Chiang Mai Thailand is not only a stunning holiday location, but it offers one of the most intriguing experiences I have ever had. Picture trekking in the mountains for three days and the nearest road is a three-hour minimum walk. The trip began when I stayed in a Guest House called the Eagle House 2. This place was great. It was located near a great Mexican restaurant called the Salsa Kitchen, it was also very close to Roots Rock Reggae, a Thai Reggae bar which in my opinion had some of the best live reggae music I have ever heard (I’m a huge Bob Marley fan). The Eagle House provided the trekking tour making it very convenient to begin the three-day journey outside of the city.
It is very important that trekkers and hikers are informed first before actually proceeding to the adventure. There must be an orientation and overview about the entire trekking experience. Just like backcountry skiing guide when you want to go skiing. This will give trkkers an idea about the whole experience.
Ten of us including the tour guide were picked up from the Guest House by tuk-tuk the day of the trip and began and drive for about two hours to the mountains. The first day we hiked through mountains for three hours among endless rice paddy fields, and villages where the people rarely have seen westerners. The landscape was absolutely incredible with green treetops and small river creeks on our guided tour. The first night we arrived in a Karin village which was located in the mountain tops about five hours outside of Chiang Mai with breath-taking views of the valley’s below. The Karin villages are spread out through the vast mountain range, each at least two to three hours walk from one another. In the village we were provided with sleeping accommodation in a large bamboo hut with plenty of extra room.
The food during the trek was excellent, and beer could also be purchased in the villages for ten Baht. Our guide spent about two hours preparing all of our food and provided at least two dishes; one was usually vegetarian upon request. Our second day consisted of trekking for five hours, drinking water out of bamboo trees, sitting in waterfalls and swimming in a river, which was completely untouched by pollution of any kind. Our accommodation the second night was also in a bamboo hut, both very comfortable. We ate our dinner together and our guide lit a fire while we told stories about our lives back home. The final day of our adventure consisted of bamboo rafting.
The guide and villagers near by, woke up at about four in the morning and began building our rafts from the bamboo trees they had cut down. We floated down the river for about two hours and had about a forty-five minute walk back to our final destination pick up area. We then ventured to the highest mountain in Thailand called Doi Inthanon where we visited gorgeous gardens and the temples of the king and queen. This entire experience showed me that hard work trekking through the mountains can pay off for a real life fulfilling experience or pure tranquility. The only part that was difficult through out the whole thing was the heat, but if it were too much cooler than it would not have been enjoyable either.
Search the Eagle House 2 web site in Chiang Mai. If your going from Bangkok and taking the bus do not pay more then 300 Baht to get there. Do not buy bus or train tickets at the big travel agencies in Bangkok, Khao San Rd is willing to bargain for transportation. Bring extra t-shirts and shorts and because your clothes will get wet. Ladies it’s best to wear swim suit tops under your t-shirts