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Doing a Jungle Trek in South East Asia
Have you ever thought about doing a jungle trek? This might be something that is only suited for the most extreme hikers and trekkers, but the truth is that Southeast Asia is the perfect location for even the most novice of hikers to try out a trek. There are a wide variety of places to trek, all of them beautiful in their own way. Trekking is truly a unique experience, one in which you are completely isolated from modern civilization. There is perhaps no better place to do this than in Southeast Asia.
How long to trek?
How long you are going to trek is really up to you. Most mapped treks in Thailand and Laos, however, are usually in between two and three days, depending on how often you stop and which routes you take. Especially for those who have not trekked before, this is the perfect sample of the trekking lifestyle. You do not have to commit weeks and weeks to this long, arduous hike—you only have to spend two or three days on average, with the ability to extend your hike for as long as you’d like afterwards.
What is a trek like?
It is difficult to explain to someone who has never trekked before what a trek is like. The first thing you need to know is that trekking, though it sounds difficult, is actually little more than your average hike. Especially if you choose a trek with a shorter duration, you can pack light. Most of the treks you are going to go on in Southeast Asia are going to be nice, light exercise. While there are some hikes that are going to be more difficult than others, in general, most hikes are relatively flat and meander through plenty of native villages if you ever need to stop to rest or resupply.
Is the jungle safe?
When most people hear the word “jungle” they think of tigers and panthers and snakes and other dangerous animals. Your typical trekker is simply not going to encounter any of these animals during their trek. What they are going to encounter, however, is lush jungle, teeming with exotic wildlife. A trek is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what the jungle really has to offer. While you might get a sense of the jungle on a day hike, only by trekking deep into the heart of the jungle can you really understand it.
Being able to visit the local hill tribes in Southeastern Asia is another major benefit of trekking in this part of the world. While you will spend most of your time in the wilderness, there will be villages along the way that are very welcoming to travelers, especially those who are hiking through the jungle with just a pack on their backs.
Which trek should I do?
There are a wide variety of famous treks in this area of the world, any one of which would be a good option for both new and experienced trekkers alike. Northern Thailand has some of the best treks for those who want to visit the hill tribes and learn about their life and history, while Laos has a network of treks that are ideal for beginner trekkers who want to start off slow. Many of these treks have spots where you can rent river passage for faster travel that gets you off your feet, too. In short, you should pick a trek that has destinations that appeal to you, whether you want to see waterfalls, hill tribes, or just lush native jungle.