Our Night in the Akha Hill Tribe Guesthouse

Last weekend Vince and I joined up with our friend Sara and took a 5-hour bus ride into the northernmost province of Thailand; Chiang Rai.  I was amazed at the magnified size and beauty of the countryside in such a short distance.  This was the Thailand I had imagined. The mountains grew taller, the jungle greener, the air heavier, and the clouds enveloped us.  Once we arrived at the bus station we jumped on a truck and traveled another hour further up into the mountains to our guesthouse that was owned and settled by the Akha hill tribe people. 


The people were not dressed in costumes, but rather in their everyday clothes; namely t-shirts and shorts.  Except for the owner of the property the people did not speak English or Thai. They speak Akha.  For one night we lived where they lived.  We stayed in a bungalow complete with a bamboo balcony overlooking the mountains that peaked above the rain clouds below and lined with terraces of tea plants. In our bungalow our bed lay covered by mosquito netting, and our bathroom full of rocks and spider webs. 


After we arrived we explored our village and took a “vine blood” sauna, which was actually a sap smelling steam room filled with big black ants.   In the evening we sat around with the other travelers and discussed worldviews.  There were travelers from Czech Republic, Italy, UK, Australia, and the Netherlands.  Much of the conversation focused on the US’ upcoming election, and overwhelmingly these people of the world were all of the same opinion on two things: 1) the election back home is important on a world scale 2) they want and believe that Obama will lead America into a better future. They feel that Obama will work with the world for peace, while McCain will continue to lead America down the path of bullying other countries into doing what ‘America’ thinks is ‘right’.


The next morning we hiked to a waterfall and then ate banana pancakes with an ice-less banana shake.  Afterwards we started the long haul back down the mountain.  We rode in the bed of a truck with the wind blowing through our hair and the mud & water sloshing in and on our feet.  The ride down is best described with a video:




It was absolutely breathtaking up in the mountain, and on more then one occasion I thought to myself that we must be in a movie scene because our remote and striking jungle surroundings were so surreal. I must admit, however, that at the end of the day  – the buggy, wet, red-clay muddy (… and did I say buggy??) day – we were ready to come back down to clean-er world of Thai modern reality.


~ by The Piersas on September 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “Our Night in the Akha Hill Tribe Guesthouse”

  1. Breathtaking.

  2. Your video skills are getting really good. Awesome!

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