Since we launched our contest to win a blog trip to India with G Adventures the entries have been flooding in. We have really enjoyed reading them so in this final week of the contest will be sharing some of our favourites on this blog. There is still time to enter so if you fancy being our roving reporter simply email us with details of your own great adventure before 6pm Monday 14th November. Full details can be found here.
In this entry Laura Davies recounts an adventurous weekend break she took during her time as an volunteer teacher in Northern Thailand.
The life of a volunteer English teacher in Northern Thailand is not very glamorous. We wear the same yellow polo shirt and long skirt each day and teach the same English nouns over and over again. After 9 weeks of the same I was getting antsy for an adventure!
Six volunteer English teachers working in Northern Thailand met up in Nan City at 7am and piled into a 4WD jeep for a 2 hour drive into the hills of Northern Nan Province. We were off on a jungle trek! It was an incredible (and bumpy) trip with the roads surrounded by huge bamboo trees, palm trees, banana plants and insects the size of small rodents. As we stopped for a break and bananas our guide explained to us why a lot of the teek trees we passed had orange monk robes tied around them. Simple, the trees were in fact Monks! The trees were then afforded the same respect as monks by the local communities. No deforestation here.
We made it to a small village in a large valley and started trekking under a beautiful jungle canopy. You could see why so many animals and insects preferred to live here as it was so cool and moist protected by the massive trees and leaves. As we got higher up the mountains we peeked out of the canopy and the full force of the mid-summer sun and humidity of South East Asia hit us! Our supplies of water were just running out when we hit another small hill tribe village who luckily had enough Fanta and fresh pineapple to go around! The driver of the 4×4 jeep met us here and drove us back to Nan for the night.
As soon as I got to the hotel I showered and climbed straight into bed. The jungle took it all out of me!
Thankfully, at 6am the next day I felt A-OK and it was off to go white-water rafting. After a breakfast of champions (Chocolate, crisps, Redbull and Tylenol) seven of us piled into one pickup truck and drove up to Mae Charim park. Instead of walking up the mountains like yesterday, we were going to raft down them! It was 2 hours of big rapids and thanks to sitting right at the front; I was the one getting soaked! Our 2 rafts and extra guide in a kayak led us into some very cool caves and some great deep pools near waterfalls were we got to jump out and swim.
The whole weekend was a great chance to connect with other volunteers and share our experiences of the first few months of our placements. We also were able to get out and challenge ourselves and explore new places, which is what travel is all about right?
Laura is a Canadian with a serious case of wanderlust. She has worked, studied and travelled in Asia, Africa and Europe and currently resides in London. But she will always call Vancouver (more specifically the ski runs on Whistler!) home. She blogs about her life in London at http://lifelauralondon.tumblr.com/.