If, in the future, someone was to walk into a room and say "who here has been elephant riding, sunk a bamboo raft, fallen arse over tit down a muddy slope and watched anchorman on an ipod whilst sat on top of one of the tallest peaks in Thailand?" ... I will be able to put my hand up!
The three days we have just spent trekking through the hills above Chiang Mai have been the best since we arrived in Thailand. I should mention early, hand on heart, that our guide was called Jackie Chan! So strait away we were off to a good start. After an hours drive into the hills and a stop off at the market we arrived at the start point and went elephant riding. An amazing experience if not an altogether comfortable one. After that we hiked into the mountains, surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen. After two hours, drenched in sweat and covered in mozzy bites we found a huge waterfall and had a swim.
Both nites of the trek we stayed with hill tribe familys. After the evening meal every nite we played cards and drank beer until we fell asleep under the stars ... and mosquito nets. Very relaxing. On the third morning our group left our last hut and started the hike back towards the road some two hours away. Before we got there though we stopped and went bamboo rafting. Although im not sure you can really call it rafting when it spends more time under the water than on it! We nearly flipped the thing twice and had plenty of close calls with rocks and low hanging tree's along the way.
Back in Chiang Mai we spent last nite with the same group at the nite market, (replacing the t.shirts ruined on the trek) and in the bar of our hotel. Called it a nite at 2am when the barman had fallen asleep on one of the tables.
To sum up then - Love Chiang Mai