Tribes, Rivers and Elephants Family Adventure

Price per person in THB
2 persons3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons
  8,9007,600 6,6006,0005,700 5,400 5,200

This is a private educational and fun trip. Enjoy a short bamboo rafting experience and explore the Chiang Dao Cave. Trekking is easy and flexible. We have included lots of fun educational activities for children in the village. They will help cook, get their hands dirty working in the fields, and meet the mountain people of Thailand. Your visit to the elephants will contribute to their welfare. Your visit to and overnight in the Dara-ang (Palong) village will benefit the local people. This tour is for families with children of minimum of 10 years of age.

Total driving time:
Day one: two hours
Day two: two hours

From: 8,900.00 ฿

Day 1 Chiang Mai – Chiang Dao

The Mae Malai Market

Your guide and driver will meet you at 0800 at your hotel for your Tribes, Rivers, and Elephants family adventure. Your tour will take place in the Chiang Dao trekking area. You will drive to the north into the mountains near Chiang Dao. Our first stop will be the Mae Malai local market. Your guide will do some shopping for the coming days, and he will take you along and explain all about the different ingredients he will use for meals during the trek. We will continue to Kaeng Keud where you will start your bamboo rafting trip on the Mae Taeng (Taeng River).

Bamboo rafting on the Mae Taeng

After the necessary instructions, you will board a traditional bamboo raft. After this exhilarating adventure, we will drive to the Chiang Dao Caves. We will explore this beautiful limestone cave before we have lunch in a local restaurant in front of the cave. After lunch, we will drive to the start of our trek. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai. The trail has a few steep hills, but most of the trek is relatively easy. All together we walk about two hours with many stops along the way. Your guide will explain specific trees and plants in the forest. Of course, there will be enough time for taking pictures. Today, our final destination is the Palong village of Mae Chon.

Three women in traditional dress and one man
Palong weavers and their textiles, Mae Chon, Chiang Dao district

Meeting the Palong people

After arrival in the village, the children can participate in fun activities in the village. These can vary from picking fruit, collecting vegetables for dinner, feeding the pigs, or taking part in sports with children from the village. You will visit the garden of Sukhum. It is an educational visit. 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. You will see mountain rice and bamboo, which is edible. We will pick some of the ingredients for our dinner in this garden.

Learn about Thai cooking

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.

Man cooking food
Our guide Rung teaching how to cook

Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai

Visiting a local school

The second day of your Tribes, Rivers, and Elephants 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, you can buy some souvenirs. After breakfast, your guide will show you around the village. He will explain about 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. After this, we will say goodbye to the villagers and start our short hike to a Karen village where our van is waiting for us.  The Karen are another of the ethnic minority groups in Thailand. They migrated centuries ago from China. Most of the Karen live across the border in Myanmar. They have fought for autonomy against the government for decades.

Limestone mountains Chiang Dao
Chiang Dao landscape

A gentle Elephant experience

We sit down and drink a cup of tea before we continue to Chiang Dao to have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will continue to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, an animal-friendly elephant camp. Before you meet the elephants, you will get a safety briefing. You will change into traditional clothing and prepare fruits for the elephants. Then you will meet the elephants. There is an opportunity for taking as many pictures as you want. You will walk with them to the river. They love playing in the water, and you can bathe with them. Be ready to become dirty and wet! There will be the fruit of the season as well as coffee or tea. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your elephant friends. Take a shower and change back into your clothes. We will drop you at your hotel at around 1730. It is the end of your Tribes, Rivers, and Elephants Family Adventure.

feeding two elephants at Kantha Elephant Camp Elephant Adventure
Kantha feeding two elephants


Comfortable and safe private transportation

Mae Malai local market

Whitewater rafting on the Taeng River

Chiang Dao Cave

Flexible and easy trekking

Dara-ang (Palong) tribal culture

Dara-Ang textiles and weaving

Overnight at a local homestay

Karen Village

Great Elephant Experience


What is included?

English speaking guide
Transportation by AC minibus
Two lunches, one dinner, and one breakfast
Drinking water during meals
Coffee and tea
Limited medical insurance
White Water rafting (about 45 mins)
Use of sheet bag or sleeping bag
Use of Mosquito net
Use of Backpack (on request)
Toilet paper & Soap
A flashlight is provided in the village

What is not included?

Other drinks except for water during meals
Personal expenses


Day 1
08.00 – Departure from the hotel
09.00 – Stop at a local market
09.30 – arrival at the rafting camp
09.45 – Start white water rafting
10.30 – End of the rafting trip
11.00 – Continue driving to Chiang Dao
12.00 – Visit the Chiang Dao Caves
12.30 – Lunch at a local restaurant
13.00 – Drive to the starting point of the trek
13.30 – Start hiking about three hours
16.30 – Arrival at the Palong village where we stay overnight
17.00 – Visit around the village and help you guide cooking dinner
18.00 – Dinner at the village before free at leisure

Day 2
08.30 – Walk around the village and visit Sukhum’s garden
09.30 – Start hiking about one and a half hours to a Karen village
11.00 – Visit the Karen village
11.30 – Depart from the village
12.30 – Lunch at a local restaurant
13.00 – Drive to the Kantha Elephant Sanctuary
13.45 – arrival at the camp
14.00 – Start your elephant care activities
14.30 – Leave from the camp
17.30 – Drop off at the hotel

What to bring

Things to Bring:
Short sleeve shirts for the daytime (bring a spare one, just in case)
Long sleeves for the evening (especially in the winter Nov – Feb it can be a bit cold)
Shoes with good grip (especially in the rainy season from May-Sep)
A hat or cap
Flip flops
Your personal toiletries
Personal medication
Fully charged batteries or even an extra battery for your
1000-1500 Thai Baht per person in small (not bigger than 500 Thai Baht and plenty of 100 Thai Baht notes). This is for souvenirs, drinks, and tips.