As I mentioned here, while we were up in the north of Thailand, we signed up to do a 3 day jungle trek. We didn’t do much research about what it was going to be like (as per usual) and even though it was called a 3 day jungle TREK, we somehow didn’t really get the concept that we would be, in fact, walking the whole time.
In spite of the laboriousness of trudging (quite a lot of it uphill) for 3 days straight in the jungle, alternating between blistering heat, and torrential downpours, it was actually super fun. We had a really good group, it was us, a couple from Germany, a couple from the Netherlands, and 4 really fun guys from the UK, along with our sweet guides, Sam and Ron (not their real names).
The first day we walked about 3 hours, most of it uphill, stopping for a water break at a waterfall, and for a break when our guides found some wild mangos (they were seriously delicious, and I don’t even like mango) and some magic mushrooms. Our guide advised against the magic mushrooms, as apparently lost in the Thai jungle is maybe not the best setting for that adventure.
We eventually got to a village, where we would be staying for the night. We slept in a wooden shanty type structure, it had outside walls and a roof, but was still totally open. We each got a mosquito net to keep out the worst of the bugs. Our guides cooked for us (curry) and then we built a fire, and had a few beers before bed.
As luck would have it, Derek ended up getting sick in the middle of the first night, and stayed that way for the next 3 days. I had brought some medicine along, and treated him myself as best as I could, but being sick in the middle of the jungle is pretty miserable, he would trek with us whenever we had to, but immediately had to lay down for a nap whenever we stopped.
I had basically convinced myself it was malaria, but then I remembered we’d only been in the country for 5 days at that point, so I realized that was pretty unlikely.
Some people were only doing a one day trek, so by the time we finished eating breakfast on the second day, I was the only girl left in the group. We set off trekking through the forest, stopping for lunch at a local farm house in the rice fields.
We learned a ton about rice farming, the couple only lived there during planting/harvesting season, otherwise they went back to their house in the village we had stayed at the night before. The farmer also made rice moonshine, so Sam and Ron grabbed a couple of bottles of that before we left.
After two more hours of walking across rice fields (which was actually really neat, ripe rice is sooooo green) we got to our camp beside a waterfall. We were hot and sweaty, and wasted absolutely no time jumping in for a swim.
Sam and Ron made us supper (curry and rice) and then we lit a fire beside the river. Sam was pretty handy, and made a bong out of a water bottle and some bamboo, so we got to try out some Thai bush weed, which is apparently a non-negotiable itinerary item for anyone visiting Thailand, although getting caught with it means 5 years in a Thai prison, so you definitely want to be careful.
The best part about the whole trip was sitting around the fire watching the waterfall as the sun was setting. As it got darker, we started to see little dots of light in the bushes, they were fireflies. They showed up one at a time, until finally there were hundreds of them, it was pretty amazing.
The next morning, we woke up, ate breakfast (made with river water, so that was just the opposite of everything we were told about drinking water in Thailand) and set off. We only had about two hours of walking until we were back at a road. We had lunch, and then bamboo rafted down the river to get the rest of the way back to where we were getting picked up.
It was really fun, I’m trying to figure out how to upload a bamboo rafting video on here, but so far every time I export the file it comes out with no sound, so I’ll keep working on that.
If you have the opportunity to do trekking while you are in Thailand, and you are at all outdoorsy, definitely do it. It’s so rare these days that you really get to be fully immersed in nature, we had no electricity, no phones or contact with the outside world the whole time, and it was so nice.
It was such a neat experience, and the second day was way better than the first day, so try to do the full 3 days if you have time.