Day 1: Chiang Mai- Palong village
Start your elephant adventure
Your guide and driver will meet you at 0700 at your hotel for your Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure. We recommend you turn off your phone and enjoy your digital detox for a couple of days. Your tour will take place in the Chiang Dao trekking area. Our first destination is Kantha Elephant Sanctuary, an elephant camp near Mae Malai. It is a beautiful place where the elephants are being taken care of very well. The camp doesn’t offer a show or elephant riding.
Meet the Asian Elephant
You will learn about the Asian Elephant, which is an endangered species. Even though they are “domesticated” elephants are still wild animals. Therefore you have to be always careful when you are close to them. If you want you can change into local clothes so you can take a bath with them.
Then you will meet the elephants and get close to them. You will feed them. After having eaten the elephants will bathe in the river. Elephants love to play in the water. You can join them for a while. Feed bananas to our elephants. Then it is time to say farewell to your elephant friends.
Lunch and trekking
It is time for a local Thai lunch! Please remind your guide if you have specific food requirements. After lunch, we will continue to the fascinating Mae Malai market. Here your guide will do some shopping. Continue to Chiang Dao. Drive to the start of our afternoon hike. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai.
The trail takes us through the protected community forest. We will walk for about three hours, with many stops along the way. Your guide will explain specific trees and plants in the forest. There are some lovely views along the way. There will be time for taking pictures. Our final destination today is a village of the Palong people.
Learn some Thai Cooking!
After arrival in the village, you can relax or explore the village on your own. You can also try to speak some sentences in Palong (Dara-ang) language. Try counting:
If you want, you can help your guide cooking dinner. He will explain the herbs and ingredients he uses. After dinner, your guide will tell about the people who live in this village: the Palong. They are originally from Myanmar and fled to Thailand in 1984. This tribe is known as Palong or Palaung, but they call themselves Dara-Ang. Overnight will be in one of the village houses. 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: Palong Village – Chiang Mai
Visit Lahu and Karen villages
Today is the second day of your Sticky Waterfalls, tribes, and Elephant Adventure. This village comes to life at an early hour. Your guide will prepare breakfast. Villagers will set up a small local market where you can buy some souvenirs if you want. After breakfast, your guide will take you around the village and explain about the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart’. The Palong women are very talented weavers. We will visit a small weaving project. After this, we will say goodbye to the villagers and start our short hike to a Lahu village.
We will pass through the garden of Sukhum. Many varieties of fruit, herbs, and vegetables are growing in his backyard. It will depend on the season, but you will see bananas, jackfruit, guava, papaya, longan, and many other varieties. We end the hike at a Lahu village where we will visit an interesting spirit temple. From this village, it is only a short drive to a community of the Karen people. The Karen are another of the ethnic minority groups. They migrated centuries ago from China. We sit down and drink a cup of tea before we drive to Phrao to enjoy a local Thai lunch.
Sticky Waterfalls Adventure
Our last stop today is the “Sticky Waterfalls”. Local people know these falls as Buatong Waterfalls. They are in the verdant forests of the Sri Lanna National Park. Sparkling blue and clear water cascades down over the limestone rocks. You can easily walk up and down the falls because the limestone is not slippery. It has given the Buatong Falls its nickname. A dip in these falls is the perfect ending to this adventure. We will spend a couple of hours at this beautiful place before we return to Chiang Mai. Relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. We will drop you at your hotel at around 1600. It is the end of your Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure.