I went hiking in Thailand yesterday. Snake hunting really. It’s a nice mountain climb – about 90 minutes up, 40 down. I saw some footprints ahead of me – fresh. I never did see the hikers though. That was odd. There’s supposed to be one way up the mountain and one way down.
There are some great hikes here in Thailand but you can get lost if you don’t have a guide that’s familiar with the trail. Last night I was up until after midnight with a group of about 50 Thai rescuers trying to locate a visitor and his wife that had become lost on a mountain climb. They’d been gone 13 hours before being found. It should have taken them 3 hours. They were quite happy to be found before having to stay all night there. They were burning pages from a book to keep the insects away.
There are plenty of poisonous snakes and other pitfalls in the Thailand jungle – made worse by nightfall.
Always have a couple things… LOTS of water. Mosquito repellant. Flashlight – even small. 7-11 sells them for 70 baht + AA batteries. Long sleeves and long pants and socks with sport sandals or sports shoes.
Sound does NOT travel far in a jungle I learned yesterday. As I approached some monkeys in the trees I noticed – it sounded like they weren’t that close – they were almost right above me. Sure, 60 feet above me… but, it was weird and I noticed. Then, after I’d passed I realized I’d only gone 50 meters and the sound was very reduced…these were the howling monkees that make that supercool bombs dropping noise.
The idea of sound not traveling well in the jungle was later reinforced as I realized the lost couple couldn’t hear the beeping of my motorbike horn as I went all around the base of the mountain – even within 1km of where the guy and his wife were resting (because it was pitch black even with the full-moon).
Later I really got a shock when the policeman I was with fired two shots from his pistol into the air. I was on the phone with the lost guy – and he said he heard one shot just faintly and the other shot – not at all. He was only about 1km from there!
A whistle would still be a good investment to bring if you’re hiking – it will go further than your voice. Their voices were hoarse after yelling for so many hours.
Be careful in Thailand – it’s fun, but it’s literally wild too. There are Asiatic black bears that could attack you while you’re hiking. They’re supposedly the most aggressive bears on the planet and only about 100lbs.