Gone Trekking With Goo Trekking
3 day Hill Tribe Trek, Northern Thailand.
I made all the arrangements for the trek well in advance of leaving the UK and after much searching and research sent an email request to a Mr Chan. His response to the email was both prompt and friendly. I explained in my email that we didn’t want to visit any elephant farms or sanctuary’s believing the whole enterprise to be exploitative of these wonderful creatures. He wrote back and assured us he could arrange a tour without the need to visit an elephant place. All excellent apart from minor alarm at an email received, whilst still in Vietnam, from MR Chan days before our due arrival in Chiang Mai asking if we would not mind sharing the trek with about 4 to 6 other people. Given that i had always made clear i wanted a private trek, and was paying the extra for that, i was not best pleased. However MR Chan responded quickly saying private trek was not a problem. What id didn’t know until we met in my hotel the night before scheduled trek he would not be taking us but one of his colleagues Mr Goo would instead take us. I was on the verge of cancelling when Mr Goo turned up, he seemed a nice man with good knowledge of the hills and tribes. Little did I know this turned out to be the best possible outcome. Mr Goo, WOW, couldn’t have asked for a nicer more hospitable human being. Also helped greatly that he had spent some 20 years as a forest ranger meaning he had a great knowledge base of plants, animals and insects encountered on the trek. He also spoke 6 languages and could communicate with local tribe’s people in their native tongue.
The trek turned out to be one of the highlights of my many years of travelling. Goo also prepared all our meals and is an excellent cook!!! One day i will return to hopefully do a trek from Chiang Rai to Chaing Mai with Mr Goo, in the meantime some pictures from the recent trek.
Deep fried insects, think its grasshopper. We saw many types of bugs and insect deep fried. Eaten as a snack they are pretty much the equivalent of the Western fondness for crisps.
Waterfall one of the first stops after the long drive from the market.
These red ants make their nest by curling and joining leaves and apparently have a very nasty bite
Exotic rain-forest beetle found by Mr Goo underneath leaf, he knew exactly where to look and find.
Close to the Golden triangle this general area has a reputation for drug smuggling, however we did not encounter any drugs, nor were we ever offered any. I suspect many foreigners come here for the wrong reason. The sign gives fair warning. Indeed many silly Europeans languish in Thai jails for dealing in and consuming drugs in what is still, although extremely tolerant, a very conservative country.
Unfortunately there is also a lot of illegal poaching and trade in exotic and endangered animals, much of it fueled by superstitious and illogical Chinese beliefs in both the potency and efficacy of various animal body parts, nought stranger than humans. Here local tribes are trying their best to preserve and protect this wonderful and very special place.
The first village we visit is Christian. Outside the village is a small area of crosses and church at edge of village
Karen women bring home firewood. All Karen women seem to smoke. They roll some sort of local leaf and are rarely seen without one in hand or mouth.
Karen tribes women share a joke.
Woman on balcony preparing food for her family
Karen boy plays on bicycle
Fire for food and heat essential in the cold and damp mountain air
The place where i will sleep. It gets very very cold and damp during the night and in the morning as the clouds roll in over the mountains and valleys. I visited January 2015 and apparently that’s the cool season. I would seriously advise anyone traveling at that time of the year bring warm night clothes.
However it quickly heats up in the morning with the rising sun.
The Morning After
Click link for Mr Chans website.
We Flew from Bangkok To Chinag Mai with Air Asia
The trek organisers will pick you up from your Chiang Mai hotel early morning day to begin the trek we stayed at the Baan Klang Wiang Hotel
Fabulous Hotel with pool and great breakfast.
They also collected us from Airport and dropped us back without charge. I booked direct with the hotel securing the best deal without hitch.
Ask for Wilawan she is a wonderfully warm and helpful person.
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