Chang Mai was an amazing experience. On arrival we booked ourselves onto a hill tribe and elephant treck- something we have all been very excited about ever since we started travelling!!
After checking in with the local police and giving them our pasport details incase we went missing (oh-er) we set off in our tuk tuk through the hills and paddy fields of chang mai- very pretty. Round and bennet sat on the roof for part of the journey- probably not the safest method but definately a brillant spot for sunbathing and taking in the scenery.
Our first stop was the elephant trecking. Elephants are huge!! might seem like a stupid thing to say but when you are stood next to one they seem even bigger! As there was so many of us, we had to take it in turns to sit on the neck- not very comfy, elephants are very boney and spikey. We all bought bananas to feed them and had to tap them on the head shouting 'bon bon bon bon' when we wanted to give them one. As it was so hot the elephants stopped at every available opportunity to cool themselves down with water, we also got cooled down in the process! covered in water and spit- yummy.
After lunch we began our asent up the mountain to the karen hill tribe village with our guide, good. The climb was steep, hot and definately one of the most challenging we have done, the majority of the uphill bits were soil- took one step and slid down half the mountain!! ok maybe not half the mountain but it felt like that! holly was stopping to take group photos all the time which really annoyed good- he said we were the slowest group he had ever had!! ha ha! We finally arrived in the village and were taken to a hut made out of bamboo. It had the most stunning view over the mountains- really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. The village was exactly how you would imagine, had pigs, dogs, chickens and small children running about everywhere, EVERYTHING was made out of bamboo and wood, so simple and impressive.
Good cooked us tea on an open fire- it was the nicest meal we have had in asia- yummy- even d thought it was lovely and shes a hard one to please ;-). The evening was spent watching the sunset, singing songs around the fire as good played the guitar (stop giggling!! I know it sounds super cheesy, but it was actually very nice!!) and playing with miyta- the cutest litle girl in the world. Bennett and D got massage to soothe thier aching legs and round and lex kept everyone entertained around the fire singing songs. By 10pm everyone was so relaxed and tired that we went to bed- another thing good was most upset about!
In the morning we were all woken by the crappest cockerel in the world which started at 4am in the morning, we were treated to another fantastic meal by good- had eggs, toast, fruit- lex and holly even tried a chicken foot- crazy people!! We hiked back down the mountain- this time a lot easier- but still very steep. At the bottom we went white water rafting. It wasnt quite as extreme as new zealand but still had lots of fun- think we were just as rubbish though- still got stuck on every rock in the river! After the white water rafting we were ushered straight onto a bamboo raft and floated down the remainder of the river- very relaxing. Good was waiting for us at the end with our lunch. It was then home time,this time d, lex and holly sat on the roof for a tanning session! All of us wished we had more time to do a longer treck but thats something we can save for another time.
When we got back to chang Mai we booked ourselves on a bus back to bangkok that evening- no rest for us!!