Opium and Coffee Tour on Doi Pui
This is a private tour. Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 8 AM for your Doi Pui Opium and Coffee tour. You will board your private songtaew (trekking truck), which gets us on the way to Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s iconic mountain. We will drive straight to the Hmong village Doi Pui, which is located in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. We will meet our local Hmong guide in the village and drive to the starting point of our hike. Along the way, we will stop at a fantastic viewpoint overlooking the village and mountains. The next stop will be the San Ku ruin, which dates back hundreds of years before the construction of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai.
The Summit of Doi Pui
We will hike the short distance to the summit of Doi Pui and visit a magnificent viewpoint nearby. Then it is time to start hiking back to the village, which will take about two hours. We will walk down for a while through the pine forests. The pine tree is the Pinus Kesiya, a native tree to Southeast Asia. We pass through areas that were once dominated by poppy fields. In 1969 the late King Bhumibol walked part of this trail, which inspired him to start the Royal Project. This project aimed to convince the Hmong people to grow coffee and other cash crops instead of opium. That is the story of our Opium and Coffee Tour. The views are amazing if the skies are clear.
Good hiking shoes
The surface of the trail is uneven and rocky so you need good, closed walking shoes. After we have reached the main trail that leads back to the village the trail is easier. Enjoy the patches of evergreen forest, the mountain streams, the ferns, and the little waterfalls. This forest is the fresh watershed area for the rice fields in the lowlands. In former times the Hmong lived in this area and cultivated the opium poppy. Those times are behind us. The main livelihood of Doi Pui village is cash crops, fruit trees, coffee, and tourism. Back in the village, we will enjoy our lunch in a local restaurant. Khao Soi, a delicious Northern Thai dish, is on the menu!
Doi Pui Hmong Village
We will spend some time in the village visiting the small museum, and admire the colorful traditional dress of the Hmong people that is on display and for sale in shops. If you want you can dress up in a traditional Hmong costume for a small fee. At first, it seems a bit cheesy but you might enjoy it. The village has become known now for the quality of the coffee that grows in the forest around it. We will take you to the coffee shop of our friend Leng where we will treat you to a delicious cup. From his terrace, we enjoy a lovely view of the village and the mountains beyond. Leng roasts his coffee beans in the traditional way, which he will show. Try your hand!
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat
Then it is time to drive to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, undoubtedly the most popular attraction of Chiang Mai. We walk up the famous Naga staircase to the temple from where you have a majestic view of the city. After having paid respects to the Buddha we descend and continue to another highlight of the day: Wat Pha Lat, Chiang Mai’s “jungle temple”. This temple has become popular during the past five years, after decades of neglect.
Of specific interest is the Ho Prachao Rim Nam, a Burmese-style building that holds old Buddha images. The Fine Arts Department restored this building in 2019 after it had totally collapsed over time. This beautiful temple is our last stop today. After this, we will drive back to Chiang Mai and drop you off at your hotel. We hope you have had a wonderful day, joining our Doi Pui Opium and Coffee tour.