Posted By: Liam Kelly on 30th Oct 2012 08:40
I`m in a hotel room in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
I`m sitting on a comfortable double bed; air con on full blast, stomach full with delicious Thai food, sipping on an ice cold coke…
This wouldn`t all feel so good if I hadn`t just experienced the incredible four days that I have. The simplest comforts feel like gold right now.
Our tour group was taken on 3 day tour of the surrounding mountainous regions of Chiang Mai.
Each one of us packed bare essentials into small back packs and hit the road for what turned out to be one of the most awesome trips into the heart of Thailand.
The first stop was a small town called Mae Sariang. Here we stayed at a lovely guest house run by friendly staff that guided us through the surrounding area.
We trekked for hours through dense forest and rice fields, close to the Thai/Myanmar border. Along the way our local guide picked fruit and vegetables for us to eat, giving us time to sit in the shade and catch our breath. It was a hot and humid trek but the experience was so amazing that any memories of discomfort caused by the heat are lost.
Our accommodation on the second night was in a small village up in the mountains. The town had one main road, along which small wooden houses were built. I really enjoyed being able to communicate with the local people in the little Thai I know.
We rode elephants through the mountainous paths. The elephant I rode on was 45 years old and had a bottomless pit for a stomach. He would stop every few steps and raise hit massive trunk into the bushes and pull immense amounts of bamboo and leaves into his mouth. It was a surreal experience that drew us into our first evening with no electricity or showers.
After sun set our group was treated to a delicious meal of curry, fried chicken, assorted vegetables and a delicious chili paste that our guide prepared using chili she had picked along the way. After the meal we played card games for a few hours before falling asleep beneath much needed mosquito nets.
When morning came our alarm clocks were of no use. Chanting from the temple up on the hill woke us all up at 5:30am. A slow, relaxing morning continued until we bid farewell to a for filling experience in the village.
Arriving back in Chiang Mai meant a warm shower, cold drink and much needed laundry could be done before we head off on the night train to Ayyothaya tomorrow evening.
I didn`t expected to fall in love with Northern Thailand, but the experiences, people, natural beauty and atmosphere up here make it place you cannot miss.