May 1

The last day of our trek included a long hike, a satisfyingly cold waterfall and lunch, and then the highlight of the trek: bamboo rafting. 48FEA0C8-218F-41D2-9676-CA61375AD707 6D9BDBFE-53B1-4BF9-9DC4-30BC1C3F247BThe 1st of May in Thailand, as well as Germany, apparently, is Labor Day. The locals flock to the mountains, escaping the heat of the city and celebrating with loud parties, drinking and grilling out, often near water. Our scheduled bamboo rafting trip, which was only supposed to take 20 minutes because it is the dry season, ended up being a huge party, with so many rafts that it was gridlocked traffic. Ladyboys, teens and families filled the river with dancing and relaxing. They especially loved Tobi, the fit German guy with a welcoming smile. The women would swoon over him, call him handsome and the whole crowd cheered as he pushed one of the rafts over the rocks. Thai people don’t drink or party unless it is a holiday, so it was great to see the culture let loose. Open air taxi after the trekWe were very lucky to experience this day on the river and completed our journey back at the elephant sanctuary where the trip had started. After drying out in the open air taxi towards Chang Mai, we rested, showered and found some more food at a locals food market near our hostel. After a few more beers, reliving our Thai holiday adventure and feeling lucky to be in such good company, we returned to the hostel and made plans for tomorrow.

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