Before making our way over to the photogenic islands of Southern Thailand, students and staff went on one more optional trekking adventure into the jungles of Chiang Rai.
Our day-long journey began with a tuk-tuk ride to the starting point of our trek up into the mountains. The guides cut down bamboo trees and created walking sticks for the ultimate outdoor adventure. In keeping with our tradition of wild animals in the jungle, we ran into more cute puppies which immediately caught our attention. Sadly for us (but fortunately for the puppies), it wasn’t before long that we were discovered trying to sneak one back to the hotel… maybe there will be more in Ko Lanta?
Our guides brought us to a small village where we took a break to drink tea and eat fried worms in a small hut. This small village is home to 75 people with a stunning view of the mountains. After our tea stop, we continued down the mountain to visit another village and learn about their exotic tea farms before stopping for lunch at a remote spot on the hillside… we were literally in the middle of nowhere!
We arrived at a clearing in the trees where there was nothing but a fire, long bamboo chutes, and meat skewers cooking above the pit. When the cooks removed the bamboo tops, we discovered compartments of rice and sweet potatoes that were being prepared in their own little bamboo ovens! We even had bamboo cups and chopsticks ready to use that many of us took home as a memento from this amazing lunch.
On the way back, some of us ran into a massive tarantula before stopping to admire yet another gorgeous waterfall. With one more stop along the way, we jumped in some tuk-tuks and headed down to the hot spring pools to refresh after a long day of trekking. Taking a quick pit stop for ice cream, we returned back to the hotel just before dinner and study hall.
Kayla – our trekking extraordinaire – had this to share about her day:
“It was really cool to trek through the mountains and see just how beautiful Asia really is. I thought it was also really neat that small communities are able to remotely sustain themselves while being so far from some of the major cities. Learning about the tea leaves and eating from bamboo was definitely a highlight for me… an all-around eco-friendly day!”
On Friday we will set off to Ko Lanta for some relaxing vibes before the end of term and our semester abroad. We will spend a week having classes on the beach with a full day of snorkelling and cooking lessons still yet to come!
Yours among the tea leaves,