Trekking and biking around Chiang Mai

Almost shocked by the big city life in Chiang Mai, we book a 3-days/2-nights “real jungle experience”: our guide “Jackie Chan” is always giving us some explanations about the so many plants you can use as medicine. 12 people (7 from France and 4 from Netherlands) might be too much for a trek, but as we stop so often, it is not a big issue. This trek would be very amazing for kids to discover the nature. The trek is not really sportive: Aurélien and experienced another rhythm in Hsipaw, Myanmar one month before. However, it seems it is just perfect for the more “city” people in the group. It is anyway a lot of fun to play with slingshots, machete, putting some trap to get rat. Jackie shots a flying squirrel we enjoy in a soup at dinner. And in the next day, we taste a rat: surprising good, between chicken and rabbit! We stayed one night in a village disconnected from the city life: people live with their traditional techniques, separating the rice with a human driven tool without motor.

More than a trek, we get other activities: in the beginning, we enjoy riding elephants for 40min on the 46y old Muthaka and her 15y old son Doddo. On the 3rd day, we leave the jungle for bamboo “rafts”: on 3 rafts, our Brittany team (Aurélien, Géraldine and I) play the Corsairs and pass the first raft in the river: a lot of fun! We have a bath not in this low level river but under a waterfall some kilometers further: the 100m waterfall is actually the biggest in Chiang Mai province.

Maybe because this trek was not enough physically challenging for me, I rent a mountain bike on the day after (24th of January). Starting quite late (by noon), I first take a pick-up to the Doi Suthep temple (10km up), and then bike the next 10km up to the summit (1653m). Down-hill, I enjoy the dirt road on the other side and even more some narrow bike trials. I finally bike on such trials through the forest for 40min on dusk. It is actually a bit of stress since I do not know if I can get out the forest before it goes dark. I end up in Mae Rim, 16km North from Chiang Mai. (Doi Suthep is more on the West) and arrive by 8pm in my GH!

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