Thailand Diary: Elephants & Bamboo Rafting In The Jungle | Tea & Post

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Thailand Diary: Elephants & Bamboo Rafting In The Jungle

The second half of our trek was by far my favourite. To begin with we got to go elephant riding which is something that's been on my bucket list for many years. It wasn't quite as comfy as I thought it was going to be though! With no strap holding us on and the elephant walking downhill it was a struggle to stay on the seat. We spent most of the ride clinging onto the side for dear life.
The elephants carried us almost back to the village, I was pretty grateful we wouldn't have to walk all that way back again. I quickly put a bikini on under my clothes as we were about to start our next part and my highlight of the trip, bamboo rafting. Our bags were tied to the front of the boat, our clothes wrapped up inside a plastic bag within our backpacks. I didn't quite trust myself to balance enough to take out my cameras so I sadly didn't get any photos of us actually on the raft. It was amazing, the first time we weren't sure if we were actually allowed to do any of the rowing as the guy who was in charge of our raft seemed pretty adamant on the guys doing it. So we just sat back and enjoyed the ride the first time. Although there were some pretty tense points with the boys in charge. At one point we crashed straight into a tree and nearly capsized, it took some shuffling around the small raft and some pushing of the rocks to get away. We stopped on a bank for to watch our group leader fishing, he had a net he would fling then bring back to him. He didn't catch many fish so that was off the menu for dinner!

We eventually ended up at our last village where we had a fantastic dinner; yellow curry, broccoli with chicken and runner beans mixed with tofu. We sat around another fire this time playing games and having a few drinks, it was a really fun night. The following day we were back on the rafts again, this time with Loriley steering and me rowing at the back. We were definitely a lot better than the boys! Eventually we finished up at a small restaurant on the riverbank, we had a bit of trouble stopping our raft which is why in the picture you can see it a bit further down. They gave us a lovely Pad Thai before we piled back into the pick up truck that had driven us on the first day.

On the way back to Chiang Mai our group leader suggested that we stop at a Temple. It was so big and beautiful I was quite taken aback by it. It was made up of quite a lot of sections filled with huge gold statues, pretty flowers and had a fantastic view.

When we eventually made it back to the hotel we were all so hot and dusty from the ride in the back of the truck that we were desperate for a swim in the pool. We all met down by the poolside and made plans for dinner, particularly as the guys said they'd buy us dinner if we could raft better than them Dinner ended up being back at the restaurant we'd been to the night before we'd left and I tried the Papaya Salad for the first time. I quite liked it although it wasn't as spicy as I'd been told which was a bit disappointing. After dinner we decided to go for drinks as it was our last night in Chiang Mai, everyone else was staying on for a few days longer. We ended up at a place called Tiger's Bar, owned by a lovely Thai man called Tiger. The best part about this bar was you could choose the music on YouTube, pretty soon we had all our favourites blasting out whilst we played a game of pool.

It happened to be Tiger's birthday at midnight so after playing Stevie Wonder 'Happy Birthday' to him we somehow ended up in a tuk-tuk heading out for a night clubbing. I quite honestly have no idea where we went but we had a really fun night, although I definitely paid for it the next morning. Hello second hangover of the trip.We had to be at the airport by 10am which was such a struggle when the world was spinning. Thankfully Chiang Mai airport had a McDonalds, after some food I started to feel a bit better. Just in time for the 2 hour flight to Krabi!

I really enjoyed the trek despite the wasps and my general grumbles about the steep hills. Our tour guide was quite a character and made it such a fun trip. The bamboo rafting through the rapids was a hundred percent the best part, although I wouldn't say it was a particularly safe as there were no life jackets or helmets. I had an amazing time and loved our little group, I'd definitely consider another STA trip in the future.

Here's a video of our time in Chiang Mai, I didn't get quite as much footage as I'd hoped as I was clinging to a bamboo stick or an elephant most of the time. Note to self: buy a GoPro!



  1. These pictures are gorgeous! Looks like such a fun trip! So cool you have all the video footage to go along with your photos!

    1. Was so amazing! I'm hoping to go travelling at the end of this year so trying to get some vlogging practice in :) I think it's nice to have videos as well as photos, captures the memories a bit better!


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