Fantastic Family Adventure in Chiang Dao
The Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your one-day Chiang Dao Hilltribe Family adventure. Look here for a review of a customized version of this tour. We will drive to Chiang Dao. People of the Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Palong (aka Dara-ang), and Karen tribes live in this area. It is an agricultural area encircled by forested mountains. Many crops grow in this area such as corn, cassava, and rice. There are lots of fruit trees as well, amongst others papaya, longan (lamyai), rose apple, and mango. The Palong grow pineapples as well. Today you will taste some of the fruit of the season. Yummy!
The Mae Malai local market
Our first stop today will be the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park. During an excellent self-guided fun tour, you will see all the stages of the production of paper from elephant dung and learn about the history of papermaking. There are no elephants here but it is nevertheless a very interesting and fun place. The next stop is the fascinating local market at Mae Malai. Your guide with take you around and tell you about the herbs and vegetables, used in Thai cooking. He will also tell about the strange kinds of food and the other local products you can find here. We buy some of the ingredients for our lunch here, which we will prepare in the village.
Family Adventure: meet the Palong people
Here we will leave the main road to proceed further into the countryside where we will stop at the Dara-ang village Pang Daeng Nai. In Thailand, the Dara-ang are known as Palong or Palaung. Most of the women still wear traditional dresses. In this village, there is a small Royal Project that we will visit before we start our hike today. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai. We’ll hike through the protected community forest to Mae Chon, another Dara-ang village. We will pass through dipterocarp and bamboo forest and patches of evergreen forest. The trail goes up and down but is not too steep. There is plenty of time for some explanation of flora and enjoy the tranquillity of the forest.
Cooking at the home of Lung Bun
The village Mae Chon is our final destination. The last part of our hike takes us through the plantations and fields of the villages. Your guide will show you around the village. He will explain about the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart’. The Dara-ang (Palong) people escaped from Myanmar and moved to Thailand in the 1980s. The Dara-ang women are excellent weavers, who make beautiful textiles that are for sale in the village for very reasonable prices. We also will show you a traditional rice pounder. We installed it in the village because there wasn’t one. At the house of Lung Bun we will cook our lunch. Our guide is a master cook on a wood fire. You can help cut the vegetables and try your hand cooking in a wok. After this, we will consume our delicious lunch.
The Buatong Waterfalls, aka the “Sticky Waterfalls”
The Sticky Waterfalls are in the Sri Lanna National Park. We are in an area with a lot of limestone mountains. Limestone is partially soluble and therefore forms many erosional landforms. Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third highest mountain in Thailand (2175m), is a limestone mountain. Waterfalls are often slippery, but a limestone waterfall is not, hence the nickname “Sticky Waterfalls”. After a day full of activities, it is time for relaxation. We will spend an hour at these delightful falls, which you can walk up and done. Be careful, though. Enjoy the cool and clean water before we head back to Chiang Mai. We will arrive back in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon.
End of your Chiang Dao Family Adventure