Trekking in Northern Thailand

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Fitness Levels For Trekking In Thailand

Trekking in ThailandFor short hikes of one to two days in Thailand, a reasonable level of physical fitness is required. This means that they are suitable for almost anyone. For hikes longer than two days, an adventurous nature and good physical fitness is needed. During your Thailand trek, you’ll be walking through the wilderness with a rucksack (meaning there will be lots of sweating and in the rainy season, or if you are unlucky enough to catch a cloudburst, getting wet). The sanitary facilities during this part of your Thailand trip will be primitive to say the least – on the hike, behind the ‘bushes’ or in this case bamboo trees – and the primitive overnight accommodation while visiting the mountain people (on a wooden floor with a sleeping mat) are not everyone’s cup of tea! It may not be the most comfortable experience of your life, but it will definitely help to make your Thailand trip something to really remember.

Evenings In The Thai Mountain Villages

Apart from the daily physical demands of your activities, an essential part of trekking in Thailand is being a part of the village atmosphere in the morning and evening. In the evening, you can relax and take in village life from beside an open fire, a real highlight of any Thailand trip. Your guide will prepare your evening meal made from locally produced ingredients. You might even be able to have a chat with the locals using your guide as an interpreter. Your guide not only knows the region like the back of his hand, he also knows the local languages of the different mountain peoples and can tell you all about their culture.

While you’re trekking in Northern Thailand, you’ll sleep in a wooden hut on the outskirts of the village. There will be no electricity or running water, and your bed will be made up of a plastic mat on a bamboo floor raised off the ground by stilts. This is Thailand travel at its most basic and most brilliant.

Chiang Mai Trekking

Trekking in Chiang Mai

What to take with you on your Thailand trek?

A few items are important to have with you (besides adventurer’s blood) while you’re travelling in Thailand;

  • rucksack (day sack)
  • cotton sleeping bag (blankets are available locally)
  • sleeping mat, mosquito net, and sometimes a sleeping bag
  • short- and long-sleeved shirts
  • shorts an d long trousers
  • poncho or waterproof jacket and trousers, backpack cover
  • water bottle (can be borrowed on location)
  • torch – whether you’re travelling in Thailand or anywhere else, a torch is indispensable.
  • insect repellent – essential throughout your Thailand trip
  • hat or cap
  • sun block cream
  • enough camera film rolls or spare SD card
  • if necessary travel sickness tablets for a somewhat rough ride in a pickup truck
  • earplugs (think about the excited pigs when they get their food first thing in the morning, or your snoring travel companions)
  • sandals/flip flops
  • toilet paper

Remember that you whatever you take while you’re travelling in Thailand, you’re going to have to carry on your back. You can leave the bulk of your luggage in your hotel in Chiang Mai, and remember to lock your valuables away in the safe. Good quality, well broken-in shoes, with a good tread, are an absolute must during your Thailand trek. Toilet paper and other day-to-day essentials are not always available for purchase en route.

What not to take on your Thailand trekking trip

  • expensive jewellery
  • nice but vulnerable clothing (gets a bit dirty on top of an elephant)

For local people, every foreigner that they come across is rich. If you really want to give something to the local people, you’re better off making a donation towards the village school. You can talk to your guide about arranging this during your Thailand trip.

Chiang Mai Weather

Best time to trek in Chiang Mai is from November to February

The seasons

The best period to travel to northern Thailand is from November to February. The weather at this time is nice and relatively cool with little or no rain. The next best period for travelling in northern Thailand is June or July, the beginning of the rainy season, when the unpaved roads are not yet turned into a mud bath. The next best period is between March and May – no rain, dry and hot, because there’s less foliage it’s not so green. Whenever you choose to travel in Thailand, you’re bound to have a great time.

Source: Bryony Holland

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Updated: December 22, 2010 by admin

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