On the Mae Kok River in Thailand

(Last Updated On: November 25, 2020)

. . . join an optional boat trip down the Kok River, whose banks are lined with thick jungles, mountain cliffs and many hill tribe villages, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the landscape from another perspective, high above the river and jungle floor, on an included guided elephant ride.

Brightly painted speed boats line the shore at the Chiang Rai boat landing.

We team up with the Angelenos and then convince Chris she should join us to round out our group. Once Chris has gotten everyone else off, she does indeed join us and then we too are on our way.

This should be fun.

I’m pretty sure these are the same long tail boats they have in Bangkok. I’ve read about them and seen pictures – these have the same shape and appear to be powered by the same type of engine (old auto engines, from the look of things) with a propeller set at the end of a long pole so it trails far behind the boat. They look very cool.

These boats sit low in the water and the bow rises high in the air as the speed increases. As it slices through the water, that raised bow sends a steady spray past us -a sparkling curtain separating us from the scenery beyond.

And the scenery is generally quite lovely, with mountains comprised of a few rocky monoliths that rise up above the river’s otherwise lush, flat shore. Moving along the river, we pass homes, farms, resorts, and small industrial operations near the shore. Occasionally a fancy house or sparkling temple perches high above the water on a mountain side.

We also pass each of the other boats that are ferrying members of our group. Now that Chris has gotten everyone safely underway, she wants to be the first ashore when we arrive.

We wave to each group as we zip by.

I love being on the water and am enjoying the trip so much that I am completely focused on being here, wondering about the scenery we are passing. Lane is sitting behind me, with Chris, and the noise of the engine drowns her explanation of what we are seeing. So I am mostly lost in my thoughts and in the landscape that surrounds me.

I am momentarily surprised when we slow and turn toward the landing at an elephant camp near the river’s edge.

I had forgotten that this boat trip was only the first item on today’s itinerary.

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