Hill tribe trek
Trip Start Nov 15, 2004
70Trip End Nov 10, 2005
We decided to subject ourselves to a 3 day, 2 night hill tribe trek north of Chiang Mai and weren't too sure what to expect when we headed out with our group of 2 New Zealanders, 2 French, 2 American, 1 Swede, a Pom and 2 other Aussies. Riding an elephant was more enjoyable for Kate, who got to sit on the chair, whilst Michael endured the sweaty and insect ridden neck for the hour - definatley a memorable experience. The mountains are beautiful and after a fair bit of uphill walking we got to enjoy some spectacular scenery as the night mist rolled over the hills.
Our first night was spent in a Lahu hill tribe village high in the mountains (1500m) and our concerns over intruding in these peoples lives were soon erased as we were invited into their bamboo homes, treated to singing and music by the children and given many smiles
We visited another village during our second day of trekking before arriving at our second camp site beside a beautiful waterfall. Despite the most mangy looking dog family we have ever seen living at our camp we had another great night by the campfire enjoying local specialities and having a few Chang beers. Our final day was spent trekking down the hill and breathing in the fresh hillside air before getting wet white water rafting followed by floating down the river on a semi-floating bamboo raft.
Overall it was a fantastic 3 days and something we will never forget. Despite there being some obvious poverty and health problems in the villages we visited, the hill tribe people we met, particularly the children, were full of life and laughter and were obviously proud and engaged with their culture.
After perhaps a few too many drinks with our trekking buddies we have so far spent Christmas day sleeping and eating. Kate's going to enjoy her last Thai massage as a Christmas treat and then it's off to enjoy some more fantastic Thai food - no turkey for us!