Hilltribes, Ethical Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls


Price per person in THB
2 persons3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons


Our private two-day Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure is an active and educational trip for people of all ages. We recommend you to turn off your phone and enjoy your digital detox for a couple of days. You will meet up close with elephants and experience a night in Mae Chon village. We have supported this Dara-ang (Palong) village for a long time and will continue to do so. Your visit will benefit the village. Meet the weavers and try out a traditional rice pounder. Finally, you will enjoy a great swim in one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Northern Thailand.

Total approximate driving time:
Day 1 – two hours
Day 2 – two hours

From: 8,500.00 ฿

elephants handshake at Kantha Elephant Camp Elephant Care and Tribal Life of the Mae Sa Valley
Kantha Elephant Sanctuary

Day 1: Chiang Mai- Palong village

Start your elephant adventure

This trip is a private tour. Your guide and driver will meet you at 0700 at your hotel for your Hilltribes, Ethical Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure. We recommend you turn off your phone and enjoy your digital detox for a few days. Your tour will take place in the Chiang Dao trekking area. Our first destination is Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, an elephant camp near Mae Malai. It is a beautiful place where the elephants are cared for 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, so you must always be careful when you are close to them. If you want you can change into local clothes to 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, and you can join them for a while. Feed bananas to our elephants. Then it is time to say farewell to your elephant friends.

Enjoy lunch and start 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 woods. There are some lovely views along the way, and there will be time for taking pictures. Our final destination today is a village of the Palong people.

Six Palong Children Chiang Dao
Palong Children

Learn some Thai Cooking!

After arrival in the village, you can relax or explore the village. You can also try to speak some sentences in Palong (Dara-ang) language. Try counting:

If you want, you can help your guide cook 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 ethnic minority is known as Palong or Palaung, but they call themselves Dara-Ang. Overnight will be in one of the village homestays. You will sleep on a mattress with a mosquito net. We provide a sleeping bag or sheet. For more information on the Green Trails village Homestays, please have a look here.

Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai

Visit Lahu and Karen villages

Today is the second day of your Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure. This village comes to life early, and 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 talented weavers, and 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 in the village. Various fruit, herbs, and vegetables are growing here. It will depend on the season, but you will see bananas, jackfruit, guava, papaya, longan, and other varieties. We end the hike at a Lahu village, where we will visit an exciting spirit temple. This village is only a short drive from a community of the Karen people. The Karen is another ethnic minority group that 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.

The 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 cascade down over the limestone rocks. You can easily walk up and down the falls because the limestone is not slippery. It has given 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 Hilltribes, Ethical Elephants, and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure.


Comfortable and safe private transportation

Great elephant experience

Mae Malai local market

Easy to medium trekking

Palong village life

Palong traditional textiles and weaving

Great food

Overnight in a village homestay

Lahu village and spirit church

Famous Buatong Waterfalls aka “Sticky” Waterfalls


What is included?

English speaking guide
Transportation by AC minibus
Accommodation in a local house
Two lunches, one dinner and one breakfast
Drinking water during meals
Coffee and tea
Limited medical insurance
Elephant Experience
Use of sheet bag or sleeping bag
Use of Mosquito net
Use of Backpack (on request)
Toilet paper & Soap
A flashlight is provided in the village

What is not included?

Other drinks except for water during meals
Personal expenses


07.00 – Departure from hotel
08.30 – arrival at the Kantha Elephant Sanctuary
08.45 – Start your elephant care activity
11.30 – Departure from the camp
12.00 – Lunch at a local restaurant
12.45 – Short visit of a local market
13.00 – Drive to the start point of the trek
13.30 – Start hiking about three hours
16.30 – Arrive at Palong village where we stay overnight
17.00 – Visit around the village and help your guide cook dinner
18.00 – Dinner at the village before free as leisure

Day 2
08.30 – Walk around the village and visit Sukhum’s garden
09.30 – Start hiking for about one hour to a Lahu village
10.30 – Visit the Lahu village and spirit temple
11.00 – Drive to Karen village
11.15 – Visit the village
11.30 – Departure from the village
12.00 – Lunch at a local restaurant
13.30 – visit Sticky Waterfalls
15.00 – drive back to Chiang Mai
16.30 – drop off at the hotel

Things to bring

Short sleeve shirts for the daytime (bring a spare one, just in case)
Long sleeves for the evening (especially in the winter Nov – Feb it can be a bit cold)
Shoes with good grip (especially in the rainy season from May-Sep)
A hat or cap
Flip flops
Your toiletries
Personal medication
Fully charged batteries or even an extra battery for your
Some money for souvenirs, and drinks  tips: 1000-1500 Thai Baht per person in small (not bigger than 500 Thai Baht and plenty of 100 Thai Baht notes). It is for souvenirs, drinks, and tips.