Author: Guido Helbling, Avosound - Last updated November 09, 2017
I wanted to make some sound recordings of the jungle, so I grabbed my guide Sebastian and off we went. As I did not want my recordings ruined by chattering tourists, I booked a private tour with the guide. It only cost $10 more (booked through Lily's) and came with the guarantee that we would not encounter any other tourists on our tour. Well, we'll see...
As we decide to take a break, Sebastian wants to show us a snake that escaped into the bushes seconds before we almost stepped on it. We refuse his offer, having no intention of chasing the sneaky reptile through the jungle. Burma sports a fascinating wildlife and impressive fauna. But I wonder if the Burmese appreciate all the poisonous snakes that share their habitat?
Sound recording: dense jungle with birds, crickets and insects. In the background: the blue-throated barbet. Please click here to hear more recordings of jungles, people and places.
The jungle trails are at times quite steep or even precipitous, and sometimes they will lead straight up a slope. Flip-flops are definitely not the right footwear for this environment! A good pair of sneakers is recommended.
Despite the heat, the guides recommend that you wear normal trousers. These will protect you against thorny bushes and snakes. During the dry season, you won't need rain gear at all as it never rains. And during the rainy season you don't really want to trek through the jungle anyway.
In general, we recommend that you pack light and bring enough water.
We keep walking through the jungle, up and down, through the heat. I manage to make a few great sound recordings far away from civilisation noise. It's exciting to record noisy Burmese jungle crickets without any interference.
We finally reach our village in the afternoon and join Sebastian for an excursion of the place. I also manage to make a few more recordings of the jungle and the village.
Sound recording: the sound of the crickets emphasises the unbearably hot atmosphere in the jungle of Myanmar.
Back in the village we freshened up and made our beds in the village shop, where we spent the night. Our guide Sebastian told us a story of two clients who refused to wash off the dirt and dust after a scorchingly hot day in the jungle. Apparently, this story made the rounds in the village, becoming some sort of running gag among the villagers whenever strangers would arrive.
Remember: even in the middle of nowhere news travel fast!
The jungle is not quite as dense as we climb a hill the next day. There's a pleasant breeze as well. Sebastian tells us that this peaceful atmosphere is misleading -- just a few hills away from us there's an armed conflict in progress.
In the course of the afternoon we travel back to Hsipaw and cool off in our hotel room. Lily was right: we did not see a single tourist on our trip. We can definitely recommend this way of traveling!
Sound recording: typical cricket sound heard in the underbrush, on the edge of forests and in the jungle.