Discover real Thai countryside and its people with a 3-day trek into the hills of Northern Thailand. Local guides deepen the learning and appreciation of different villages, each with their own language, clothing style and belief systems. Meet and chat with friendly villagers and discover more about their unique cultures. Stay in atmospheric wooden houses in different hilltribe villages each night
Pull on your walking boots, stretch those leg muscles and take to the hills on a classic Intrepid trek through Thailand’s hilltribe country. Walk along winding jungle tracks and through green fields, observing what life is really like for villagers in this remote area, and sleep in traditional bamboo huts at night. Make friends with welcoming tribespeople as you hike through this remote region where each tribe has its own distinct language, style of dress and religion and learn the secrets to jungle survival from those who know best. Stay on a few extra days to explore ancient temples in Chiang Mai – there are over 300! If you’re after a short city escape and the chance to experience the real Thailand away from the tourist crowds, then this trip is just the ticket.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included: 2
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time before the welcome meeting tonight at 6.30pm. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There are so many things to do here – spectacular temples, delicious food, an enormous night market, a picturesque river-front and fantastic shopping, so perhaps arrive a few days early. Chiang Mai is a great place to hire a bicycle, sign up for a Thai cooking class, or loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage. After the welcome meeting your evening is free to explore the city as you please. Your local guide will meet you again tomorrow morning.
Notes: The trekking route is not fixed and may change due to weather and local conditions. Please bear this is mind.
This morning around 8:00am, leave Chiang Mai with your local guide by songthaew and head South (approximately 1 hour). At Chom Thong Market stock up on snacks and water for the trek, you will also have time to visit Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara, which is highly respected because of the sacred Buddha relic that is enshrined here. The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong was constructed halfway through the 15th century located where the Buddha relic was found. The oldest structure is the chedi, which was built around 1450. The chedi is a large golden structure with a square base and a spire on top of that. Next, continue on to Wachirathan Waterfall, then on the way up to the mountain, visit Hmong Hilltribe Market at Baan Khun Klang. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. After lunch, start trekking at Doi Pha Tang, today you will trek 2-3 hours along an easy undulating path, mostly walking downhill through the natural forest. On the trail, you will pass the Mai Phai waterfall which is a great spot to take a break. Then, hike further through mixed deciduous forest. You’ll then arrive at this evening’s destination, a Karen Hilltribe Village called Baan Tin Tok. Around 20 Christian families of Karen people live in this village. Enjoy dinner cooked by your host, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals, perhaps checking out the local naturally dyed clothes. You’ll stay in a wooden house, surrounded by an organic vegetable farm, with shared facilities. Conditions are basic, but this is a truly unforgettable Intrepid experience!
Wake up to the sounds of roosters and pigs, fuel up on breakfast around 8:30am, then maybe chat with local women and see the handicrafts that they sell, perhaps choosing to purchase some – spending your money on community enterprises directly can help support community development. Farewell your hosts and begin today's walk, which will take around 5-6 hours today. Make your way through agricultural land, step paddy fields and jungle, before stopping at Baan Den Karen Village. Here you will take a break before descending for approximately 1.30 hours to a well-deserved lunch in a beautiful setting at your 2nd Karen village, Baan Ha Kiah. Enjoy noodles, vegetables, and fruit – maybe using some chopsticks that a porter has shaped from bamboo along the way. After lunch, continue your trek for another hour to another waterfall. Relax and rest your legs, before continuing to the last Karen village at Baan Huey Luang. There are around 120 people living in this village with a mixture of Buddhist and Christian families. Explore the village on a short walk and tonight you’ll enjoy a cultural treat – a cultural show by the local people, mainly about the Karen Instrument Player. You will stay in a Wooden House again tonight with shared facilities. After dinner, you will have a chance to share the life experience with the Karen Homestay Host.
Hilltribe Trek / Chiang Mai
Enjoy a natural animal wakeup call around 8am this morning, try and chat with the locals and discover more about their culture, then get some fuel – maybe pancakes or French toast! – on-board for today’s walk. Then it’s the start of your last day of trekking, and an easy walk to finish it off. Spot the local agricultural practices as you trek through farmland for the last 1.30-2 hours of the trek until you arrive at Mae Ya Waterfalls, the biggest waterfalls in Doi Inthanont National Park. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. Then continue back to Chiang Mai (approximately 2.5-3 hours), arriving around 4pm and checking into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city. Maybe head out for a final celebratory meal as this Hilltribe Experience comes to an end.
This adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. A transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Chiang Mai is included.