Top Ten Southeast Asia Classic Adventures

Trek to the Hill Tribes
By Andrew Forbes

Waking up into one of the hill-tribe villages is an unforgettable experience: The complete absence of roads makes the dawn almost eerily quiet, and the day's first light is enhanced by ethereal wisps of mist. Such a vision is one of the main reasons why people travel to this dense jungle. There can be few other places on earth where so many varied, exotic, and fascinating cultures coexist in apparent harmony. Most treks leave from Chiang Mai by jeep; then the hiking begins. Expect to walk for between three and five hours a day, sometimes under a hot sun with no forest cover. Accommodation is usually communal, often in the village headman's hut, and the guides will cook up great meals, sometimes using locally grown peppers or rice. Bedtime is usually early—all but the fittest of trekkers are likely to welcome—and the housing fairly spartan. But set against the joys of sunset and sunrise in these quiet, pristine surroundings, sleeping on a hard bed or a simple mat is a small price to pay.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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