Day 1: Chiang Mai – Doi Inthanon – Karen Village
Doi Inthanon, the Roof of Thailand
This trip is a private tour. Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800. We will drive to Doi Inthanon National Park for your two-day Doi Inthanon trek. Doi Inthanon is 2,565 meters above sea level, the highest mountain in Thailand, and the mountain is the source of many rivers and a vital watershed area. Forest types include moist, evergreen, pine, and mixed deciduous forests. The park supports the most significant number of bird species of any site in Thailand, but you have to be a trained birdwatcher to see them. We have a page dedicated to the fantastic Doi Inthanon National Park. Along the way, we will stop at a local market to buy some supplies for our trekking, after which we will continue to the summit of Doi Inthanon.
The Wachirathan Waterfall
After entering the park, our first stop will be the impressive Wachirathan waterfall, the most famous waterfall. We will spend some time here until we continue to the mountain’s summit. We will briefly visit the shrine of King Inthawichayanon, the 7th ruler of Chiang Mai, and people named the mountain Doi Inthanon in honor of this king.
Not far from the shrine is the short Angka Nature Trail, which takes you through the kind of beautiful mossy forest that you will only find at this elevation. After this, we will descend and stop at the two pagodas erected in honor of the former King and Queen of Thailand. When the skies are clear, you have a great view from here. We will enjoy lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will drive to the starting point of trekking. Our hike will take us to the Mae Wang trekking area.
Trekking to a White Karen village
The trail will take us through dense forests, and your guide will explain Northern Thailand’s forest types. Our trek to a White Karen Village will take approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Most ethnic minority people living within the park’s boundaries are Karen. Once in the village, you can rest or help your guide prepare dinner. Amazingly, they can prepare a delicious meal on a wood fire.
After dinner, he will share his knowledge about the Karen people, and you can learn a couple of words in the Karen language: “Da Blu” means “hello,” for instance. On our website, we have extensive information about the Karen people. Please have a look if you are interested. In the village, you will see some people in traditional dress. Your guide will explain the clothing of the Karen people, and you can change it into their traditional dress if you wish.
We will spend the night in a village house. Don’t expect any luxury, but I will make it as comfortable as can be. For more information on the Green Trails village Homestays, please have a look here.
Day 2: Karen Village – bamboo rafting – Chiang Mai
Trekking through the forests of Mae Wang
Today is the second day of your Doi Inthanon trek. You will notice that life in the village starts very early. After breakfast, we will walk around the village. There are animals everywhere: dogs, pigs, and chickens. We will chat with a few local people. If we are lucky, we will see some women in action weaving. You can practice your Karen language with the local people. Then we will say goodbye to the village. We will hike downhill for almost one hour to a pretty waterfall, where we will spend some time relaxing, swimming, and enjoying nature. After this, we will continue down to the main road. The views are beautiful. There is enough time for taking pictures. After our relaxed morning hike, it is time for lunch. We will enjoy a simple Thai lunch in a local restaurant.
Bamboo rafting on the Wang River
After lunch, we will drive to a rafting camp for a 45 minutes bamboo raft adventure on the Mae Wang River. Bamboo rafts were, in the past, an essential means of transportation, and roads were abysmal and sometimes totally impassable in the rainy season. Enjoy a relaxed rafting trip. It is not a dangerous river, but we will ask you to wear a life jacket to be safe. After our bamboo raft trip, we will return to Chiang Mai, where you will arrive late afternoon. We hope you have enjoyed your Doi Inthanon Trek.