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Jungle trek and camping in Umphang along Klotho stream, Kotha and Thilosu waterfalls : 17 - 22 Feb 2007
National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) Gold Level Survival Trek of 7 students

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United World College of South East Asia (Singapore)
Team members: Juen Li, Nana, Jin, Mika, Manasi, Shwetha, supervisor Mireille (from Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia, Canada), and three Karen hilltribe trail readers

Boarding the flight at Singapore airport
Boarding the flight for Bangkok at Singapore airport. The flight: Tiger Airways at 1815-1940hrs on 17 Feb 2007. We use a van car to come to a bus terminal on western side of Bangkok city.

In the night bus Bangkok to Mae Sot
VIP double decker night bus from Bangkok to Mae Sot. The bus leaves Bangkok's new Morchit bus terminal at 2230Hrs, arriving Mae Sot station early next morning (18 Feb 2007). The bus's lower level houses a small toilet, and a small pantry area with water boiler and single-use paper cups, ready-made coffee and tea sacks. The bus stops for early morning boiled rice, also included in the ticket cost, at a town.

Mae Sot to Umphang by pick up truck
Mae Sot to Umphang is 3.5 hours drive on the road no. 1090, more than half of it is in the mountains making over 1200 turns. The weather is cold and windy. At the middle of the way is an rest station with toilets, and food stalls selling hot and cold drinks, and snacks. The road goes north-south parallel with the curve of Thai-Myanmar borderline.

Start trekking from Ban Platha
On arrival Umphang we switch to another truck to continue to Ban Platha - a Karen village , also on the road 1090, which is our starting point for the trek. We are to walk four days and three nights from the road 1090 till we get to the road 1288 through the jungle, along a river passing two waterfalls, and a Karen hilltribe village.

After lunch and repacking the stuff we cross the Mae Klong river by a bamboo bridge and start our trek into the jungle. At mid day it is a bit hot and signs of forest fire are seen here and there. Each one of us carries own back pack with personal items, drinking water bottles, sleeping bag, ground sheet and tent; and shared load of foodstuff and cooking equipment.

An elephant
An elephant from Ban Platha foraging in the forest. When it knows that we are taking photo, the elephant raises its trunk saying like 'Hello, I am from Platha. Where are you from?.'

Cutting bamboo into thin pieces to tie the bridge members
Before crossing Klotho stream by a bamboo bridge our Karen guides cut bamboo into thin stripes to do some fixing work on the bridge.

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