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.
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.