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September 26, 2003 : Jungle Trekking, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Trekking

Three days of trekking in the jungle south of Chiang Mai, riding elephants, going down a stream on a bamboo raft, taking showers in waterfalls... 23/9

First, we had to get from Koh Samet to Bangkok. We took a taxi from our bungalow to the pier and got on the 10.00 boat to the mainland. After that we took the bus to Bangkok and arrived just an hour to late...
I shared a cab back to Khao San Road with Anna, had to bargain very much to get the price down from 350 to 250 baht, and even then it was very expensive. "Much traffic, much traffic, threefifty baht, no less!" "Ok, 300 baht, much traffic!" "twoeighty baht, very cheap, much traffic!" We got tired of it and started walking away, and then he decided that 250 baht was ok as well. Bargaining can be fun, if it is for something you don't really care if get or not, but sometimes it's really annoying.
When we arrived at Khao San, we walked to a street beside it, to get away from all the noise. Couldn't find two single rooms (isn't this supposed to be low season!?), so we decided to share a twin bed room instead. We just left our bags in our room and went to get some well needed lunch at a pub not far away. When we had eaten, we left some clothes to be washed and then we walked around Khao San. Met Frank and Anders that had fixed traintickets to Chiang Mai for us. Spent the evening taking it easy, with a beer in my hand... that's a rare sight these days *cough*


The day after, I met up with Frank on Khao San and had some breakfast. While we are sitting there, the english girls shows up, they are walking along the street doing some serious shopping.
We go to Green GH and put Franks bag in Annas room, where she has already put mine. Then we go out to shop a bit as well - I buy myself a pair of thin pants and a mosquito net, and some other things I need. Spend some time at an internetcafe before going back to Green GH to fetch the backpack and say farewell to Anna and wish her good luck in Nepal.
Then we go to the travel agency to get our passport with visas and the traintickets. Take a taxi to the trainstation, find our train and jump aboard.
Decent seats, so the journey isn't too bad, and at around 22.00, the make-the-beds-guy (as usual in this country, there are a lot of people working) shows up and turns the seats into beds, and makes them ready for the night. I jump up to my bed and read for a while, and then try to sleep. Really hot and noisy though, so it's difficult, even if you are sleepy. I woke up at 3 o clock for some reason, and hoped it's morning. It was I guess, but a bit to early...


I spent the morning on the train to write down 4 days of diary, to my cup of coffee that I had as breakfast. We arrive in Chiang Mai at 09.30 or so, and walk outside to get to the guesthouse we have been recommended to go to by the english girls. Have to get past a lot of guesthouse sales people, and some taxi people offering us a ride to Banana guesthouse where we are going to stay, before finding a guy with a sign that says "Banana" that shows us how to get our free ride to the place (it says in Lonely Planet that it is supposed to be free, that's why we didn't go with the guys offering us a taxi for 50 baht... they probarbly knew it as well, but they like to fool stupid tourists in this country).

Arrives at our destination after a short ride through the city, and meet a guy named Mr Sak that fixes rooms for us and tells us about the trekking tour. He was a really nice guy, and all of us liked him right away, so we decided to trust the english girls judgement and go with Mr Sak on a trekk - 3 days and 2 nights, food included for 1700 baht.

Dumps our stuff in our rooms and then we go to into the city and eat breakfast. For me it consisted of a really good hamburger with french fries. Nutritious. :)
Grabs a free magazine with a map of Chiang Mai in it, and head for a shopping area. I manage to get us there, but must have missed something, because we walked a bit on a few unnecessary sideroads. We spend a few hours walking around in the shops, until we get bored and grab a taxi back to our GH where we are going to have a meeting about the trekk. Discovers that there will be six people on the trekk - us three, a really nice irish guy, and (also very nice :) two girls, that comes from Sweden. And they have planned to go to both Laos and Vietnam after Chiang Mai. And their visa for Vietnam starts the same day as ours. It's a small world...
After the meeting, the six of us go in to town to eat dinner and get to know each other better, and then we visit the Chiang Mai night market, which, like all markets I've seen, have a few different kinds of stuff getting sold, then it's multiplied a lot of times to fill up the street. Nothing really interesting though. And all the old women selling handicrafts are really annoying, it doesn't even look good... can you please get away from me while I'm eating dinner!?
We go back to our GH quite early to pack our stuff into the backpacks we have borrowed, and go to sleep, all of us probarbly a bit excited over the adventure we are going on the next day.


We go up at eight and eat the breakfast we ordered the day before. Then we pack ourselves and our equipment in the back of an open car, and go to the first stop of the day - a nice waterfall, where we eat our lunch and the others took a swim. I didn't feel like it, so I just enjoyed the nature and took a few photos.

the trekkers eating lunch
the waterfall
our guide and 3 of us
After an hour or two, we get back on the road, for something that is more than a rollercoaster ride than something else... Really bad roads, lots of curves and lots of hills. At last we reach our destination, a small village in the mountains, that actually has a decent standard of life (everything is relative though...). We walk around the village and check out their school and how they live.

the school area
piglet! *sniff*
After the short sightseeing of the village, we put on our backpacks and start walking down a hill and out on small paths on the ricefields. After an hour of walking, we take a five minute break, looking out over the beautiful fields.

schyssta bananer!
walking commandoteam
a ricefield cabin
Mmm... refreshing!
We keep walking for one more hour, until we reach another village, were we can buy ourselves a cold (more or less...) coke and rest for a little while again, before heading to our goal for the day: the elephant camp, where we are going to spend the night. We put our gear in the big bamboo hut where they have fixed "beds" for us, and put on our bathing clothes. Then we go to a waterfall nearby and gets rid of some of the dirt from the road in the really cold water. It feels wonderful! We go back to our camp and talk for a while, then we join the others in the hut where they are making our dinner. We listen to our guide Mr Sak while the other two thai people are fixing our food. When it's done, we go out to the table and enjoys a two meal dinner, with fresh fruit as dessert, in the dark of the night.
looking at our dinner entertainment

When we are done eating and all out of candles, we fix a camp fire a few metres away. We sit there and talk for an hour or so, until Mr Sak and the other thai guys join us and Mr Sak tells us funny jokes, that are to dirty to write down here...
We go to bed quite early, tired after the long day and the walking. It's pretty exciting to be in a hut in the middle of the jungle, listening to all the weird noises from the outside...


The day after, a few of us head back to the waterfall for another shower - that sure woke us up!
Go back to the camp and eats breakfast, with this view (there are elephants in the background...)

We pack our gear and then get on the coolest "vehicle" I've ever been on, the back of an elephant. I sat on a wooden seat on the back, while Frank sat right on it's head (well, neck anyway). When we had climbed up on it, the elephant got the high gear in, and ran up the hill, where the others where. Weeeh! :)
Waited there for a while, since the girls elephant was kinda slow in the start, but after a few minutes we kept on walking. Hard to describe it, but it was really fun! If you ever get a chance to ride around on an elephant in the jungle - do it.
My ride was a bit more exciting than it was supposed to be, because my seat wasn't done very well, which meant that the metalframe annoyed the elephant so he tried to shake me off. I had to hold on to the sides really hard, which explains why I might look a bit scared on the pictures :)

The elephant also showed that he didn't like us by eating a bunch of leaves and then sneeze it all over us. We were full of green dots when we arrived, and that's why I look like a bandit on the second picture, didn't want it in my face... :)
Our elephant was a bit weird, it didn't like to walk on the path as the others, so a lot of times I had to watch out for branches and stuff, and at one time my left foot got stuck under a lian which was a bit annoying. After a short while it broke though, so I kicked poor Frank in the back, but at least I got to keep my foot...

After an hour or so, the fun was over, so we jumped off and got ready for some walking. And it was not very easy... The elephants got us a bit of the way up, the rest of it we had to take care of ourselves - reaching the 1600m high top of the mountain. On the way up our guide, that fortunatly was walking in front of the rest of us at the moment, spotted a green snake on the path, a really poisones one. Unfortunatly I couldn't get a good picture of it...

I was half dead when we reached the little stream of water where we took a rest - I was completly dead when we reached the top. Damn, that was hard! I blame the thin air though, nothing wrong with my condition... :)
But I made it, and we had earned our one hour rest on the top of the mountain when we got there.

Here we had our lunch, that was wrapped in a couple of leafs and we ate with small bamboo sticks. Cool. :)

When we had eaten, Mr Sak entertained us with some match tricks.

When we were about to leave the mountain top, the rain started pouring, so the trip down was a bit dangerous. But at least it wasn't as much trouble for me as the way up...

When we arrived in the village where we were going to spend the night, we put our backpacks in our room, and then went out for a sightseeing around the village. First we walked to the local school, that is funded by us backpackers going on Banana GH trekking, so the place is called 'the banana project'. Mr Sak told us about the school and the life of the villagers, really interesting. Good to know that your money (well, at least 20% of it) is dedicated to go to a good cause.
Then we walked a bit further, and sat down in a hut belonging to some people I assume Mr Sak knew quite well. He kept on telling us about the life in this kind of villages, while the people living in the hut mostly seemed to laugh at something, presumably us... :)

After our "education" we joined the locals in a friendly game of fotball. It was really fun, but a bad idea since I already had a problem with my left foot. It sure didn't get any better...

When the game was over, we went back to our hut and ate dinner, with some annoying dogs running around at our feet. The food was once again really good, it's fun how almost anything taste good when you are out in the wild and work out a lot...
We went into our bedroom and talked, and Mr Sak joined us of course

We had some very big spiders in the roof of the hut.... we assumed they were harmless. Perhaps it was a good thing we had mosquito nets over the beds...


At 05.30 a very annoying rooster started crowing. And it was sitting in a tree about one metre from our heads. We hoped that they would serve it for breakfast, but unfortunatly they didn't, we just got scrambled eggs and toast. Oh well, perhaps one of those eggs would have turned into another annoying beast like the one that woke us up, so maybe we saved someone else from the horror... :)

After the breakfast, we started walking again. Luckily for me, it was almost no uphill - that was a good thing considering what my left foot looked like...

Walked for an hour or so before we took a short break by a small stream. Splashed some water on me before we started walking again, heading for the best experience of the day - an hour long break by a small river, with a small beach with sand on it. It was so beautiful and very nice to swim around there!

Some people jumped from the cliffs

and most of us enjoyed ourselves by gliding down in the stream and bouncing around a bit before getting back to the surface again

Some people even acted out some scenes from Karate Kid or something like that... :)

When we were done enjoying ourselves, we kept on walking along the stream, looking at these ugly beasts on the way:

With just a little bit left to walk, we had to cross the river. On a bridge that did not feel to safe. And to spice it up a bit, we could just walk on the long pieces of wood, not the short ones that crosses over. That's soo easy when you can't reach the sidebar...

We all made it over, and then we walked to a village nearby and sat down to wait for a car to take us to a place where we would get lunch. When we had eaten, the last part of the trekk began - the bamboo rafting. There were four people on every raft - one local guy in front that does most of the work, two lazy bastards in the middle that does nothing at all but bitch, and then one brave guy in the back, that at least tries to do something... but can't do much more then direct the back part of the raft a bit to the left or right.
It was quite difficult to stand on a raft going down the stream, while trying to do some good with a bamboo stick, but I felt I was doing pretty well, although the lazy bastards in the middle complained a lot...

After 30 minutes or so, my stick got stuck between two rocks in the water, and there was no way for me to get it loose, since I could not move backwards. This left the guy in the front alone with all the responsibility, but that didn't change much actually... so I had probarbly been standing up for half an hour for nothing. Bah.

Afterwards, we were wet and a bit dissapointed, we had expected more from the rafting. But the rest was so very cool and fun, it didn't really matter. We headed back to Banana GH

and did nothing for a while, before going out for a last evening together, eating a good (and expensive! well, it was expensive to be in thailand anyway) dinner. Best of all was that I finally could drink beer again, after being the only one not drinking during the trekk. I had promised I would stay away from the beer, so that I did, but it was not easy!

Posted in: Thailand , Travel by mdk @ 18:30, September 26, 2003 | TrackBack


Låter fortfarande mycket bra förutom din vänsterfot. Vad har du gjort med den?

Har visat dina elefantridningskort här på jobbet och alla tyckte det såg häftigt ut. Ingen gissade dock rätt på vem av de två killarna på elefanten som är var min bror...

Här är allt som vanligt. Det viktigaste som har hänt är att det bästa hockeylaget vann över det sämsta hockeylaget i går kväll. Har inte hört något från min käre make sedan dess (han är i Stockholm).

Ha det fortsatt bra, ser fram emot dagboken från Laos. Kram L

Posted by: Syrran @ 12:20, October 10, 2003

Ah, det var inget allvarligt... hade bara missat att knyta skorna ordentligt sa hade rejalt skavsar pa halen. Ett par kvadratcentimeter utan skinn, var inte sa fint :)
Efter ett par dagar i Chiang Mai sen fick jag dessutom skavsar fran tofflorna, hade som mest 6 skavsar pa fotterna...

Jag tror jag tolkar det negativt... eller sa far du tolka det positivt :)

Mmm, kollar allt in resultaten lite da och da. Ser bra ut, sa jag far nog ta och korta ner resan lite sa man kan komma hem och se pa finalmatcherna i alla fall :)
Jag har fatt mail fran honom, som skickades igar vid 5-tiden, men det var val innan matchen borjade... hmm... han har val gatt under jorden antar jag. Borde han gora, med tanke pa vilka han hejar pa!

Jag har knappt borjat skriva om Laos i min riktiga dagbok an, sa lar ta lite tid innan det dyker upp har misstanker jag... att det ska vara sa jevla jobbigt att skriva *muttrar lite*
Har varit lite hektiskt pa sistone, efter nagra riktiga relaxade dagar i Luang Prabang. Ser for tillfallet ut som en tre smakers GB glassforpackning pa armarna. Choklad, Vanilj, Jordgubb da vill saga... Brunbranda underarmar, vit en svang, sen illroda axlar. Missade smorja in mig innan vi akte innerslang nerfor en flod haromdagen... Sviiiider!
Samma sak pa benen, fast dar ar det mer Choklad, jordgubb, vanilj - knavecken var ju over slangen

Menmen... nu har jag suttit har och fixat in bilder i tusen ar, sa axlarna borjar bli slitna (fast det kan ju ha nagot att gora med kajakturen igar ocksa iofs...)

Ska i vilket fall som helst forsoka skriva lite om Laos snart, just nu har jag inte sa mycket battre for mig, Ventienne ar inte varldens roligaste stad direkt.

Ha det sa bra!

Posted by: Martin @ 12:52, October 10, 2003


Kul att se ett livstecken på dina sidor. Solbränna är väl något relativt nytt på dig? Kanske nå´n kan ta ett kort...

Har bara gjort en kort koll från jobbet - får läsa noggrannare i kväll.

Har fått ett mail från herr Eriksson med Jennys adress - du kanske har den förut?:


Ha det fortsatt bra!

Posted by: Pappa @ 13:06, October 10, 2003

Tjosan :)

Mja, det tog en valdans tid att fixa in bilder och sa, darfor det varit tyst sa lange

Usch ja, det verkar inte ga att undvika solbrannan, kanns lite jobbigt faktiskt :)
Inte sa varst brun iofs, men lite i alla fall... kommer dock bara bli varre och varre *suckar*
Forsokte ta kort pa min arm, far se om det blev nage bra

Har hennes adress utskriven sen tidigare... hade som sagt varit mer praktiskt med en mailadress, kan du inte fraga herr eriksson om han har en sadan istallet? =)

Jada, det ska jag allt ha... nu ar det festival i Ventienne dock, sa inte sa mycket som ar oppet, och det ar SA varmt har... huga. Tom. lokalbefolkningen gar runt och svettas nu...

Detsamma! Hejda :)

Posted by: Martin @ 8:02, October 11, 2003

Fasen martin! Solbränna! Woohhoo! Du lär vara lika svart som en Nigerian när du kommer tebax. :-D

Ser jävligt kul ut iaf.. *sucka*

Posted by: Jörgen @ 13:57, October 11, 2003

Det var ett tag sen får man väl säga:) Hoppas allt är lika bra med dig som det ser ut. MAn blir ganska avundsjuk på bilderna. En annan sitter i U-sal o huttrar, dels av köld o dels av ågren över kommande PM... Du skrev att det var kallt vatten ni badade i. VAd jag minns så trivs du som fisken i vatten när det är kallt i vattnet (Kungsnäs).
Ja, ja mycket snygg hemsida förövrigt. Man kan nästan misstänka att du jobbar en del med datorer.. Är det så? Eller vad sysslar du med när du inte reser runt i Thailand?

Själv har jag tre terminer kvar på lärarhögskolan.

Ha det fint!


Posted by: Micke Lindström @ 9:55, October 12, 2003


Hehe, tveksamt... jag forsoker halla mig ifran den dar solfan nar jag kan saklart ;)

Fast nu har jag akt runt pa en bat i Halon Bay (Vietnam) i nagra dagar, sa nu lar jag val fa lite mer branna igen *sucka*
Vattnet ar lojligt varmt och det ser val inte direkt illa ut har heller... en eller tva oar :)

Aker tillbaks till Hanoi imorgon, ska forsoka skriva lite da hade jag tankt, har varit nastan helt utan internet sen helgen, sa inte kunnat... de har av nan anledning ingen internet pa batar och bussar har omkring, det ar lite daligt tycker jag! :)

Det ar saaaa javla mycket kommunistsymboler overallt, man undrar vad de skulle gora om man ryckte ner en flagga och brande den... misstanker att man bor undvika att gora det dock ;)

Trafiken i Hanoi ar kul for ovrigt... grymt mycket vespor och skit, det enda man kan gora ar att ga langsamt over och hoppas att de inte kor pa en. Kommer det en buss far man springa. Mycket spannande :o)

Mjaja.. ha det osv ;)

Posted by: Martin @ 14:25, October 16, 2003

Hejsan Micke! :)

Ett tag sen.. mja... det var val en latt underdrift kanske, maste vara 10 ar sen eller nagot? :)

Joda, en annan har det ju kanongott for tillfallet... fast vi har vara sma svarta stunder har ocksa, vilket vi brukar kalla for dagens o-problem (det dar o:et ska vara ett svenskt tecken)... idag kom vi fram till att saltvatten ar lite jobbigt, man blir torstig av att ha salta lappar. Tidigare problem har tex. varit att det ar drygt att ha sand mellan tarna o sant dar. Sa vi lider allt en del vi ocksa ;)

Haha :)
Mja... jag var val lite av ett vattendjur, det ar sant... men vatten som ar sa kallt att man inte kan andas, det tycker till och med jag att det ar lite jobbigt att vistas i

Tack sa mycket :) Ar ganska nojd sjalv, men ska ta och fixa det sista nagon dag hade jag tankt. Sa trakigt langsamt overallt dock, och man ar inte sa sugen pa att sitta pa internetcafeer allt for lang tid om jag ska vara arlig

Jo, det ar ju sa... jobbat med de dar harkena i sisadar 4.5 ar innan jag akte, far se vad som hander nar jag kommer hem, om jag hittar nagot jobb da. *rycker pa axlarna* varfor bry sig om det nu, lang tid kvar tills dess

Ah, tre terminer kvar alltsa... nastan fardig iaf, ska bli ganska skont misstanker jag?
Jag borjade plugga, men gav upp den iden med en gang, var alldeles for jobbigt for mig da :)

Mjaja... ar riktigt seg for tillfallet, de jagar upp oss alldeles snuskigt tidigt pa morgnarna nu, var tvungen att ga upp klockan 6 igar morse :(
Inatt sov jag pa en bat, var lite kul att lyssna pa rattorna som sprang runt och tjattrade under dack... men aven dar blev det upp tidigt... och imorrn med. Darfor ska jag nog bo i Hanoi i nagra dagar och sova rejalt, sa man blir som folk igen ;)

Iaf... det var kul att du horde av dig, gor garna det igen :)

Ha det sa bra, halsa till familj osv fran mig!

Posted by: Martin @ 14:48, October 16, 2003

4-2 en bit in i tredje o sedan slarvar Lundqvist till det. Men hade det inte varit för den där jäkla Hyvvönnenn (eller hur fasen han nu stavas) så hade det ju gått vägen ändå.

Nog med snack om förluster och istället över till idrottshistoria (dock inte tjejernas silver i VM). I tisdags mötte Frölunda Leksand hemma och med fem minuter kvar att spela ledde Leksand med 4-0. Matchen slutade 5-4 till frölunda efter straffar!! Dramatiskt värre! Inte minst då Leksand vid 4-3 missar öppet mål (prickar stolpen) och sedan kvitterar Frölunda 19:59.500 (eller lite senare!). Undrar om alla som gick hem vid 0-4 fick chocken när de såg sporten?

Annars är det lugnt bortsett från att jag nu även har spenderat helger i STHLM. Så frugan lever väl livet nu när hon har chansen ;)

Vill du ha tips om Vietnam så har jag en arbetskompis som har jobbat/bott i Vietnam i två år. Hör av dig om du vill ha adressen.


Posted by: Mannen ovan jord @ 16:20, October 17, 2003


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