I hike through the jungle and take a dip in a massive waterfall.
After our homestay in Mae Kapong, we piled back into the vans and continued our weekend trip away from Chiang Mai University.
We stopped a couple of times to see portions of The Royal Project, an environmental & cultural conservation effort initiated by the current king.
Then, we hopped out of the vans to take a hike through the jungle.
We divied up into groups and went into the jungle one group at a time.
We hiked downward through the jungle, slipping on muddy banks and enjoying the shade that the canopy provided. At one point, I slipped and fell, no thanks to my comfy shoes.
We could soon hear roaring water, and we made our way toward the source.
A series of white cascades sprayed below us. We walked down the hiking trail alongside the first portion and posed at the bottom in front of the wall of water and slick stone.
After spending a few moments taking pictures and enjoying the cool spray of the falls, we continued down the trail, still along the same falls.
Soon, we made it to the bottom, which was a massive basin underneath the largest cascade of all.
We stripped down to our bathing suits, and gingerly stepped over slippery rocks so that we could swim.
The water was freezing, and the current was strong. I didn’t spend too much time swimming, but I definitely had a blast.
(Unfortunately, these the only pictures of the waterfall that we swam under. They don’t give a great perspective on the enormity of the falls or the basin. I also can’t find the name of the falls on google. Please comment if you know.)
After we all got out again and put our hiking clothes back on, we continued along the trail. A series of pipes were cut into the land, transporting water from the falls.
We suddenly found ourselves on the side of a clifface.
The view was spectacular.
Rice fields were cut into the mountain in terraces.
We hiked down the trail, and soon were on the same level as the fields.
We stopped at a village to sample local coffee and tea
We saw a pig nursing her piglets, as well as many chickens.
I’m not sure if this was just an extension of the village we stayed at, or if it was a separate community entirely.
Either way, we did a bit more walking before our final destination: the hilltribe overnight stay.