The North Thailand Adventure – eight days

The price for this tour is on request

This is a sample program for individual travelers, small groups, and families with children that are older than 8 years. It is an active and interactive program that has everything. We can customize this program according to your wishes and requirements.

Woman in front of menu North Thailand Adventure
A woman recommends Thai food. Photo by Karin Kloosterman.

A great North Thailand Adventure

Day 1: Chiang Mai

5 km, total driving time 20 minutes

Your guide will meet you upon arrival for the start of your North Thailand Adventure, and 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.
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 ensure 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.

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 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, and 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, 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 Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, and you can make some offerings. Views from the temple are magnificent if the skies are clear, and 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

The incredible Mork Fah Waterfall

Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800. We will embark on the next adventure of this North Thailand Adventure. 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 explain his different ingredients for dinner. After this, we will drive deep into the mountains, the Himalayas’ foothills. Continue to the Mork Fah waterfall In the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, where you can swim and relax.

The hot springs of Huai Nam Dang

Enjoy a local lunch at a roadside restaurant. After lunch, we will continue to the Pong Deuad Hot Springs in the magnificent Huai Nam Dang National Park. We will start our trek for about three to four hours through the forest, and 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 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

The best bamboo rafting in North Thailand

Breakfast at the village. We walk for about one hour to the river, where our bamboo rafts await us. Enjoy a wonderful bamboo raft trip to a Red Lahu village along the Mae Tang River. Enjoy the lush jungle scenery during the best bamboo raft trip in North Thailand. We will take a break in the town and walk around while your guide explains about the Red Lahu people. We will continue rafting to a Shan (Tai Yai) village, where the trip ends, and 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, a sacred place for the Thai people. This is a fascinating limestone cave temple with many 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 check-in, we will drive up to Wat Thaton, where you can view 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, and 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 arrival, it is time to relax, enjoy a cup of tea, and look around. Your guide will introduce you to your hosts, welcoming 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 it. During this activity, you will also learn some 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 North Thailand Adventure to Chiang Rai. We will first drive to Ban Ruammitr on the Kok River and 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 figure 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 7: 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 Adventure. After a short safety briefing and personalized bicycle fitting, we begin 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 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 8: Chiang Rai – Departure

On the last day of our North Thailand Adventure

113 km, total driving time 2,5 hours

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

End of the program

Highlights

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

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
Whitewater rafting
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

What 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.