 1,5 hours.
We then hiked up to a little jungle camp, next to a river. It took us about three hours to get there. To swim in the river was an very welcome refreshment after the exhausting hike through the jungle. The dinner, a combination of chicken, stuff Mong and the cook collected in the jungle and rice was really excellent. We spent the first night in a small hut and slept on the wooden floor. It took some till I got used to it.
25th of July, Jungle, Karren village
We left the camp early to hike up a mountain, about 1500 Meters high. We ate our lunchpackage, noodles, on top of the mountain. The noodles where covered in a big leaf. A very good idea, because it doesn’t pollute the jungle. Three hours later, walking through the jungle we arrived at the Karren Village. The children in the village where already waiting for us. We had little presents (candy and cookies) for them. The kids then offered us necklace and some other stuff. I decided to not buy anything. It was a quiet difficult decision. On the one hand, these people are really poor, on the other hand, there is the risk that those people (especially kids) get depended of money from tourists. The kids were very interested in my binoculars and so I spend about an hour, explaining how to use it. I found out that I was the first one who ever showed them binoculars. After dinner, the cook asked us for help with a burning wound on his leg. He had an accident with his motorbike about two weeks ago. The wound was already badly infected. Sebastion is a med-student and knew what to do. He cleaned the wound and put some salve on it. Then he covered the wound with a sterile bandage. That’s when I realised that those people may know that tourists like coke and beer and that we have a lot of money, but they have no glimpse that you have to keep a wound clean and covered. We explained the cook how to handle the wound and told him that he has to change the bandage every day and use new, sterile bandage (to cook cotton bandage before usage) and put salve on the wound.
Tourists come to the Karren village for about four years. Every travel agency . The travel agency want to keep it that way, it’s still a very beautiful, quiet and peaceful place. Hill Tribes used to move around in the past, but the government doesn’t allow them to do that anymore. That’s also the reason why they can’t plant enough rice for the whole village. They have to buy it.
26th of July, Waterfall, Bamborafting
Our last day in the Jungle.. We left the Karren Village around 9:00 am, to visit an waterfall. The waterfall was really amazing, we spent their an hour, before we had to walk back to Mr. Mong’s hous, where we had lunch. Our last “jungle-experience” was bamboo rafting. Very funny, expect that I got bitten by a big bug.
>In the evening we went out with Mr. Nang, the guy who organised the tour. We had dinner at an local restaurant. I was surprised to find out that worms and crickets taste even better than chicken…
27th of July
Our last day in Chiang Mai. We had to catch the train at 4.20 pm and spent the day by visiting two of the 300 temples in Chiang Mai.
The jungle trip was a great experience, which I recommend to everyone who is going to visit Thailand. Choose one of the eco-tours, that’s what I did. Thai travel agencies (at least those I choose) keep their promises when they say ECO.
Ps: And if you find a some rubbish on your way through the jungle, take it with you :-)!