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Thailand Photos: Rafting, trekking, Karen village home stay in Umphang: 07 - 11 Feb 2006
A house in Ban Kotha Karen village. They keep chicken, pigs, cows and buffalos. Buffalos and cows are used in the farming; as well as to produce milk and meat. Few families have elephants. In the past elephants were used for transport of goods and people. Now farm tractors are replacing the elephants.
Carrying tourists from a place to another became a new business. Fresh elephant dung just dropped.
Elephants are good walkers. They can negotiate difficult terrain whether it be uphill or downhill, river or canal, wetland or stone field, thick forest or grassland. They can clear the trail by breaking the tree branches and bamboo using their trunks. When walking on a relatively flat trail you will have problem trying to catch them up since they walk quite fast. However while going uphill they go quite slow and you could overtake them.
These two elephants were sending the tourists from Ban Kotha to a hill on the mid-way to Ban Thi Pho Gyi - another Karen village.
Ban Kotha to Ban Thi Pho Gyi walking trail is about 10 km long. From Ban Kotha you walk pass the farms, and then enter a bamboo forest. In the middle of the way there is a hill to hike. While trekking up the hill you will pass a trail which goes to Ban Platha. That is if you walk between Ban Platha and Ban Thi Pho Gyi you don't need to pass Ban Kotha.
On the forest floor are flowers like these on the trail, bamboo, bamboo shoots, dead plants and growing plants, fallen leaves, stones. Top of the mountain offers good views of the surrounding. Just after the summit plateau, on the Ban Thi Pho Gyi side is a small cave.
Buffalos were the first greeting sign when we came down the hill to the farms of Ban Thi Pho Gyi village. The sight of buffalos, green field and farm huts made us feel relieved from tireness. We had arrived.
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