Uthai Thani: the unbeaten trail for trekking and camping

Dear explorers,

during 2022 I stayed in Thailand for two months from middle of August till mid of October. Being my 6th time in Thailand my mission was to look for the off-beaten path!

Explore the off-beaten path is not always something that we can discover and explore by yourself, we need to build our social network around us and for this purpose if the digital nomad life doesn’t give us a big social exposure then we may still find useful to browse some Couchsurfing.com outdoor event in the location you are living.

That was my case, one day I joined a biking tour leaded by a Thai woman and I found out that some of the attendee also like going for some trips far off the beaten paths, is that possible to find oof-beaten paths in the touristy Thailand? The answer is Yes!

While I was attending that biking trip, I heard about a trekking trip for 2days 1night by camping at the summit of a jungle hill. Although I didn’t have my own tent (I just had a sleeping bag and a pillow), the lady tour leader Phongsri was so kind to provide me with one and also a brand-new.

We started on the trekking tour on Saturday morning and we finished off on Sunday afternoon, because we all we were based in Bangkok we set off very early like 5:00am o’clock by hiring a van driver, the driving time took four hours to arrive at the Pheangphotawan farm (the site of the ranger) in Ban Tai rural village, here we switched our walking clothes and shoes to the trekking ones to be ready to start our trekking mission.

Here below there’s an overview map of where Uthai Thani province is located: it is approximately 200km far from Bangkok:

Here below there is the snapshot of the route map of where the Ban Tai village is located:

In order to arrive in Ban Tai you need pass through Ban Rai village district, the road is not in the best conditions bust still pavemented.

To achieve the trekking up to hill you must necessarily have a ranger with us because there is no such defined route, hence only a local ranger now the forest jungle and the best way how to get up to the hill, moreover the ranger will cut on the way lot’s of bamboo trunks for you to create the way up to the hill, otherwise you could not get through.

In other words, without the ranger you would get lost and stuck in the forest, so it would become a sort of mission impossible!

The trekking itself took us five hours all the way up to the camping summit.

All you need to know before trekking in this juingle forest:

  • Be provided with trekking gloves to protect your hands from injures by accidentally touching spiky plants
  • Bring insect/mosquito repellent, depending on the season they are aggressive
  • Be prepared to get your feet wet, you will get to cross and jump (where possible) many water streams even deep.
  • It is recommended to trek with a 40liter-size backpack, neither smaller nor bigger, because of the tent volume
  • Bigger backpack like 50liter or more, it may result in a discomfort with your hips after a while (it was my case)
  • Bring a head-torch just in case it gets dark and you are still completing the trekking.
  • Bring a vial of Betadine and some plasters in case you get punctured by thorny plants

Here below there is a picture gallery about the trekking on the trail:

In the second picture our ranger is visible! I personally happened that after jumping on a small stream I ended up brushing my left hand against a thorny plant, I had some Hydrogen Peroxide and plasters but I did not have the Betadine, however our kind leader had some and she gave me some to disinfect the injure. Always take it seriously!

Because this is rally an unbeaten trail, there is no such route map available for the trail, you will just rely on the ranger!

Once we reached the summit, we enjoyed the greenish view and we started arranging the camp by mounting the tents and the common space for dining! It was the chilly time after all the jungle way up to the hill.

We enjoyed typical thai food not-so spicy with rice, and also we spoilt ourselves with a bamboo glass of rice wine!

We experienced some rain over the night however it was, besides that it is healthy sleeping in contact with the nature!

The second day we returned back to the ranger site. The ranger took us through a different trail because the same one it would have been too steep with a medium-big backpack.

Three interesting facts which the ranger taught us:

  • Some dark green leaves are eatable and it is a good disinfectant for the stomach
  • If you run out of water the ranger can find for you a young tiny trunk tree, cut it and you can drink from it, try it for believing!
  • He pointed out a a giant spider’s lair!

See photos below as a proof:

Half-way back to the ranger site we had a lunch break by a water stream in which we could rest our feet!

Since we started around 10:00am o’clock, we were back just after 3:00pm. We had a chill-out time by taking shower at an open-air spot, we changed our clothes and finally we had an early dinner before getting into our van back to Bangkok.

In conclusion, this jungle trail is challenging but not very strenuous, of course a good physical conditions are recommended! It is not a touristy spot at all, so you need to have someone from the rural village to take you for the trekking, last but not least as per tour leader’s words, people living in the small community of Ban Tai they do not want too many people getting there since they want to preserve the forest as much best as possible!

That being said, if you live in Thailand and you are willing to explore this unbeaten trail do not hesitate to contact me and I will be able to tell you more about it! I want to give a special Thanks to the tour leader Phongsri to make it happen!

Any remarks and comments are warmly welcomed!

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