Thailand – Chiang Mai – Three Day Two Night Walking Trek

– NOVEMBER 27-29, 2015

We have booked a three day/two night hiking trek adventure through the northern villages & jungle of Chiang Mai.  We left the majority of our stuff in storage at the Chiang Mai hotel and were picked up at 8am to start our adventure.  The shuttle bus drove us to the first stop on this multi-day trek at the Long Neck Karen Village.

LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

Jill wanted to pay a respectful visit to a long neck tribe, but the only option we had were to visit the Long Neck Karen Tribe.  This group is saturated in controversy, as they are not a truly authentic long neck tribe by choice.  Many of the Karen tribe are refugees from Burma who desperately tried to avoid the conflict back in Burma.  As refugees, they are not allowed to work jobs that can be covered by regular Thai people, so they set up these villages as tourist sites to generate income.

The village was organized by rows of stalls with each household touting the exact same scarves as the stalls next to each other.  They immediately went into tout mode and started begging us to buy their scarves they handmade from their looms.  It was a very uncomfortable feeling where these people clearly were not going to welcome us in to their homes to be educated on their culture.  I’m not sure what we expected going in, but while the young children and elderly ladies had big smiles, the teenage girls clearly did not look impressed to be viewed by the tourist groups.

The elderly ladies were quite gracious about posing for our pictures, as such Jill purchased a scarf from one booth.  The two sides to this coin are:

1.) If you buy their goods then you foster an environment where these people add brass rings to the young girls without their consent to continue generating tourist income.

2.) If you don’t buy their goods then these people make nothing…nothing to buy food or clothes.

Its a dilemma…so what to do?  We feel good about our choice to visit them and to buy a scarf in the process.  You can see the pictures below.

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

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LONG NECK KAREN VILLAGE

When we finished visiting this village we then boarded back into the transport vehicle to head off to the market to buy supplies for the next 3 days of hiking.

Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

After we picked up the supplies we then had lunch at a road side café.  Then we started our walk through the jungle to reach the northern hill tribe community for our evening stop.  This portion of the hike was all steep uphill and it lasted around 3 hours.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 1

Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

Our second day began with a home cooked breakfast and a total of 5 hours hiking through the jungle to reach our next campsite for the night.  Along the way we stopped at a couple of waterfalls for lunch and a break.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 2

At night we had a campfire and tested each other with creative thinking problems.  It was a fun time and the group that had 14 people on day 1 was now down to 7 people on day 2 (some people only booked a 1 day/1 night tour, so they dropped off after the first night).

Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

Another early morning breakfast and we were ready for a hike to the elephant ride park.  Today’s hike to the highway park was about just over 2 hours in total time.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Day 3

The first day of hiking was steep and all uphill, the next two days of hiking were pretty much flat or downhill (and thus easier).  It wasn’t a difficult hike (it was nothing like the difficulty of the Great Ocean Walk we hiked for 5 days in Australia) but it was a fun time and nice change of scenery/pace from the city sights.

Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

When we arrived at the Elephant Riding Park we saw an elephant chained to a tree.  It was joined a few minutes later by another couple of elephants who all heeded verbal commands to stop then back up by a tree.  After they parked themselves in their spots they were rewarded with sugar cane (their main diet staple in Thailand).

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

Then our turn came so we walked to the top of a platform where we then slipped onto the elephant for a one hour ride.  I rode on the elephant’s neck as this is supposed to be their preferred spot for people to ride.  The chair can be hard on their spines, but their strong necks can easily support a person.  It was a blast!

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – Elephant Riding Park

This was one of the most amazing things we have done on this adventure.  Here the elephants were all treated very well and the leg chains were to keep the tourists safe from coming too close to annoy the elephants.  We were lucky to find this group to provide us with the ride.

Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

Right at the same park location was the starting point for the rafting fun to complete the 3 day 2 night trek fun.  We dragged our raft to the river to get started and hit some very minor rapids.  It was nothing like the white water rafting we did in Switzerland & New Zealand, but it was a nice way to come closer to wrapping up the 3 day trek.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

After using the main raft for about 4km, we stopped and switched to a slow and easy going bamboo raft to complete the journey.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

We saw a snake as the bamboo raft floated by.  Watch out in Thailand!  Look by the shore line and water edge to see it below.

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

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Three Day Two Night Walking Trek – White Water Rafting & Bamboo Raft Floating

We had our last lunch together and then jumped into the trucks for rides back to Chiang Mai city.  A fun time and we met some very cool people on the way.  Thanks to everyone involved for helping us have a great time in the northern Thailand jungle trekking adventure.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.