Northern Thailand has many small villages in the mountains inhabited by tribal tribes. These tribes, originally from China, have been living in Southeast Asia for decades. They have been moving from one area to another without regard to the borders and mostly because of conflicts or lack of resources.
Recently, I went for a two-day and one-night trek with some friends to visit some of those villages near Chiang Rai. We started by taking a boat in Chiang Rai with our Lahu guide, Joe. We sailed the Kok River for about 40 minutes. We got to an Akha village. We learned that most of the languages of these tribes can’t be written, so the whole culture has been preserved mouth-to-ear. They say that any Akha can remember the names of their relatives up to 30 generations before! Incredible!
We kept walking for two hours through the forest to Doi Bo View Point. We had a nice break enjoying wonderful views of the province and walked a bit more until a village of the Red Lahu that consists of 37 houses made of wood where 218 people live.
The village had no electricity yet, although, our guide told us that Thai government had some planning on the way to bring it soon. 37 families lived there. Most had small solar panels to charge their mobiles.
We slept in a homestay with a Lahu family. They cooked a wonderful meal for us. Beds were very basic. Since there is no more electricity, most of the people goes to sleep early. At dawn, the roosters, who move freely around the village, wake you up early, but it does not matter because at that time you have already slept eight hours.
On our second day we said goodbye to the family and left again to the jungle. Our guide and a friend cooked us a delicious meal in the middle of the forest by using only bamboo. They started a bonfire and cooked the rice and vegetables literally inside the bamboo. Amazingly, dishes and chopsticks were also made of bamboo.
At the end of the meal we went to have a bath at hot springs. Then we headed to Chiang Rai. The trekking was over. A wonderful experience to remember for long time.
Pol Comaposada is the winner, Story Blog, in the TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand competition 2017.