North Thailand Family Tour – nine days

This is a sample program for families with children that are older than 8 years. It is an active and interactive program that has everything:

Highlights:

Kad Luang market

Samlor (bicycle taxi) tour

Thai and hill tribe food

Part of the Monk’s Trail

Wat Umong

Wat Pha Lat

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Huay Nam Dang National Park

Pong Duad Hot Springs

Mork Fah Waterfall

Home stay in Karen village

Bamboo rafting on the Taeng River

Wat Thaton

Boat trips on the Kok River

Chiang Dao Cave

Huay Mae Sai Waterfall

Jungle lunch

Akha Home stay

Wat Huay Pla Kang

The Black House Museum

Wat Rong Khun

Bicycle ride in Chiang Rai

Khun Korn Waterfall

From: 8,000.00 ฿

Woman in front of menu
A woman recommending Thai food

A great adventure for the family

Day 1: Chiang Mai

5 km, total driving time 20 minutes

Arrival in Chiang Mai
Your guide will meet you upon arrival for the start of your North Thailand Family Tour. He will transfer you to the hotel. The afternoon is free at leisure.

Overnight at De Lanna Hotel

 

Day 2: Chiang Mai

40 km, total driving time 1 hour

Samlor Food Tour

Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800. Drive to Wat Loi Kroh, where we will meet our samlor drivers on your Chiang Mai Food Tour. Without much further ado, we start our tour. This morning we will entirely focus on traditional food and drink. Nothing else is on our minds than eating and drinking.
Our traditional bicycle taxis will bring us to markets, food stalls, and restaurants that offer a bewildering variety of snacks and drinks. First, we will visit the San Pakoy Market. We have selected several snacks and beverages to taste and made sure that you will not feel stuffed after the tour.

We are in Chiang Mai, but some of what you will taste this morning originate in India, China, Vietnam, and Burma. In that respect, this tour is also a bit of a history lesson. Over the centuries, migrants brought their favorite specialties to Chiang Mai. More than anything else, the local food scene shows Chiang Mai’s diversity. The morning’s highlight is Kad Luang, the complex of the two most famous and colorful markets: Warorot and Ton Lam Yai.

Samlors crossing the Iron Bridge
Ride by samlors

The Monk’s Trail

There is a story behind each snack or drink. Of course, typical Chiang Mai snacks are also on the menu. At each stop, we take our time. At some places, you will see delicious snacks prepared in front of you. There is plenty of time for interaction with the sellers and for pictures. We will also buy the picnic lunch that we will enjoy on the Monk’s Trail. Before we finish the tour at Wat Loi Kroh, you will enjoy a glass of Burmese medicinal tea from a shop that opened its doors more than 100 years ago.

We briefly visit Wat Umong, an unusual temple with a great atmosphere. “Umong” means tunnel in the Thai language. There are a couple of tunnels, hence the name. We continue to the start of our short hike. The famous Monk’s Trail is an old trekking trail before constructing the road from Chiang Mai Zoo to the stairs leading to Doi Suthep Temple.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain

Followers of the Monk Kruba Srivichai built the road that officially opened on April 30, 1935. We only hike the first part of the trail that leads to the small forest temple Wat Pha Lat. Along the way, we will eat our snacks/lunch. The hike is not steep and will not take more than 45 mins. At Wat Pha Lat, our vehicle will wait for us to bring us to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, without a doubt the most famous and revered temple of Chiang Mai.

This temple is Chiang Mai’s must-see temple. We will arrive there in the late afternoon when most people are leaving. We recommend you walk up the 300 steps instead of taking the elevator. Take your time. Doi Suthep is considered a sacred mountain by the people of Chiang Mai.

Kruba Srivichai, the “monk-engineer”

Your guide will explain the history of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and you can make some offerings. Views from the temple are magnificent if the skies are clear. You can see Chiang Mai airport. We will spend time here before we descend. At the bottom of the mountain, we will stop briefly to pay our respects to Kruba Srivichai, the “patron saint” of the North. Then we head back to the hotel.
Overnight at De Lanna Hotel

aerial view of city with skyscrapers and mountains
View from Doi Suthep

Day 3: Chiang Mai – Karen Village

82 km, total driving time 2 hours

Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800. We will embark on the next adventure of this North Thailand Family Tour. Our first stop will be at the fascinating Mae Malai market where your guide will do his shopping for the coming days. He will take you along and will explain the different ingredients he will be using for dinner. After this, we will drive deep into the mountains, which are the foothills of the Himalayas. Continue to the Mork Fah waterfall In the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park where you can have a swim and relax.

Enjoy a local lunch at a roadside restaurant. After lunch, we will continue to the Pong Deuad Hot Springs, which is in the magnificent Huai Nam Dang National Park. Here we will start our trek for about three to four hours through the forest. Sometimes we will be rewarded with fantastic views over the endless forests of the national park. Our destination today is one of the many Karen villages in this area.

After arrival in the village, you can relax, explore the village or learn some Thai cooking by helping your guide prepare the dinner. He can explain to you 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. Overnight will be in a homestay in the Karen village.

Day 4: Karen village – rafting – Thaton

150 km, total driving time 2,5 hours

Breakfast at the village. We walk for about one hour to the river where our bamboo rafts are waiting for us. Enjoy a wonderful bamboo raft trip along the Mae Tang River to a Red Lahu village. Enjoy the lush jungle scenery during the best bamboo raft trip in North Thailand. We will take a break in the village and walk around while your guide explains about the Red Lahu people. We will then continue rafting to a Shan village where the trip ends and where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will drive to Thaton, a small town on the Kok River.

The Chiang Dao Cave Temple

Along the way, we will visit the Chiang Dao Cave Temple, which is a sacred place for the Thai people. This is a fascinating limestone cave temple with lots of legends and Buddha images. Around the cave are several interesting temple buildings, statues, and Buddha images. Tourism to the Chiang Dao Cave Temple supports the livelihood of a couple of hundred local people. After this, we continue through the mountains to Thaton, our final destination today. Before we check in, we will drive up to Wat Thaton, from where you have a great view over Thaton and the Kok River.

Overnight at the Maekok River Village Resort, a lovely hotel on the river.

Day 5: Thaton – Akha village Ban Apha

60 km, total driving time 1,5 hours

North Thailand Family Tour

After breakfast, we take a local boat ride on the Kok River to the Lahu Village, Phatai. Continue to Chiang Rai and then to the Huay Mae Sai Waterfall where we will meet our local Akha guide from the village Ban Apha. The Huay Mae Sai waterfall is a pleasant place to relax for a while. There is time to swim. Your Akha guide will prepare lunch, “jungle style”. After lunch, we will hike to the Akha village which will take about one hour. It is a pleasant walk through the forest.

Welcome to the Akha village

Continue to the Akha village Ban Apha. Upon your arrival, it is time to relax, enjoy a cup of tea and have a look around. Your guide will introduce you to your hosts, who will welcome you in a short ceremony. The Akha have the most distinctive traditional dress of all hill tribes in Thailand, so your host will show you the typical dress and explain. During this activity, you will also learn a couple of words in the Akha language, such as “gulung guma deh,” which means “thank you.” If you want, you can try the traditional dress and be an Akha for a moment. After the cultural lessons, it is time for a short cooking course in the Akha kitchen.
Overnight at a homestay in the village

Day 6: Akha village Ban Apha – Chiang Rai

113 km, total driving time 2,5 hours

After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to your hosts. We continue our family tour to Chiang Rai. We will first drive to Ban Ruammitr on the Kok River where will board a local boat for another trip on the Kok River. Next, we will visit Wat Huay Pla Kang with its giant statue of Kuan Im, the goddess of Mercy. We will take the elevator inside the statue to the highest level.

Wat Huay Pla Kang is an extraordinary temple that takes care of hundreds of orphans, mainly hill tribe children. Next is the Blue Temple aka Wat Rong Sua Ten. Then it is time for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will visit Ban Dam, the “Black House Museum”. We end the day with a visit to Wat Rong Khun, the famous White Temple.

Overnight at the La Luna Resort

Day 6: Chiang Rai

113 km, total driving time 2,5 hours

Cycling in Chiang Rai

After breakfast, we will transfer you to the starting point of a full-day bicycle ride, another highlight of this North Thailand Family Tour. After a short safety briefing and personalized bicycle fitting, we begin our cycling through villages, and rice fields and then follow the Lao River upstream. Enjoy the ride which is all flat. We stop and visit the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and then have lunch at a local restaurant near the temple.

In the afternoon we continue cycling to enjoy more local life, rice fields, and various fruit orchards. We finish our ride at the Namtok Khun Korn Forest Park where we will hike walking through the forest to the Khun Korn Waterfall. This is the highest and most scenic waterfall in Chiang Rai. After some time relaxing at the waterfall our driver will bring us back to the hotel. Overnight at the La Luna Resort

Day 7: Chiang Rai – Departure

113 km, total driving time 2,5 hours

After breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport. Here your North Thailand Family Tour ends.

End of the program

Highlights

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

Inclusions

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
Towel
A flashlight is provided in the village

What is not included?

Other drinks except for water during meals
Personal expenses
Tips

Timeline

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
Sunscreen
Flip flops
Sunglasses
Your personal toiletries
Personal medication
Fully charged batteries or even an extra battery for your
camera.
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.