Our guide and driver will meet you at the hotel between 0730 and 0830.
Drive to Suthep Mountain. First we will visit Wat Doi Suthep before the crowds arrive. Walk up the 300 steps up to the temple from where you have a majestic view over Chiang Mai. We continue to Doi Pui Village, a Hmong community, close to top of Doi Pui.
Your guide will tell you about the turbulent history of this community. In the past the village was involved in opium cultivation. Nowadays the village is a major tourist attraction on Doi Suthep. We walk around the village before we meet our local Hmong guide who will accompany us on our hike to the Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai in the Mae Sa Valley. This hike will take about four hours including stops.
We start hiking through the forest. The local Hmong guide will tell about the flora and about the history of opium cultivation on this mountain. You will also be stimulated to recognize certain plants and trees in the forest with the tree and plant leaflet we will provide you with.
After a walk uphill we will arrive at an open area with fantastic views on both sides of the mountain. We will stop briefly to look at a footprint of Buddha before enjoying a picnic lunch at a scenic spot.
We will continue through the forest to the Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai. This village is the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand and gets very few visitors a marked contrast with Doi Pui Hmong Village. You will learn about a very interesting project of FORRU, the forest restoration unit of Chiang Mai University. We will visit the small Hmong museum and the FORRU tree nursery.
Return to Chiang Mai. Drop off at the hotel.