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Combating Jet Lag with a 2 Day Lychee Hike

It was a grueling 19 hour flight from San Francisco to Chiang Mai, Thailand. It's something I definitely don't want to do again anytime soon but it was also the most productive flight I've ever had.  I banged out 9 chapters of the new book Life Changes Quick and read all of The Black Belt Blueprint which I've had on my kindle for months now and haven't had a chance to read. 

To combat jet lag, I always change my clocks including my watch, phone, laptop, everything to the destination time zone as soon as we take off and start sleeping according to the new time zone.  It works really well, but this time I decided to take it one step further to really reset my circadian rhythm. I went on a 2 day hike.


Brought back 1kg of jungle picked Lychees!

The 2 Day Hike:

Combining some light exercise, a lot of sunlight, and being away from my laptop, phone and all electronics for a night made the world of difference.   I hiked all day and slept in a bamboo hut with no electricity, which meant we went to bed when it got dark and woke up when the sun came up.

The best thing about it was it happened to be Lychee season which meant along the way we picked these delicious tropical fruits straight from the tree and ate them while hiking.

The Cost:
I signed up for the 2 day, 1 night walking only tour through Spicy Backpackers Guest house for 1,800 baht ($60US)  The tour company was Jumbo Tours and my guide who was incredible and highly recommended was named Chai.  The cost included all transportation, food, lodging, sheets and blankets.  The only thing you needed to buy was water.  

The Attractions:

Day one started with a 2 hour drive into the mountains of northern Thailand.  We stopped by a local market where you could buy some fruit or snacks.  I slipped Chai an extra 100 baht ($3.33) and told him that I only ate Meat, Vegetables and Egg and asked him to buy me some extra eggs as I don't eat rice, noodles or bread.  The hike itself was through beautiful jungle including a bat cave and two waterfalls.  We walked through some local farms and villages and stayed overnight in a bamboo camp by a river.  Food was cooked over a campfire and fresh fruit was picked along the way.

Hiking in my Luna Mono "barefoot sandals"

What to Bring:

You don't need much.  I did the hike in my Luna Mono sandals, a pair of shorts and a backpack.  I bought an extra pair of shorts and two t-shirts.  Aside from that, just bring 1.5 litres of water, some small change in 20 baht notes to buy more along the way, and some bug spray.  Mosquitoes weren't bad at all, and in May it was warm enough even at night that I never needed a jacket.  They provided bedding and blankets so you can show up without anything.

The Guide:

Our guide was incredible.  He was knowledgeable about the local plants and fruits, and showed us a lot of cool jungle tricks, insects and edibles.  The other guide that we shared the camp with us was terrible and we were very lucky not to have him.  I don't know his name but he was a bit creepy, got really drunk and night and passed out listening to the radio which kept everyone awake and took away from the entire point of being away from the city, radio silence.  

I tipped my guide 200 baht ($6.67) which made him extremely happy as it's not normally expected.  If you're going to be in Chiang Mai, I would highly recommend this trip.  

The leaf bug we saw on the hike
Summary:

For only 1,300 ($43US) baht you can sign up for a 3 day 2 night hike which includes an orchid farm, elephant riding, bamboo rafting and whitewater rafting.  If you're on a budget and want to ride elephants, it's a good value.  However for me personally, I'm not a fan of riding elephants or doing touristy activities and thought it was well worth paying extra to do the walking only tour.  You end up hiking more and seeing more on this trip and it's always a smaller group as most backpackers go for the cheaper option. 

If you're flying in from the US, Canada or anywhere else that has a big time difference, going for an overnight hike a couple days after you arrive in Thailand is a great way to reset your clock.  I feel like my jetlag has completely gone away just from that, making me more productive.  The best news is I came back from two days of not being online and seeing two new sales in my inbox, which easily paid for the entire trip and more.  

Keep living the good life and see you guys out in Chiang Mai!

Warm Regards,

Johnny


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  1. Hey Johnny,
    This is Jon that other Asian American here in Thailand. Great post on this hiking adventure. I will definitly put this hike on my list of things to do. How do you find these great activities? They are never mentioned any where else. Just like the other blogpost you put out a while ago about that rock quarry where you can jump off into the water.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Jon, most of these fun activities come from word of mouth and just keeping an eye out for fun things to do. I'm a big fan of nature, so people always tell me about cool things. I try to post write ups about everything fun I do to spread the word. Just search the blog for Chiang Mai and you'll see a huge list.

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