Kayaking and hilltribe trekking in Chiang Dao
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Palong village
Meals: L D
Your guide will pick you up at the hotel for your kayaking and hilltribe trekking adventure. You will drive to the north into the mountains near Chiang Dao. First we will stop at a local market. Your guide will do some shopping for the coming days of your hilltribe trekking. He will take you along and will explain about the different ingredients he will be using for dinner. Continue to Chiang Dao. Lunch will be in the jungle. After lunch we will start trekking. The trail has a few steep hills but most of the trail is relatively easy. All together we walk about 2,5 – 3 hours. We will invite you to recognize wild ginger, rattan and the pitcher plant in the forest and tell you all about bamboo and its many uses. You can learn a lot on this hilltribe trekking.
Late in the afternoon we will reach our final destination of today, the Palong village Mae Chon. There are only a handful of Palong villages in Northern Thailand. The Palong tribe only recently moved from Myanmar to Thailand. The women wear a distinctive costume mostly in red, with rattan hoops and silver belt worn around the waist.
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 you about the herbs and ingredients he uses. After dinner you will meet some of the villagers. Overnight will be in one of the village houses
Day 2: Palong village – kayaking – Chiang Mai
Meals: B L
After the sounds of nature and the locals woke you up, your guide will prepare breakfast. After breakfast your guide will show you around the village. He will explain about the village shrine and about the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart’. After this we will say goodbye to the villagers and start trekking for about 1 hour to the Karen village Thakilek. Here our car will be waiting for us.
We will drive to the starting point where your kayak adventure of this hilltribe trekking will start. You will first get instructions before we start. Our itinerary will depend on the water levels in the river. We might start more upriver and kayak through the jungle, depending on the flow of the Ping River. The Ping River flows gently in the shadow of mighty Doi Chiang Dao, the third highest mountain in Thailand. The river contours are demanding when the creek like features force us to adhere to the river’s path. This is a very nice river to learn to tricks of river kayaking. Enjoy the commanding views and the relaxed pace of life along this river. You will see fishermen throwing their nets waiting for a catch and farmers tending their fields along the river. Friendliness here is genuine and they will always have time to wave. Near Chiang Dao we will have lunch at a nice spot along the river. We will pass through Chiang Dao, past villages and farmland towards the southern part of the valley.
In the distance we can see the hills that separate Chiang Dao from the Mae Ngat Valley. Our car will be waiting for us to bring us back to Chiang Dao. Drive back to Chiang Mai. Our last stop on the way back from our hilltribe trekking will be at one of Chiang Mai’s famous orchid nurseries. We will drop you at your hotel at around 5 pm.
End of your hilltribe trekking.