Day 1: Chiang Mai – Karen Village
Meet the elephants
This trip is a private tour. 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 few 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, and you will also feed them.
Change to a typical Thai farmer’s dress and join them in their favorite activity, 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 town while he prepares dinner, and you are welcome to help him cook. We also encourage you to practice the Karen language with your host after dinner.
Overnight will be in a local homestay. You will sleep on a mattress with a mosquito net, and we provide a sleeping bag or sheet. For more information on the Green Trails village Homestays, please have a look here.
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 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 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. Rivers were a primary means of transportation when the roads were of poor quality. 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.