Jungle trekking and scenes that some readers may find offensive

I’ve just come back from a Thai massage… that got your attention didn’t it! I’m afraid to report that there was no happy ending however having my arse cheeks massaged was oddly satisfying. Nevertheless, a massage was just what I needed after the last few days I’ve had.

I’m currently in north Thailand, Chiang Mai to be precise. After a 12 hour bus journey I was eager to get stuck in so signed myself up for a two day ‘trek’ in the jungle. The clue was in the name.

After a spot of shopping at a local market for supplies I was naive to think that the following hour of sitting on an elephants back was as hard as it was going to get. After lunch, the fun really began. We started our 8km ascent to the summit through the slippery jungle paths. The downside of going to Thailand in off-peak season is the monsoon rain which doesn’t stop it from being hot! The sun beat through the canopy and after a few falls I was just caked in mud and sweat. I don’t think I have ever looked or felt so bad and any sense of decorum was quickly abandoned.

I’m sure that there would be some who would have found this mild but for me this was one hell of a challenge. As I turned every corner I would hope for some flat ground but there would be nothing but more steep climbs. Brilliant.

Through laboured breaths and gritted teeth I dragged myself to the top where just out of relief I collapsed on some bamboo. I closed my eyes and just wished that I could no longer feel my legs. I could hear children laughing and playing. Was I dead?

I pulled myself together to take in the sight. At an altitude of 1400m was the tribal village of the Lahu. So far out of the way they have preserved much of their way of life. The village was very basic and missing some ‘fundamentals’ as I would see them, namely electricity. I learnt about this one the hard way when I had to stumble down bamboo steps to find the ‘toilet’.

The descent was also challenging but broken up with a swim in a waterfall, bamboo rafting and white water rafting, it was somewhat more manageable.

It was just so rewarding. Our tour guide called ‘Good’, who was actually pretty great, said that I should do a seven day trek next time. I’ll think long and hard about that one…

Despite being one of the hardest things I have ever done it was totally worth it. It was such an incredible experience.

You would think after getting back a long shower and bed would be in order but not quite. Instead I decided to have a rather crazy night, which finished just shy of 6am, with a group of Kiwi’s and Irish folk. Just imagine some deleted scene from Snatch that was too crass to make the director’s cut and you get the idea. Madness.

You never see an unhappy backpacker. Why? Because they are all too damn busy having an awesome time!

5 Comments

  • Erica

    December 23, 2010

    Sounds amazing! I’m one of those people who like the sound of a hike “in theory” yet when it comes to the execution I’m hobbling most of the way (but I do manage to finish what I start).

    I couldn’t imagine keeping up in regards to partying with the company you keep! Sounds fun!

  • Good Tourguide

    March 11, 2011

    i cant find you on facebook mate !!!

  • Kesi

    May 1, 2012

    what company did you use for your trek?

  • Gap Year Escape

    May 24, 2012

    I can’t recall the name of the company but in any of the hostels in Chiang Mai will be able to book a tour for you. There are different companies but the routes are exactly the same. Make sure you barter on price!

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