At Go Beyond Asia, we’ve found a local secret for trekking in Chiang Mai – we know our destinations. We know how enriching it is to travel. We know why we wouldn’t wanna work with anything else. But what do our travellers tell us? The answer is A LOT! We often hear about the wonders travellers experience when they go beyond in Asia.
Lasse from Denmark is keen to share his close-to-nature experience of our Chiang Mai Real Jungle trek. Read on.
“During my three and a half months of travelling in Asia and North America, I encountered more than a few good experiences. One of the most memorable, which I’m about to tell you about, I got just two days into my journey – a three day trip through the jungle as we went trekking in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The day before the trip; we all gathered to get the information we needed for the trek, as well as a list of important remedies: It was crucial to get just the right stuff along, but not anything unnecessary since we would carry our backpacks for days.
DAY 1: Feeding elephants, jungle survival tools & local village life
The next day, we were picked up at 5 in the morning. We got onboard the back of a pick-up truck and then enjoyed the North Thailand landscapes passing by for an hour and a half. Our first stop of the trip was a very authentic village that was primarily self-sufficient. We had some fried rice and chicken and were then introduced to our local guide: A young man who had learnt some English from previous guests – he and his family had never been to Bangkok even, but he was perfectly content with the life out here, living in pact with nature. He took us to watch elephants living a calm life in the jungle. There were sugar canes all around, and we used a machete to gather some of them to feed the elephants – a great pleasure both for the elephants and us!
Meeting these majestic animals out in the jungle is something I will never forget. The whole trek through the jungle made us feel very alive – for one thing, we made our own slingshots to have a bit of protection if we would encounter any dangerous animals. Felt like being back to being a child playing in the forest, with higher stakes!
In order to protect the environment, we had to walk where nobody had walked before us. It was clear that making paths and trails to follow was not an option amongst the locals, who want to preserve the natural life of the jungle. That obviously made the trek a little harder, and I must confess that I was quite relieved when we reached our next stop at the guide’s uncle. This village was 90% self-sufficient: Everybody had their own cows, pigs, chickens etc. And the houses were made from fallen trees! With our machetes, we now created our own forks, knives and spoons and made our own cups out of bamboo.
The goal? To enjoy a very natural – and exotic – BBQ which besides delicious grilled chicken, potatoes and vegetables, also “tempted” us with larvae and a big spider, we had found earlier in the jungle – considered good food by the locals. After this unique experience, we gathered around a fire and had a night of fun with the locals; some played soccer, some played around with Snapchat with the kids – we had a lot of fun doing that!
GET CLOSER TO THE LOCAL LIFE ▶ BOOK YOUR JUNGLE TREK!
DAY 2: Bath in the local waterfall, jungle trekking & slingshot hunting
The next day came and we got ready to trek on: Our guide packed our lunch, noodles, in banana leaves, and we took off. The next place we were gonna stop was once again an uncle of the guide – yes, they have huge families.
We arrived in the afternoon, and then had a well-deserved bath in the local waterfall, followed by shooting for mangoes in the trees with our slingshots and playing with the village kids. This day, we were so excited for the night to fall, since we were going hunting. With flashlights in our hands, we walked down to the water, ready to fire our slingshots. Personally, I didn’t turn out to excel as a hunter, only caught a few frogs, but our local guide was more skilled. He shot two rats with extreme precision. The total sum of the hunt was 1 spider, 7 frogs and the 2 rats, which were all roasted over an open fire (the rats skinned by the guide). After one and a half hour all of this – including the rats – were eaten as our evening supper. Some boundaries were definitely pushed on this journey!
LIVE THE JUNGLE LIFE ▶ PUSH YOUR BOUNDARIES!
DAY 3: Last day of jungle trekking in Chiang Mai
The last day we had a 3-4 hour long walk in front of us. When it came to an end, we were all exhausted but proud. At the “finish line, all-round” we met they guy who had driven us from the hotel on the first day. He welcomed us with hot noodles. Then it was back to the hotel by pickup truck again.
THE BEST OF THIS TREK WAS: A great trek was over, and I was enriched with memories I wouldn’t want to be without. It was a lesson in life to see the local people, that really don’t have many material possessions being so happy about their life, taking good care of the sweet elephants and not least the nature they live in.”
GET A MEMORY FOR LIFE, LIKE LASSE ▶ BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW!