Elephants, Hiking, Swimming in waterfalls, Rafting.
Nate: After the beaches we stopped off in Bangkok briefly, and then took a bus headed north to Chang Mai (12 Hours). Our shuttle from the bus stop dropped us off at a great hotel with a pool and for the first time on our trip we indulged in this most awsome of indulgences. While we were checking in, a rather swave talking buisnessman sold us on a jungle trek that left the next morning. We didn't mind because we had planned on visiting the remote jungle villages anyway.
This sweet little girl was one of the children that had sung for us the previous evening and was both shy and facsinated with one of our friends card tricks.
Our journey began with an hour long elephant trek up steep hills. It was really cool to take turns sitting just behind the elephants head with our legs tucked just behind it's ears.
The elephant behind us apparently had a cold because it kept spraying it's riders with buckets of elephant snot! (In reality the elephant sprays it's ears to help cool itself, but getting sneezed on sounds way better.) This is a pic of our friends just after they have been sprayed.
Each day we had a short but largely uphill hike, and in the evenings we ate wonderful meals under traditional bamboo, thatched roof houses. The second day we visited a "waterfall". I have come to the conclusion that many places we have visited are lacking in the two main ingredients that make for waterfalls of stunning proportions (at least on a regular basis). Alot of rain, and high mountains, both of which we have in abundance back home. So more than once now we have looked forward to the waterfall part of the tour, and then had to make the best of it and enjoy.
On the last day we hiked for 2 hours and then came to a small creek and by far the best part of the trek. This stage involved jumping on a makeshift bamboo raft and navigating the creek back to civilization using only our wits and long bamboo poles.
The rafts proved to be a little less than sea worthy, and more than once we found ourselves careening into either eachother or the banks of the creek. In a feirce competion to be the winner of an imaginary race down the river, Jocelyn pushed me off my raft into the river and still failed to take the lead. She was a worthy opponent truth be told, and the only girl willing (or able) to captain and negotiate the snaking turns. Pitting ourselves against each other resulted in us arriving at the dock completely spent. - Nate
Jocelyn: When we got back to Chaing Mai, I took a Thai cooking course and learned how to make a bunch of my favorite Thai dishes.
We got to go into the local market and learn about about all the weird and wacky ingrediants that the Thai people use is their marvelous food. After I had gathered our supplies I learned how to make spring rolls, currey paste, massaman currey, pad Thai, and sweet stiky rice with mangos. Making the currey paste was by far the most difficult and exausting. I have gained a lasting appreciation for the work that goes into Thai cusine. - Jocelyn
We did a bit of site seeing around town and this temple was by far my favorite.
These are the neat bungalows that we stayed in.