We were up early for the trip this morning and were picked up at half 8. There were 10 of us in a pick up truck with the driver and a guide. The guide was friendly but never spoke too much. There were 3 Czech people and 2 Japanese people who were fine but then there were three American people who were so annoying! They literally didn't stop talking s*** all day and acting like little children. Could have throttled them!
First stop was at an orchard farm for 20 minutes where there was also a butterfly farm. It wasn't really something we were interested in, but we got to have a toilet stop! We then drove quite far into the mountains and stopped at the elephant camp. It was pretty scary getting on it for the first time and we had to climb on its head to get across to the seat. The seat was made of bamboo and strapped to the elephants back. It tilted a little to one side on my side which was pretty scary! I thought I might fall out! It was bumpy too but so much fun though! I wasn't sure how we would feel about it but the elephants seemed to be treated pretty well and we fed it bananas all the way around. We still felt sorry for the elephants though and our guide did shout at it a bit and they all used wooden sticks with a spike on the end to hit them with to get them moving. It wasn't very nice to see that. The elephant took us through the mountains along a dusty path for about 45 minutes. It was really smart and knew when to stop and move over to let cars past and wait for its guide. It kept stopping and moving right next to the side of the cliff so that Nath's side of the seat was over the side of the drop! He s*** himself! The elephant stopped at a fresh water stream for a drink and sprayed the water all over himself and us! It was a fun and bumpy ride with brilliant scenery! So glad we did it and gave it a try! Not your everyday occurrence to ride an elephant through the mountains!
After the ride the truck brought us to the next stop which was for lunch in a metal hut at the foot of the hills. We had pad tai wrapped in banana leaf, yum! After we trekked for about 40 minutes up in the hills to a waterfall. The walk up was fun- very hot though! We passed streams, crossed over bamboo bridges, crossed trees used as bridges and climbed wooden ladders up the rocks. We had about half an hour at the waterfall to relax and me and Nath got in the water. There were other groups there too but it wasn't really overcrowded. The water was freezing!! Nath couldn't stay in it too long as it hurt it was that cold! He did get under the powerful waterfall though. On the way trekking back down Nath crossed a long tree trunk across the water- I didn't think my balance was up to it though!
The truck then brought us to do white water rafting. We were kitted out with life jackets and helmets and given instructions and key words of what to do when, such as all lean to one side, or all bounce at the same time. There were 6 of us in the boat- the 2 Japanese and 2 people from Holland from a different tour. It was low water season so the water was so shallow so we kept hitting the rocks or getting stuck. It was hilarious really that we were allowed to it as the river had hardly any water in at all! One time we got stuck and were trying to all move the boat and a guy that was in the boat with us fell out into the water backwards. Luckily he wasn't hurt! We had a good giggle about it! The rafting was really fun and a good taster as to what to do and some of the rapids. There was still some pretty good rapids to go down so we had a really good time! In our boat, we were all pretty good at it and knew which way to lean etc. especially compared with the other boat from our trip who were pretty horrendous!
The boats dropped us off in the river next to some bamboo huts and 4 people each got on a bamboo raft. It sunk into the water straight away. If we wasn't already wet from rafting we definitely were now. The water was freezing as well! Two little children, maybe 8 and 11 years old then got into the river and pushed us down on the raft. The water was so shallow that they could walk the whole way. We really wasn't expecting that and felt bad for the children. They seemed to enjoy it though, although they will have been freezing! The youngest one just came along for the ride and after helping push for a while, he got on and sat at the front of the raft. Me and Nath wanted to get off and push and let them get on! They were lovely little kids!
That was the end of the activities for the day! It was such a brilliant day filled with loads of different new things for us to do. Elephant ride- tick! White water rafting- tick! Bamboo rafting- tick! And the scenery and mountains everywhere were beautiful!
It took us an hour and a half to get back. We didn't realise how far we had travelled throughout the day to different places. We went straight out for food when we got back and went to Chang Puek Market for some street food.
We just chilled for the rest of the night and tried to get a reasonably early night to be up again, even earlier, for our trip to Chiang Rai in the morning.