Having already booked our hostel in Chaing Mai we were picked up from the station and taken to our hostel within the city walls. Within our package we booked was a 2 day, 2 night trek through the Chiang Rai jungle so after a days exploring and a better nights sleep than the last, we were loaded into the back of a truck with 7 other people and driven 2 hours into the Chiang Rai jungle.
We had lunch in a small village on the outskirts of the jungle and then set off on a 3 hour hike over fallen trees, up never ending hills and across rivers on small bridges (strategically placed logs) With the promise of a waterfall at the end, we carried on through the 30 degree heat. The waterfall was beautiful and refreshing and placed next to it was our camp for the night (one shack with 4 mosquito nets and 9 blankets) We didn't sleep well as the italian in the group seemed it necessary after the equivilant of 2 pints and a few shots to shout animal noises to the stars!
The next day we split into 2 groups, the second group having booked to complete a 3 day hike (which included a 5 hour almost vertical trek- no thanks!) 7 of us including 2 Germans, a Belgian, an American and an Englishman went with Fu, our guide for another 2 hour walk. It wasnt as bad as the previous days but the weather was even hotter so when we arrived at the next waterfall we were grateful.
Also included in our package was an elephant ride and bamboo rafting. So once we had finished our hiking we were driven to a reserve where we sat on a makeshift seat on top of elephants and took a trail through the jungle, during which we got o feed them bananas (we will soon put pictures up of how up close and personal I got with them during this!) Once we had dismounted the elephants and taken pictures we were then driven to the local river where two men whose only English seemed to be "no wet no fun" took us down river through all the local villages who all came to watch, wave or slash us as we passed.
Knackered but having had fun, we made our way back to the hostel in Chang Mai where we are now. We have just booked Laos so will update next week!