Overview

Hello and welcome to Chiang Mai! This vibrant city in northern Thailand aptly called the ‘Rose of the North’ is a bustling hub for tourists and locals alike. With its exquisite temples and ancient Old City relics on one hand and a thriving nightlife on the other, Chiang Mai offers an interesting confluence of the old and the new. There’s so much for you to do and see here that chances are you’ll want to extend your trip! Our northern adventure begins here and over the next four days gives you a taste of some of the incredible recreations that the city has to offer. Our carefully designed itinerary includes a mix of fast-paced action and soft adventure. How would you like to whizz through the jungle on the longest zipline in the world `a la Tarzan? Or drive your own tuk tuk to explore remote villages in the Thai countryside? We want to take you to the roads less travelled, doing something new and exciting every day. The second leg of the tour explores off the beaten track places around the Golden Triangle region. Visit quaint border towns that function as cross-border trade hubs; visit ethnic tribal settlements forgotten by time and get an authentic taste of Thai rural life at its best. 

7 Nights 8 Days 16 Oct, 17 Oct, 18 Oct, and more Chaing Mai Airport
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Self-driving tuk tuks to explore Thai countryside
  • Riding the world’s longest zipline
  • Day tour at Tong Bai Elephant Foundation
  • Visit and accommodation at Hmong Hilltribe lodge
  • Visit to Golden Triangle
  • Visit ​to tribal Karen Village
Itinerary
Day 1 (Chiang Mai: self-driving tuk tuk)
  • Your tour begins with a pick-up from your hotel in downtown Chiang Mai. From here, we drive to the picturesque Mae Wang Valley in the south west of the city. It’s a one and a half hour’s drive and you will notice how the landscape changes as we drive away from the city precincts to the countryside. Mae Wang is the starting point of our first adventure. A fleet of tuk tuks await you here. This is the quintessential Thai ride that you must have seen plying across the country and may even have ridden one. Now it’s time for you to get behind the wheels. Over a short training session, we will teach you how to drive and manoeuvre these three-wheeled motorized rickshaws and once you’re confident we can set off. Tuk tuks are ideal for driving through narrow lanes and dirt roads and we will ride them to explore surrounding villages in the valley. This is truly the best way to discover the Thai countryside and is an experience like no other. In the afternoon, we will stop for lunch at a local village and enjoy the authentic flavours of rural Thai cuisine. The food is simple but delicious and as authentically Thai as it gets. Chat with the locals over lunch. Get to know their stories and then once again, get on the road. Our tour guide will drive the first tuk tuk to show you the way. Those who would prefer to take a back seat can just enjoy the fresh country air as we drive on. On our way we will see ancient temples tucked away in the wilderness, ethnic tribes in their quaint villages and a beautiful panorama of unspoilt natural beauty. We will return to our base in the evening from where it’s another hour’s drive back to your Chiang Mai hotel. The evening can be spent at leisure either at the hotel or exploring the vibrant local bazaars.
Day 2 (Mae Kampong- gibbon ziplining)
  • Today’s adventure is not for the faint-hearted! Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast to boost your stamina before we set off for your very own Jungle Book adventure. Our destination is the pretty village of Mae Kampong, a short 45 minute drive from Chiang Mai. The village is located at the border of Jae Son National Park, recognised for its rich bio-diversity that allows a wide variety of plants and animals to thrive in their natural habitat. Our tour, aptly called the Flight of the Gibbon takes you into the heart of a 1500 year old rainforest and 50 metres above the forest ground. An intricate network of cables, sky bridges and platforms takes you high into the canopy. First, you are given a short brief on how to use the cables to slide between trees. Experienced guides teach you basic manoeuvring techniques and safety instructions before joining you on the zipline. Your first ‘flight’ will start at the edge of the valley with an intimidating drop below. Next on your route after crossing 3 more traverses, is a 130 metre stretch across the forest called the ‘Flying Fox’. Hanging 60 metres above the ground the Flying Fox is a real treat for adrenaline junkies and offers spectacular views of the forest from a whole new perspective. This is the longest zipline in the world that stretches over 5 kilometres across the forest. This gravity-defying adventure is one of its kind and guaranteed to set your pulse racing. After coming back down to the ground, it’s time for a short 1 hour trek to Mae Kampong and a pretty waterfall on the way. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the village and then drive back to Chiang Mai. You can take the rest of the day to relax after the morning’s exertions. Enjoy a rejuvenating Thai massage followed by a relaxing steam bath. Or sample some of the city’s delectable street food before returning to the hotel for the night.
Day 3 (Mae Rim- cycling around Thai countryside- river cruise on Ming)
  • On the third day of your tour, we head back to the countryside- this time on bicycles. Our car and tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the small town of Mae Rim just outside Chiang Mai city. Our cycling trip starts here. We will follow a northbound trail along the river and cover approximately 20 kilometres. The ride will take you across rice paddies where local villagers can be seen working in the fields. The trip is an insightful journey into the heart of Thai rural life. We will stop at a buffalo farm on the way and see how local villages use water buffaloes to plough their fields. Enjoy a picnic lunch while chatting to the farmers who can you all about life on a farm. After this, we get back on the road and cycle for another couple of hours along scenic routes that take us along the Ming River. From here, we ride southwards towards Chiang Mai before stopping at a riverside café for tea and refreshments. The day’s tour ends with a cruise on the river Ming which takes you back to Chiang Mai city. Enjoy the cool evening breeze and watch the city lights twinkling in the distance. After you disembark, our car will transfer you to your hotel.
Day 4 (Day trip to Tong Bai Elephant Foundation)
  • If you’re an animal lover, you are going to love today’s adventure: a full day’s excursion to the famous Tong Bai Elephant Foundation in Mae Win. We set off after breakfast and drive along the beautiful landscape of Sanpatong before reaching Mae Win. We keep group sizes to a maximum of 9 people to ensure that you get plenty of one-on-one time with the jumbos. After arriving at the camp, the facility managers will acquaint you with the foundation and the work it does in caring for the Asiatic elephant, a seriously endangered species. After this it’s time to meet the animals. No matter how many times you may have seen an elephant up close, the sheer size of the animal never ceases to amaze. We stop for lunch which features an array of Thai specialities and thereafter rejoin our jumbo friends on a walk that takes us through the forest to the river. This is the highlight of the trip as you get a chance to bathe in the water with the elephants! This is a rare and truly wonderful experience that the whole family can enjoy. The experience of splashing around and playing in the water with these massive beasts is unforgettable. After this fun time in the water, it’s time to take the elephants back to the compound. Say goodbye to your new friends and then drive back to Chiang Mai. The rest of the evening is free for your leisure.
Day 5 (Chiang Mai- Chiang Rai- Chiang Saen)
  • Today we set off for the second leg of our tour towards the Golden Triangle. Our journey begins with a drive to Chiang Rai, a charming city often referred to as Chiang Mai’s sister. The drive takes us through Wiang Pa Pao district and we stop to visit a few local attractions on the way. There are natural hot springs near Wiang Pa Pao with three ponds and private rooms with baths. The spring water is rich in minerals believed to have healing powers. We will also visit a local village of the ethnic Karen tribe. Karen women especially are distinguished by their characteristic long necks that they get from wearing a stack of rings for several years. The tribe migrated from Burma to escape war and now reside in remote villages in the Thai countryside. After this we drive onwards to Chiang Rai and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Our next stop is the historic city of Chiang Saen, situated on the banks of the Mekong River between Laos and Thailand. The ancient city was once the capital of Thailand’s Lanna Empire and is home to intriguing relics of its past glory. We will visit the temple of Wat Phra Dhat Jom Kitti situated on top of a hill. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as we will need to climb a steep 383 steps to reach the temple that contains a Buddha relic. From here, we make our way to a long-tailed speedboat that takes us across the Mekong River to our destination: the Golden Triangle, the meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. We check into a riverside resort in the evening.
Day 6 (Chiang Saen- Mae Sai- Chiang Rai)
  • Our first stop today is the pretty town of Mae Sai located on the border of Thailand and Burma. The town is full of colourful markets selling Thai and Burmese handicrafts. You can pick up interesting curios and souvenirs here. There’s also a jade cutting factory in Mae Sai that we will visit to see how the gem is cut and made into jewellery. Our next stop for the day is an interesting Fish and Monkey Cave. Wat Thampla, as it is locally known, includes a large compound that is home to hundreds of monkeys as well as other animals like crocodiles and fish. You can feed peanuts to the monkeys who will come in large groups to collect their treats. Children love this visit, although it’s advisable to supervise them near the monkeys. Our journey then continues along a mountain trail to Doi Mae Salong, famous for its tea plantations and ancient Chinese temples. We will stop for a while after reaching the top of Doi Mae Salong to enjoy the stunning views of the Mekong Valley and neighbouring Burma and then have lunch at a local restaurant. Post lunch, we will visit tribal Akha and Lisu villages. The rustic houses and villagers doing their daily chores paint a charming picture of Thai rural life. Talk to the locals, take pictures before we make our way back to Chiang Rai and check into our hotel for the night.
Day 7 (Chiang Rai- Hmong Hilltribe Lodge)
  • Today’s journey begins with a boat ride on the Kok River. After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the pier where a basic long-tailed motorised boat awaits us. From here, it is a three-hour ride towards Thatorn, a small village near the Burmese border known for its extensive rice fields. On the way we will pass forests and remote tribal settlements and also visit a Lahu hill tribe village before disembarking for lunch at Maekok River Village Resort. From here we make our way to Mae Rim, a small town located to the north of Chiang Mai. Here, we will check into Hmong Hilltribe Lodge where you can spend the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a cultural show of Meo dance and music over a scrumptious barbeque dinner.
Day 8 (Hmong Hilltribe Lodge- Chiang Mai)
  • If you’re missing your jumbo friends from Tong Bai Elephant Foundation, to day is a great day to get reacquainted with the animals. Our tour today begins at the Mae Saa Elephant Camp, part of the Elephant Care Programme. The camp provides care for sick and elderly elephants. There is an elephant nursery in the compound that looks after baby elephants and their mothers. From here, we make our way to an Orchid Farm growing a spectacular array of orchids in every hue. We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant and then continue our trip, stopping by local villages selling tribal handicraft. Meet local weavers and artisans and see how the famous Thai silk is woven and spun, how lacquer dishes are made and how the colourful paper umbrellas are painted. If you’re interested in antiques, our next stop is an old wood carving factory with an exquisite collection of Burmese antiques for sale. In the evening we head to our hotel in Chiang Mai where a traditional Kantoke dinner awaits you- with all the trimmings including a presentation of traditional live music and dance. After dinner tonight it’s time for us to say goodbye. This is where our week-long trip comes to an end. You can check-out of the hotel in the morning and continue your onward journey or stay on to savour more of Chiang Mai’s delights.

 

Pickup point
Directions.
Chiang Mai Airport (CNX), Mahidol Road, Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai, Thailand View on Map