My Northern Thailand experience with G Adventures.
To be honest, having been in Thailand for a week already having flown in from Australia, I wasn’t really enjoying it. Okay so I had been on Koh Phangan for a week, I’d had food poisoning and I wasn’t all too impressed with the full moon party ( more on that later ).
Despite all of this, I was happy to be back in Bangkok and excited for my tour. Seeing as I had completed fallen in love with every single element of my Contiki tour in Australia, G Adventures had a lot to live up to. I quickly learnt that there was a real difference between the two companies. Contiki call themselves ‘holidays’.. G Adventures do not.
Adventure it was.
It’s always nice to travel with someone, especially when being thrown into a group of new people. ( at least you’ll have one friend, if it all goes wrong) Katie and I met our group for dinner, where we went through our itinerary for the 10 days that followed. Joey was a tour leader and as all tour guides seem to be doing recently … Scaring the hell out of everyone. Quote Joey ‘ a girl ate spicy food and then she had to get her colon removed’ Great. Quickly forgetting such information we still all had the same thought in their mind.. ‘Do we really have to do the trek?’
How we got around Thailand
For the first few days we traveled by private mini bus which was actually rather pleasant, though. It meant that the group was split in two ( with only 13 of us I thought this was rather poor management!) we where then let lose on the night train. Apparently the week before they had just banned alcohol, I reckon it would have been pretty easy to get it on and drink as no one checked any bags but seeing as none of us appeared to be that much of a heavy drinker we were all quite content with juice. little tip about the overnight train – try to get the bottom bunk. Why? It is literally double the size, you can sit up in it and you get to watch sunrise and other goings on out of the window. All in all the train is actually quite comfortable. Albeit slow and looks rather like a mental asylum the food service is pretty good and they make up the beds for you.. However, they do leave bright white lights on all night and if you are on the top bunk it is extremely annoying. I recommend taking a night mask.
Four days in the jungle how did I survive?
To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this at all. Katie had been very keen on going to Thailand and had seemed happy to go on this tour. The more and more I thought about it, the more I really did not want to do it.
Trek. Day One.
I wanted to go back to Chiang Mai. I literally hated every minute of it.we spent most of our time ‘mud sliding’ down really steep hills. With a heavy rucksack and a life jacket on my back. Killed my legs and the thought of having to do that again literally made me feel like crying. When we arrived at the tribe village, I felt like collapsing. I was so happy to finally be fed and lie down.
Trek day Two.
Surprisingly, I had a really good nights sleep but still was in no way inclined to head back out on the trek. Day two was so much better. Not so wet and much more walking up than walking down. Although, in saying that a 4 hour trek ended up taking 7 due to some members of the group. We passed through paddy fields and rivers. We really did get to see the beauty of Thailand. We arrived at the second village about 4 ish.. Absolutely starving. We we served at 7 and had some absolutely delightful banana spring rolls, amongst other beautiful dishes. After dinner we finally did something that I could tick off the bucket list. Floating lanterns.. Although one almost landed on our wooden roof hut!!
Trek day Three.
Actually, there was no trek today. Thank God. However I did wake up after being brutally attacked by about 100 mosquitoes. My poor legs. After breakfast, we headed down to the river to great 4 lovely elephants. We were so lucky to have been given the chance to feed them bananas and was them in the river. After a tasty lunch, we headed back down to the river to board our bamboo rafts to head to the Liso Village. We arrived two hours later, rather wet. Dinner was served, again we had some delicious spring rolls and some bamboo. Adam taught us some Liso tribe songs and taught us about the history of the tribe. The tribe even had a monkey as a pet! Scorpion was on the lose before bed. Oh crap.
Trek day Four.
Final morning in the jungle. Woke up after an animal. Presuming it was the little monkey. After breakfast, with a hard boiled egg. Yuck. We boarded our bamboo rafts for one last time and began out journey back to Chiang Mai. The rafting today was quite fun, although we almost capsized. The sun also came out for a change. We stopped off for lunch and finally got rid of my muddy trainers. Sunchai, our trek leader was more than happy to take them off me. We headed back on some vans back to Chiang Mai.
All in all I can’t really say anything negative about the trek. Yes parts of it were horrendous. I felt like crap on day one and the sanitation was dreadful. I couldn’t wait to leave and get back to civilisation but at the end of the day I’m glad I did it. Before I went into the jungle I was terrified of everything bug. Now I’m quite alright with small little things. Don’t get me wrong. If a snake slithered into the room, I would be the first to leave. But it was an experience and one I’ll never forget.