The Karen Tribe: Elephant Handlers of Thailand
|Price per person in THB|
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This private tour combines trekking with an elephant experience and a gentle bamboo raft trip on the Wang River. We recommend you to turn off your phone. Digital detox will allow you to fully enjoy this trip back to nature and back in time.
You will learn about the Karen people who are the traditional elephant handlers of Northern Thailand. They live close to nature. You will spend the night in a homestay in the Karen village Huay Khao Lip. We have supported this village for a long time and will continue to do so.
Comfortable and safe private transportation
Great Elephant Experience
Karen Tribal Culture
Overnight in a village homestay
Bamboo rafting on the Wang River
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Karen Village
Meet the elephants
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your two-day trip to the Karen tribe. We recommend you turn off your phone and enjoy your digital detox for a couple of days. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai.
Our first stop will be at a typical Northern Thai local market where your guide will do his shopping for the coming days. He will explain some of the local specialties that are for sale here. Drive to Mae Wang and onwards to Mae Sapok. This trip takes place in the Mae Wang area.
Here we will visit the Elephant Paradise Camp, one of the many camps in this area. We selected this camp because we like it. You will join a half-day elephant activity, which is not private. Your program today includes preparing a treat for these majestic animals. You will also feed them your self-made delicacy.
Change to a typical Thai farmer’s dress and join them in their favorite activity which is playing in the water. There are plenty of photo opportunities. You will learn about the Asian elephant, an animal that is unfortunately under threat of extinction. We will enjoy lunch in the camp after our elephant experience.
A gentle trek to the Karen village
After lunch, it is only a short drive to the starting point of the trek. This afternoon we will walk mostly uphill. We will follow a lovely mountain trail along a sparkling stream with crystal clear water until we reach a camp beside a waterfall. Here we will stay for a while, enjoying a swim in the refreshing pool. After this, we will trek further up the mountain to the first Karen village. Here we will stop for a chat and say hello to the many pigs. Then we are set for the final stage to the Karen village where we will spend the night.
After arrival in the Karen village where we will spend the night, your guide will introduce you to your host. You can explore the village while he starts to prepare dinner. You are welcome to help him with cooking. We also encourage you to practice some Karen language with your host after dinner.
Overnight will be in a local house. You will sleep on a mattress with a mosquito net. We provide a sleeping bag or sheet. You can compare it to camping…..
Day 2: Karen Village – Chiang Mai
Trekking and Royal Project
Rise with the roosters. Your guide will prepare a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we will start our trek back. Before that, we will visit the Royal Project of the village. Your guide will explain this exciting agricultural project. The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej has initiated the Royal Projects to improve the life of the tribal people of Thailand.
Then we will descend from the mountains to the lowlands. We pass rice fields and trek through the beautiful dipterocarp forest before we reach a pretty waterfall where we will spend some time relaxing, swimming, and enjoying the natural surroundings. After a short walk, we will see our van parked along the road. We will drive to a private house where we will have lunch.
Bamboo rafting on the Wang River
After lunch, we will drive the short distance to a small rafting camp. Our bamboo rafts will be waiting for us. Enjoy a relaxing and, at times, exciting bamboo raft trip for about 45 minutes on the Wang River. It is a safe activity. We will supply life jackets, but the river is not very deep*. Please have a look at our bamboo rafting policy.
The Wang River ends up in the Ping River. In the days when the roads were of poor quality rivers were a primary means of transportation. Local people used bamboo rafts to transfer people and goods this way. After this, we board our van for the drive back to Chiang Mai.
* In the dry season (January until June) there might not be enough water in the Wang River.
English speaking guide
Other drinks except water
|What to bring|
Short sleeve shirts for the day time (bring a spare one, just in case)