Chang Mai "get me the f**k out of this f*****g tree"
Ban Om Kon, Thailand
We have become accustomed to being picked up very late and walking for 15mintes to reach our bus pick up point, to then travel for over 12 hours, all of that is second nature, easy!!!
But this bus journey was something else!!!!
Mosquitoes flying all around, water from the Air Con dripping (like a water fall) onto you from above and the seats all broken so the supportive metal bars dig into your kidneys and back. Lucky we only had about 12 hours or we would have got slightly agitated…
Reaching Chang Mai was a relief and we were both excited at the prospect of doing our Hill Tribe trek the next day!!
we spent our first day wondering around the charming little town of Chaing mai, searching through the old town and visiting the markets. A relaxing place, similar we thought, to Ubud in Bali.
We stopped for a bite to eat and ended up being educated by a Burmese waiter from Myanmar, who passionately opened our eyes further to the current state of Burma (Myanmar). He had escaped to Thailand to work and save money so he can travel and talk to people to attempt to raise global awareness of the horrific situations his people find themselves in daily, all by the hand of their governments and other various systems of control.
We walked in for Pizza and walked out with a little knowledge.
Chang Mai was really wet, heavy heavy rain, and the day we were meant to be trekking began with huge downpours which began over night. So up hill, muddy hill trekking it was!!
Randomly, when the trekking 4x4 came to pick us up, we were greeted by a welcoming 'hello' by a friend from Croydon who is traveling and happened to be on the exact same trek!!
'Tis a small world…
So Croydon took over the trek, with the two of us, and friends Dom and Luke making up the 4 person South London crew!
We had Dutch, German, American, Oz and Japanese people in the group, but most of the noise came from the Croydon Massive!
We were dropped off at the local market, to stock up on important supplies (water, rain coats, carbohydrates, torch, penknife etc)
We came out with a packet of crisps, 4 bottles of red bull and 2 bottles of Whiskey… You can take the people out of Croydon but….
The up hill trek went well; the first bottle of whiskey went down well and arriving at Elephant camp was a tipsy, yet awesome experience. We were staying in an opening in the forests, behind huge rice fields, in a place baby elephants were nurtured and looked after. They genuinely seemed happy (ish).
We took a little ride on one well behaved little elephant, following Dom and Luke who were being ridden by a not so well behaved cheeky elephant. The scenery was awesome but watching the guys attempting to stay on the elephant and out of the rivers was priceless.
"Get me the f**k out of this f*****g tree!!!!!" Dom yelled. Expressing his joy at being thrown into a red ant infested tree by his elephant.
The evening came, the trek guide leader cooked up some food, the whiskey was finished and the giggles began. The giggles continued when the trek leader offered us a homemade contraption he uses which he made out of bamboo, and the Croydon crews were the last to bed with wobbly heads and the munchies….
The second day of the trek took us to a water fall where you could have a little swim and then to a long neck tribe where it was possible to see the local people living in their 'natural environment.' It looked like human Zoo. Croydon crew declined entrance and sat in the van waiting for the rest of the guys.
We missed out on white water rafting as the water was so high and rivers swollen from all the rain fall. Gutted about that, but we will make up for it in New Zealand….
On returning to Chang Mai, and saying bye to the guys, we were amazed at what seemed to be a huge mistake….. In replacement of roads surrounding the mile or so around our hotel, huge muddy rivers had appeared…. The car could not drive through, so Katie and I, rolled up our trousers and walked through the bizarre biblical style floods that had engulfed Chang Mai in our absence….. Water levels up to our chests as we waded through the streets to reach our hotel, thank god we were staying on the 4th floor!!
5 people had died in the floods that day right near where we would have been if we were not in the hills.
The next day, we escaped the floods via 4x4 and booked into another area of Chang Mai were we met up with the Croydon lads.
We spent a few days just chilling out and chatting together, having a laugh and getting MORE tattoos (Katie obviously)…
Tonight we leave to go to Laos. Luke has gone to Vietnam and Dom is heading to Cambodia… Good luck to the guys, Dom will be fine, Luke….. Not so sure!!! Lost bank cards and misplaced passports, bless him. Let's hope his luck changes!
Anyway, for now, and maybe forever;
Thailand, Over and Out…
Peace and tattooed Flip Flops
Nic and Katie xxx