Located in Northern Thailand, Mae Taeng, in the province of Chiang Mai is fast becoming a hiking hotspot with scores of routes forging through the surrounding hills and mountains. Having been in the province for a few months, now enjoying another stay in Mae Rim, the ease with which it is possible to escape into the surrounding wilderness still blows me away.
For any of you that might have been, you may know that the northwest of the province is well famed for its areas of outstandng natural beauty so on our latest sojourn we decided to book a two day excursion with a tour operator in the city of Chiang Mai. This was something quite different from our own short hikes over the hills, so it was with some excitement that we set off. Sleeping on the trail was going to be a little adventure.
This Trekking in Mae Taeng is particularly interesting because it includes a visit to the Shan people, a remote tribal group as well as Lahu village, another mountainous hilltribe setting.
Indeed the first day was rather serene, before we even began the trek we were soothed by a tour of a nearby orchid farm complete with its adjoined butterfly sanctuary. The perk of the day for me was the campfire dinner at the end, a magnificent feast to follow a good days trekking. Sleep eventually came that night, the stars were out and quite a distraction! Thankfully we didn’t have to be up too early, a nice relaxed Thai schedule, with plenty of rest.
Just as well because the next day was far more adrenaline driven! Whilst there was no hot shower in the morning it was more than tolerable to begin with a waterfall instead. Once we’d dried off we were more than ready to start some elephant trekking, proceeding through the jungle atop this mighty beast, an appreciation for their strength and good-temper really began to grow in me. Perhaps my aunty wasn’t so crazy for collecting little statues of them…
Getting wet seemed to be a recurrent theme and returned in the shape of a highly charged white water rafting session. Over the 40 minute journey you encounter a wide variety of scenery not to mention local flora and fauna, there was also a switch in boats at the end. Following the navigation of the fast tempo river in a white water raft the more relaxed session shortly followed. Drifting alongside the jungle on the traditional bamboo raft was a nice ending to the day, both my wife and I thought it was a great two days. We are thinking now of going on one of the more adventurous 5 day trips but whether we will find a route as inspiring as the trekking in Mae Taeng one is unknown at this point. I would like to spend some more time in the remoter regions of the northwest though.