On Christmas Eve, I returned to Joylani and Chiang Mai from a 3-day trek. Rather than write a few paragraphs about what we did (touristy things like ride elephants, fun things like hike and swim, interesting things like visit hill-tribe villages, and adventurous things like rafting), I’ll write very little and let the photos describe the rest.
The only thing I really want to express is how much I love trekking. The scenery on this trek was amazing, from vistas of the rolling green mountains to walking through the bamboo jungle alongside the river. In addition to the scenery, the physicalness of trekking is fun. Being in the outdoors, in the trees, in the fresh air, experiencing the earth. Rock-hopping across rivers, balancing on logs across them, and sometime just splashing through. Even experiencing how rural villagers live is an education in and of itself; cold nights in bamboo huts with plenty of gaps in the floor and walls, no insulation, and certainly no electricity. I hate the sounds of squealing pigs and choruses of roosters in the mornings. But, on the other hand, there are few things I enjoy more than relaxing in the evening to the smoky smell of a wood stove and hot food. I wasn’t really expecting much, assuming that anything after the Annapurna Circuit would pale in comparison. Although it was different, it just reinforced my enthusiasm for trekking, experiencing the outdoors, and being in totally undeveloped totally foreign places.
we started of at a Karen “long-neck” village
then we did the ubiquitously touristy elephant rides
went across a river in this cage on a pulled thing
hiked over some really high hills with awesome views
most of the hike was through bamboo thickets/jungle though
we did pass some gardens growing cannibus (Chiang Mai is near the “golden triangle” opium-growing region)
saw some waterfalls
slept in rooms like this…just bamboo frames with flattened bamboo for walls/floor
and built a fire on our last night to keep warm