Day 1: Chiang Mai- Palong village
The Chang, formerly known as the Thai Elephant Care Center
Your guide and driver will meet you at 0800 at your hotel for your Family Fun with Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls adventure. You will drive to the north to the Mae Sa Valley. The first stop will be the Chang, formerly known as the Thai Elephant Care Center, an animal-friendly elephant camp. You will learn about the Asian Elephant and its current status as an endangered species. At this camp, there is no show and no elephant riding. You will also get safety instructions before you meet the elephants up close. Although elephants are still wild animals in captivity, you must be careful in their presence. The Chang is next to the Maesa Elephant Conservation Park, the former Mae Sa Elephant Camp. It shares the same owners.
Meet the Elephants
You will change into a traditional Thai farmer’s tunic, which is very comfortable. Then you will meet our elderly elephants and get close to them. You will learn to make dried grass which you will later feed to the elephants. You will also visit the elephant cemetery, where the elephants rest at night. Elephants love herb balls, and you will learn how to make them. Feed them to the elephants. Feed bananas to our elephants. Then it is time to say farewell to your elephant friends.
Market visit and Trekking
By this time, you will be hungry. We will have a Thai lunch at a local restaurant. We can accommodate all food preferences, so please inform your guide. After lunch, we will continue to a local market where your guide will do some shopping. You can join him or explore this market on your own. Continue to Chiang Dao. Drive to the start of our afternoon hike.
Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai. The trail through the forest is relatively easy. Enjoy the views and the sounds of nature. We will walk for about two hours, with many stops along the way. Your guide will explain specific trees and plants in the forest. There will be time for taking pictures. Our destination will be a Palong village.
Fun activities for the young
After arrival in the village, the children can participate in fun activities. These can vary from picking fruit, collecting vegetables for dinner, feeding the pigs, or participating in sports with children from the community. Then it is time for a cooking course. Your guide will teach you how to cook in a wok on a wood fire.
He will explain the herbs and ingredients he uses. After dinner, your guide will take you to one of the village houses, where you will meet some of the villagers. The Palong people are originally from Myanmar and fled to Thailand in 1984. This tribe is known as Palong or Palaung, but they call themselves Dara-Ang. Overnight will be in one of the village houses.
Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai
Visit the village school
The second day of your Tribes, Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Family Adventure. After the sounds of nature and the locals woke you up, your guide will prepare breakfast. Villagers will organize a small local market. If you want to can buy some souvenirs. After breakfast, your guide will show you around the village. He will explain the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart. The Palong women are incredible weavers. We will introduce you to the weavers. Then we will visit the local school. The children will donate pens and paper to the school*.
Hike to a Lahu village
After this, we will say goodbye to the villagers and start our short hike to a Lahu village, where our van is waiting for us. We will pass through the garden of Sukhum. Many varieties of fruit, herbs, and vegetables are growing in his backyard. It will depend on the season, but you will see bananas, jackfruit, guava, papaya, longan, and many other varieties. At the Lahu village, we will visit a fascinating spirit temple. It is a short drive to a village of the Karen people. They migrated centuries ago from China. We sit down and drink a cup of tea before we drive to a local restaurant for lunch.
The famous Sticky Waterfalls
The “Sticky Waterfalls” is our next stop. These falls are locally known as Buatong Waterfalls. The falls are in the Sri Lanna National Park. Crystal-clear water cascades over the limestone rocks. The limestone is not slippery. You can easily walk up and down the falls. That is why people call the falls “Sticky Waterfalls.”
Visiting these falls is the perfect ending to your trip. We will spend a couple of hours at this beautiful place. Relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. After this, we will drive back to Chiang Mai. We will drop you at your hotel at around 1700. It is the end of your Family Fun with Elephants and Waterfalls Adventure.
*Unless the school is closed on the weekend or during holidays. We will then donate.