Welcome to the Jungle
I just spent 3 days and 2 nights in the jungle. No cell phones, no email, no lights. It was friggin fantastic!
I signed up for a trek with my hostel, which is also a travel agency, and joined up with eight others to spend the next couple of days walking up and down pretty steep terrain close to the Thailand/Burma border.
First we drove for a couple of hours in the back of a pickup truck and the nine of us, and our guides, hiked to the first camp. The first day was definitely the hardest walking, not the longest, just the hardest. Very steep uphill climbing. Anyway, at the first camp our guide had been partying pretty hard the night before and didn't sleep, so he just passed out right away and we were left with a bunch of other Thai guys who cooked our dinner and started a campfire. It was pretty cool though, sleeping on bamboo mats in the middle of nowhere.
Day two we walked the most, but it was a lot of fun. Also very steep up and downhill, but the downhill was cool cause you basically had to slide down or fall. It was great fun. Also, we stopped early on at a waterfall and froze in the water. However me, Lisa, and Julia (girls on my trek) opted for a waterfall shower and actually washed our hair in it. Pretty dang cold.
At the end of day two, we had walked for about 4-5 hours in the hills and there were elephants waiting for us after we had just slid downhill for about an hour. They were incredible. I've never seen one so close before, actually not sure if I've ever seen one at all, but to ride one is another story. I was on one elephant with our driver, Sarah, and Josephine. I rode on it's neck while they stayed in the seat. It was a little scary cause the elephant kept eating and I thought I was going to fall right off. It's a helluva long way down, that's for sure.
When we finished our elephant ride for about an hour we arrived at a small hilltribe village. I can't remember what they were called, but I will later. Anyway, it was huts, dirt, and kids everywhere. So, naturally I found the biggest pile of kids and played for about 2 hours. I decided to find the rest of my group to make sure that they weren't eating dinner just yet. They weren't, but I told them about the kids and they came to join me. I had them hanging all over me. It was great.
We spent the night there and before bed they performed different songs and dances in traditional dress. They don't speak Thai there, so it's quite a bit different than the rest of the country.
Day three (today) was bamboo rafting. We still had to walk for another hour, but then we arrived at a dock with three bamboo rafts for the nine of us. It was great. We were having seaweed fights (sick) and trying to tip other rafts. I got chucked in twice by one guide but I also got him back by dunking him a couple of times. It was great.
I met some pretty cool people on this trip and actually we're all having dinner together tonight. It was cool to have such a diverse group of people: 2 from England, 2 from France, 3 from Sweeden, 1 Australian and 1 Canadian. All young though and a lot of fun to chill with.
Anyway, it was a great time and my friend should be out here in a couple days and then it's off to the south for some fantastic beach time. However, this place is great because it's so freakin cheap you have to TRY to spend your money...it's pretty tough.