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“Good guides...equipment could be better”

Pooh Eco Trekking Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We booked a two-day tour with Pooh Eco Tours to the Karen villages. The tour guide ("T") was nice and knew a lot about the local culture, animals and plants. The hike was nice but it is important to bring the right equipment (sandals etc. ). The equipment provided by Pooh Eco Tours was very bad for the overnight stay. The sleeping bags were not at all warm enough (even with very warm clothing) and two people of our group got sick after one night freezing at very low temperatures without a lot of sleep. Sadly, Pooh did not reimburse the fee for a tour we had to cancel with them the next day, due to the illness of part of our group.

Overall the tour was very interesting (very nice experience, impressive hike) but the organization and the lack of understanding of Pooh was a bit a bummer.

Thank Christoph_Munich_DE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 7, 2014

Me and my wife booked the three days tour. Beforehand we were a little bit scared about sleeping in the jungle. But this was not a problem at all. Despite this I do not want to spoil too much but the experience is just fantastic.

This is mainly due to our great trekking guide Ropoo. I cannot judge about other tour guides but I will surely recommend friends to specifically ask for him.

Thank Larsson82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

What an amazing time I had with my daughter on Poohs 3 day eco trek. We were very fortunate to share the experience with our fantastic fellow trekkers from Belgium and Australia. Thanks guys. It was brilliant. Our group consisted of 6 trekker's in total.

I am a 53 year female and I was hesitant about doing this trek from the outset, but email conversations with Pooh's trekking company helped me make my decision. I understand that this trek is mostly popular with younger people. I consider myself to be reasonably fit however I also had serious medical issues one year ago and remain in treatment, so I was worried about my ability to complete the trek. None of the reviews I read really gave me a good insight into the level of fitness needed, particularly for a person of my age . So here is my take on it!!!!!!

Although it is definitely challenging at times the trek is totally manageable and achievable. Having said that I would not attempt it in the wet or hot season. A moderate level of aerobic fitness is needed. The paths can get quite slippery and they are steep at times. Although I was lucky enough to stay upright some members of our group did take a tumble. Happy to report there were no injuries. Wading up the river on Day 3 for the most part was fine although presented some challenges. I found that if I concentrated and watched where I was putting my feet then I was Ok. There were lots of rocks to climb up and over. Pan our guide, kindly made a walking stick for me (3 in total because I kept leaving them behind) and they were so much needed. The stick provided me with balance particularly on the downhill parts. The time spent walking was between 3 to 4 hours a day ( or possibly a little longer). Times takes on a different meaning while walking and none of us looked at our watches!

Day one started with a 3 hour mini bus ride out of Chiang Mai (and in a hilux truck for the last 20 minutes). It was well after midday by the time we started our walking therefore it was quite hot. Climbing up the mountain to the Karen village was tiring but again was totally manageable. Keep your water handy for this part. We walked for approximately 3 hours on day one and I found this to be the most strenuous. A few of the group, including myself left our backpacks with the truck and they were delivered to the village for us. So not carrying a backpack on day one was a good thing.

Our home stay with the Karen hill tribe was culturally a great experience. The family was very friendly and the village children were so friendly and excitable. I took some coloured pencils, texta's, rulers etc and the kids loved them. My fellow trekker took some sweets which they devoured. The village children loved playing and interacting with us. They took our cameras and loved to take photos. Although no English was spoken we found that games were a universal language.

Sleeping was interesting. It does get a little cold in the mountains so It is good to take a long sleeve shirt and trousers for warmth and mosquito protection. Poohs provided us with a sleeping bag each and the family put bamboo mats on the floor. I was the only one of my group to hire a small blowup mattress from Poohs before we left. It was 200 baht and well worth it. It provided a little bit of padding and warmth. The pigs, roosters and dogs provided a delightful chorus for most of the night. Sleep did not come easily but the experience was great. The family provided us with very good food. We got such an interesting insight into the lives of the Karen tribes.

Day 2 took us down a mountain to the river. After making about 4 river crossings we got to the hut for our second night. It was beside a very tranquil waterfall and we all took a dip in the river (this was the only time we washed over the 3 days). At this stop our guides made us cups and utensils from bamboo. They cooked us another wonderful meal and then they went hunting after dark. They came back with frogs and rats. The rats were cooked and eaten for breakfast the next day (not by me). We were provided with mosquito nets for night two. Although basic, the hut provided us with adequate shelter. A Chang or a Singha beer would have gone down well at this point. We did have the pleasure of passing around a bamboo shot glass with some home brew and sampled their homegrown tobacco.

On day 3 we waded up the river and after about 2 hours we made it to the bat cave. This was a truly wonderful experience. For me, water shoes were a necessity. I do dragon boating in my hometown of Canberra Australia so I took my shoes I wear for that. Not only did they provide me with traction on the slippery rocks but they also provided protection from leeches. Only Pan and one of the group managed to attract a leech. There would be many more in the wet season. Wading up the river was great fun. We were in and out of the water and we climbed up and over rocks of varying size. After one final uphill climb we arrived at the end point of the trek in the early afternoon and were transported down the mountain in the back of a truck. Unfortunately the truck broke down so we waited for about an hour for alternate transport. This was all part of the experience and none of us saw it as a problem.

Pan was our guide for the 3 days and he was assisted by Rant and Dan (sorry if I have your names wrong) for part of the second and third days. Pan was a very informative guide. He was eager to educate us on the flora and fauna in the area and stopped many times to provide us with education. He set a quick pace but he was also aware when I needed a break. His helpers were so kind to me. Always providing a helping hand if needed.

Tips:

It is imperative to take a good pair of hiking boots and water shoes. Day 2 involves 4 river crossings so the constant changing between boots and waters shoes was a little time consuming but well worth the trouble. On Day 3 you begin in the water shoes and change after the bat cave. Trekking shoes also provide protection from the odd snake and other wildlife that you may see. One of our group had the pleasure of stepping on a snake (poor Clare).

Pooh advises taking a torch. A head torch is the most useful. This can be picked up at the market on the way.

It is very important to take some good tropical insect repellent spray. I didn't encounter many mosquitoes (I'm certain there would be more in the wet season).

I found it to be worthwhile to visit a travel doctor before leaving Australia. I took malaria tablets. Maybe not totally necessary but I was not going to risk it.

It may be a good idea to take a pack of cards or something similar for the second night. There are many hours to fill in after night fall.

I took a few chocolate snacks for a sugar boost.

Although Poohs supply a backpack I took my own. The ones supplied are a bit old and worn.

Make sure you take an extra battery and memory cards for your camera. There are so many photo opportunities.

Don't forget your toilet paper and medications you need. Bottles of water are supplied.

Try and pack light. You don't want to be carrying around an overly heavy backpack.

But most of all go on this trek with an open mind and a sense of adventure and you can't help but have a great time.

I would recommend Poohs 3 day eco trek. It was an experience that I will never forget and I think about different aspects of it every day.

4  Thank Clare P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

I am just back from the three day trek with this company. Wonderful experience. Saw no other tourists but did meet some lovely Karen people. If you want an easy comfortable trek ,look elsewhere. The sleeping arrangements were basic and uncomfortable,would advise you to hire an inflatable mattress and bring warm layers for night. However,you gave to put up with this to get yo two of the most amazing places I have ever slept in! Highly recommend it. Our guide was Rupoo ...font of knowledge, funny, lovely man.
Food provided, cooked fresh, no problems with it.

Thank hutchNIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

Unfortunately my tour was cancelled the evening before which brought me into some organizational hustle. Nevertheless, I must thank them. They offered me to do an alternative tour the next day. I did not find it interesting and I can cancelled the tour. The agency paid me my deposit back. No problem at all.
Overall I can say the customer service is great although I did not do the tour.

1  Thank miro S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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