The minibus headed to the end of route 1095 and turned towards Chiang Mai. We shouted to the driver who had forgotten we were getting dropped of here as most people just head straight back to Chiang Mai.
Jumping out on the edge of a highway with the bus driver giving us the heads up which colour buses to look out for. We crossed the road got a fresh coconut to drink and then it was a waiting game for the bus! After about 30 minutes a large orange bus headed towards us so we flagged it down at the lights and jumped on board! It was packed out but luckily a passenger spoke some English. Luckily the bus was going heading to Fang. We sat down in the isle and paid around 30 baht each. After a while the bus cleared out slightly and we managed to get a seat. The locals on the bus were so smiley and helpful it made the journey easy! After 5 hours on the bus we arrived in Fang. We looked online for somewhere to stay and picked ‘Vieng Kaew Resort’. We walked to it using ‘maps.me’, arrived to a lovely homestay with great rooms and a beautiful husky puppy! We stayed here for one night and paid 800 baht. We ended up at ‘Rhino Bar & Bistro’ for dinner which turned into a bar at night although all they had was beer and whisky! They had a great local band playing who even sang some English songs! After a great evening we returned to the homestay.
The next morning we enjoyed our free breakfast and explaining we wanted to get to Thaton, the family took us in their car to the bus station and made sure we got onto the correct bus. They were incredibly helpful!
We got onto the bus which took about 45 minutes and arrived in Thaton. We had a walk up the road and decided to stay at ‘Saranya River House’. This hotel had lovely rooms with their own little patio area or balcony. It also had a public pool outside. We explored the town and arranged our boat out of Thaton to Chiang Rai for a few days time.
We arranged for ourselves to go on a trek for the next day. The company we found on trip advisor. It was called ‘Renato Bamboohouse’. They had great reviews so we gave them a call and they met us at the bridge in Thaton at 9am the following day. We jumped on the back of a pick up truck before arriving in our guides village who’s name was Tutu. She gave us tea and fruits. Afterwards we started our trek. Everywhere we went on the trek was amazing! Tutu’s English wasn’t perfect but she managed to explain a lot to us and answer our questions. She took us to the neighbours tribal villages and then to the jungle for lunch.
Her friend had cooked us up some great food which included catfish, chicken and sticky rice on the bonfire with tea and coffee out of bamboo cups! We then trekked through the jungle with Tutu’s friend who made us a bamboo stick to hike with. We walked through areas that seemed no one had ever walked or at least not in a long time. Tutu’s friend even had to chop all the foliage down with his machete to create the path for us! With it being our first trek we didn’t really know what to expect or even if we would manage 10km, but it was amazing! We would definitely do it again. Our last stop on the trek was to the long neck tribe where we learnt that girls as young as 5 start applying the rings to their necks.
After being here for a while and looking at all their stalls Tutus husband picked us up and dropped us back to the hotel. They couldn’t have been anymore welcoming. We even found out that you can stay in their village too but unfortunately we was heading off the next morning otherwise we definitely would have stayed there for a night.
The next morning we left at 10am to get a boat to Chiang Rai. We decided to get a private boat with another couple as it turned out to be only 400 baht more than the local boat and it meant we could leave earlier and stop along the way.
We stopped off at the hot springs, a local village and then somewhere for lunch where Harry held a massive snake that they had in cages for tourists to have a picture with. We walked around with the other couple and there was loads of Elephants we fed! After about 4 hours on the boat we arrived in Chiang Rai.
Tip: If your going to do the trek have inspect replant and long trousers on as the mosquitos are everywhere in the jungle!