The Mae Wang Trekking Area

Table of Contents

Fantastic trekking in Mae Wang

We have named this area after the Mae Wang river. The Mae Wang trekking area is about 45 km southwest of Chiang Mai. It takes about one hour and 15 minutes drive. This area is located in the  Tanonthongchai mountain range that is between 400 and 2000 meters above mean sea level. The mountains in this range are the main sources of three rivers: Nam Mae Chaem, Nam Mae Wang and Nam Mae Teun tributaries of the Mae Ping, the Ping River. The Mae Wang Trekking area borders the Doi Inthanon National Park.

Mae Wang National Park Trekking
Trekking in the Mae Wang National Park

Great flexibility and many trails

The Mae Wang trekking area offers challenging trekking but also easier treks. That makes this area suitable for families as well. We offer several two- and three-day treks in this area. The area gets many visitors due to its proximity to Chiang Mai and the abundance of different activities and attractions.

During trekking, we usually meet other trekkers, but once you go further into the forest, you meet hardly anyone. We are constantly surveying more programs in this area. Our multiple day Doi Inthanon trekkings end in the Mae Wang area. Our only two small group tours, Meet the Karen People of Mae Wang and the three day trekking and cycling adventure take place in this area.

We use several homestays in the Mae Wang trekking area.

Guests on a raft passing an elephant on the Wang River Family Hill tribes
Meeting an elephant during rafting

Other activities and attractions in the Mae Wang Trekking Area

Elephant Camps

Before the Corona crisis there were many elephant camps in this area that offer elephant experiences and riding. These camps housed hundreds of animals but most of them went back to the villages of their owners. According to the owner of one of the camps there were more than 250 elephants in the Mae Wang area before Covid arrived.

The Tong Bai Elephant Camp offers the Tong Bai Elephant Tour. The camp is the base of the Tong Bai Elephant Foundation. This foundation organizes educational and responsible elephant encounters.

Elephant with children
Tong Bai Elephant tour

Pha Chor, Thailand’s Grand Canyon

Pha Chor is an impressive landscape of strange eroded rock formations, reminding some people of the famous Grand Canyon in the United States. There is a short but very nice nature trails and a great viewpoint. Most people combine a visit Pha Chor with a visit of Doi Inthanon. Pha Chor is definitely worth a visit, if you have the time. It is located within the boundaries of Mae Wang National Park.

Strange rock formations
Pha Chor, Thailand's Grand Canyon

Karen Tribal Villages

There are many Karen villages in the Mae Wang area. There are some Hmong villages but they are quite remote and not often visited. Overnights of our multiple-day tours are always in Karen villages. We have worked with villagers in these communities, such as Baan Huay Hoi and Baan Huay Khao Lip, for many years. During our multiple-day trekkings we spend the night in Karen villages.

Karen couple meeting
Meeting a Karen couple

Lovely waterfalls

There many streams that come from the mountains and feed the Wang River. Lots of waterfalls in this area, amongst others the Khun Puay, Pra Duk Daeng, Phong Noy, and Phong Samid, Mae Sapok Falls. During our trekkings we spend time at the Huay Hoi and Mae Sapok Waterfalls.

Nice waterfall in the Mae Wang area
Mae Wang Waterfall

Bamboo rafting on the Wang River

The Wang River is ideal for a short but entertaining trip by bamboo raft. Don’t expect too much excitement but it is very worthwhile doing. The source of the Wang River is in Wiang Pa Pao district in Chiang Rai province. The river flows through Lampang and feeds into the Ping River, north of the city of Tak.

Before humans started to influence the water level by building dams and weirs, the Wang River regularly caused floods in Lampang and other areas. That doesn’t happen anymore but it is still nice for an entertaining bamboo raft trip.

bamboo rafting two guests The Green Season Waterfalls of Doi Inthanon
bamboo rafting on the Wang River


The Royal Projects

There are several royal projects in this area, amongst others in Mae Sapok, Khun Wang and Huay Khao Lip. During our school and university tours we volunteer at the Royal Project at the village Huay Khao Lip.

More information about Chiang Mai Trekking areas here.

Tours in the Mae Wang trekking area