Stay with the Palong People of Chiang Dao

Price per person in THB
2 persons3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons
7,3005,9004,9004,400 4,0003,800 3,600

During this private tour, you will enjoy bamboo rafting, and the Chiang Dao Cave but the focus will be on the Dara-ang (Palong) people. Your stay will benefit the local people. We have supported this village for a long time. Meet the local weavers and try out a traditional rice pounder. The Dara-ang people are farmers and live close to nature.

Total approximate driving time:
Day 1 – two hours
Day 2 – two hours

From: 7,300.00 ฿

Palm trees rice fields and mountains Palong hilltribe trekking
View on Doi Luang Chiang Dao with extensive rice fields

Day 1: Chiang Mai- Palong village

Bamboo rafting and local market

This is a private tour. Your guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel at 0800 for your Palong hill tribe trekking. You will drive north into the mountains near Chiang Dao for your two-day Palong Hilltribe trekking. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai. First, we will stop at a local market. Your guide will do some shopping in the coming days. He will take you along and will explain the different ingredients he will be using for dinner.

Then, continue to a riverside camp on the Taeng River, where you will experience rafting on a traditional bamboo raft. After this, we will have lunch in a local restaurant in Chiang Dao. After filling our stomachs, we will continue to Chiang Dao, the Palong village, where we will start trekking. We pass through an area with beautiful, extensive rice fields where we will stop to take a picture.

Trekking and village overnight

The trail has a few steep hills, but most of it is relatively easy. We will walk for about two hours through the forest. We will invite you to recognize wild ginger, rattan, and the pitcher plant in the woods, and your guide will tell you all about bamboo and its many uses. Before we arrive in the village, we will pass through the agricultural fields of the community.

Late in the afternoon, we will reach our final destination today, the Palong village Mae Chon. There are only nine Palong villages in Northern Thailand. The women wear a distinctive costume mostly in red, with rattan hoops and a silver belt worn around the waist. They migrated from Myanmar to Thailand in the mid-1980s.

Cooking the “Palong way”

After arrival in the village, you will meet your host and enjoy a cup of local tea. Then we will start with a cooking experience. Your host will teach you to cook a delicious dinner in a wok on a wood fire. Your guide will explain the typical herbs and ingredients. We will also teach you a couple of words in the Palong or Dara-ang language. This ethnic group speaks a language that is very different from the Thai language. “Hai moo dtuh” means “thank you.”

After dinner, you will meet some of the villagers, and you will learn about the turbulent history of this village. You can practice your Palong language as well.

Tonight we will stay in a bamboo house next to a village house. You will sleep on a mattress with a mosquito net. We will provide a sleeping bag or sheet bag. For more information on the Green Trails village Homestays, please have a look here.

Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai

Textiles and agriculture

The second day of your Palong hill tribe trekking starts. After the sounds of nature and the locals wake you up, your guide will prepare breakfast. After breakfast, your guide will show you around the village. He will explain the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl,’ the ‘village heart.’ We will teach you the basic skills of weaving! We will visit an exciting textile weaving project where local women produce beautiful sarongs and shoulder bags.

Next, we will visit a garden, where many different fruits and vegetables grow. We will get into the fields and help the villagers with their work for about one hour. You will learn how daily life in a remote mountain is. After this, we will say goodbye to the villagers and start trekking for about one hour to a Lahu village. Here we will visit a fascinating spirit temple. After this, we will continue hiking for one to one and a half hour to a Karen village where our vehicle will be waiting for us.

Explore the Chiang Dao Cave Temple

Drive to the foot of Doi Luang Chiang Dao. It is the third-highest mountain in Thailand and dominates the landscape. At the entrance of the cave, we will enjoy a late lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will visit the famous Chiang Dao Cave. We will spend some time in this beautiful limestone cave, a sacred place for the local people. We will also look at the three remaining Buddhist shrines behind the assembly hall, built by followers of the “engineer monk” Kruba Srivichai. In 2021 we hired a couple of people to clear the vegetation so these shrines became visible again.

Buddha statues on a mountain
The Buddhist shrines

Return to Chiang Mai, where your Palong Hilltribe trekking ends. We will drop you off at the hotel between 1600 and 1700. Thanks for traveling with us!


Comfortable and safe private transportation

Mae Malai local market

Bamboo rafting on the Mae Taeng River

Flexible and easy trekking

Dara-ang (Palong) tribal culture

Dara-ang textiles and weaving

Great food

Overnight in a village homestay

Village walk

Lahu village and spirit temple

Karen village

Chiang Dao Cave Temple


What is included?

English speaking guide
Transportation by AC minibus
Accommodation in a local house
One breakfast, two lunches, and one dinner
Drinking water during meals
Coffee and tea
Bamboo rafting (about 30 mins)
Chiang Dao Cave
Limited Medical Insurance
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 hotel
09.00 – Visit a local market
09.15 – Drive to the White water rafting camp
09.45 – Arrival at the camp
10.00 – Start bamboo rafting
10.40 – Finish the rafting trip
11.00 – departure to Chiang Dao
12.00 – Lunch at a local restaurant
13.00 – Start hiking about two to three hours
16.00 – Arrival at Palong village where we stay overnight
16.30 – Visit around the village
17.00 – Help your guide cooking dinner
18.00 – Dinner at the village before free at leisure

Day 2
08.30 – Walk around the village
09.30 – Start hiking about 1 hours to Lahu village
10.30 – Visit Lahu village and spirit temple
11.00 – continue hiking for 30 mins to Karen village
11.30 – Visit the village
11.45 – Depart from the village
12.30 – Lunch at a local restaurant
13.30 – drive to visit the Chiang Dao Cave Temple
13.45 – visit the Chiang Dao Cave Temple
15.00 – drive back to Chiang Mai
16.30 – drop off at the hotel

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
Flip flops
Your personal toiletries
Personal medication
Fully charged batteries or even an extra battery for your camera.
1000-1500 Thai Baht per person in small notes (not bigger than 500 Thai Baht and plenty of 100 Thai Baht notes). This is for souvenirs, drinks, and tips.