Arrive in Chiang Mai aiport by mid afternoon (before 4pm), where you will meet your transfer service to the hotel. This afternoon at 6pm you will meet your local guide who will explain the next few days in more detail. If you arrive early you will have time to relax and explore Chiang Mai. Surrounded by rolling hills, Chiang Mai is the cultural center of Thailand. Enclosed by a moat and crumbling walls, the old city features great cafes, shops and over 300 temples. Our hotel this evening is located in the new city within easy walking to both the night bazaar and the old city. The hotel has wifi and a small cafe. All rooms are double / twin share with an attached ensuite bathroom.
You will be picked up from your hotel by your local guide at approximately 8am. Travel by road in an open pick-up truck, heading north to Mae Malai. We might have time to visit a local market before stopping for lunch and starting our trek. Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found you will trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these hilltribe villages. You visit a variety of diverse villages along the way, often each will have their own unique language, clothing style and belief system that differs hugely from those of the neighboring tribes. You are well looked after by your local guides who take responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying the food supplies. After lunch, you walk for a couple of hours through tropical forest to the first village. You will have time to explore the village before having dinner. The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate, your guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic, remember it's all about the authentic and unique experience!
After breakfast set off into the forest for a trek lasting 2-3 hours, visiting the rice and vegetable fields of the villages along the way and learn about the villager's traditional methods of cultivation. After lunch you will continue trekking for about 2 hours to the Karen village of Baan Mae Ma Nain followed by an elephant ride through the forest. You will also have chance to fish at Mae Tang River using local tools and learn the technique of constructing a bamboo raft before.
After breakfast we climb on to bamboo rafts for a 1 hour trip down the Mae Tang River. Make a short stop at a Lahu village before getting back on the rafts for another 1-2 hours to a Shan village where you will stop for lunch. Here you will be met by a pick-up van and driven back to Chiang Mai. The evening is free of planned activities for you to explore or relax at your leisure.
You are free to depart at any time. Please note hotel check out is 12pm. Remember to reconfirm your departure time with your local guide who will arrange your transfer to the airport or train station. We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! Thank you so much in advance.