Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chiang Mai Adventure Day

Assuming they ought to do at least one thing that tourists normally do while in Northern Thailand, the Harrington's found themselves signing up for a Chiang Mai Adventure Program. A one-day event that would include visiting an Orchid Farm, riding an Elephant, hiking to a waterfall, 'white-water' rafting and concluding with a small tour into a more traditionally styled village of Northern Thailand. Waking up on Adventure Day the Harrington's could hear the constant falling of monsoon rains outside their windows. The two put on "water-resistant" clothing and waited to see if they day would in fact continue as they had planned. Considering the frequency of rain in a nation such as Thailand, the Harrington's were not surprised to find out that, indeed, they would continue with the day as planned.

So, with six other adventursome souls, the Harrington's loaded into a red tuk-tuk and made a quick stop at an Orchid Farm which allowed for some beautiful sights and a bit of inspiration. Following the orchids, the Adventure crew was taken a little ways into the jungle where they were introduced to their large gray mammal friends, the elephants. Having spent some time with elephants in Africa, Mike and Melissa Harrington were not sure how to interpret the conditions under which these elephants were kept. Heavy chains held the elephants to trees and weighed heavily around their necks, the couple know that elephants have thick skin, but felt slightly unsure about climbing on board. Nonetheless, they hopped on and enjoyed or, shall we say experienced a VERY wet ride atop an elephant on some very slippery jungle slopes. The jungle views were amazing and provided the Harrington's much visual enjoyment.

Following the elephant ride, all adventuresome souls sat down for a filling dish of fried rice before continuing up (or down) the road for an enjoyable early afternoon hike. The trail was nothing short of sopping wet and a little slick complete with thin Bamboo bridges, but the sights along the way and the waterfall at the end were most enjoyable. Having now seen water falling and a small stream, it was time for the adventurers to try out their hand at white water (or more accurately, brown water) rafting. Slightly nervous and unsure of their actual rafting capabilities the Harrington's loaded into a raft with two girls from the Netherlands and a Thai river guide and enjoyed a small bit of rafting through some of the lucious and beautiful Thai Jungle.

As the day came to an end, the group was about adventured out so they were taken to a nearby village which was meant to showcase the traditional style of living in Korea. Unfortunately, this part of the tour felt mostly like an uncomfortable entrance to peoples lives whose stories we could not hear and whose daily routine we could not comprehend. A few ladies, dressed traditionally tried selling the group of foreigners their various goods before we all parted and ended our day of adventure. Overall, the Harrington's would describe the day as, worth the experience, however not necessary to repeat anytime soon.

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