Chiang Dao: Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls
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This is a private tour. Our two day Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls Adventure is an active trip for people of all ages. You will meet up close with elephants, experience an overnight in a traditional village, learn about many different things and enjoy a great swim in one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Northern Thailand.
Comfortable private transportation
Great elephant experience
Mae Malai local market
Palong village life
Overnight in a village homestay
Lahu village and spirit church
Hilltribe Culture, Ethical Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls
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. 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. 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 a fascinating local market. Here your guide will do some shopping. Drive to the start of our afternoon hike. 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 about 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. If you want, you can help your guide cooking dinner.
He will explain about 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.
Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai
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 of 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.
English speaking guide
Private transportation by AC vehicle
Accommodation in local house
All meals during the trek: 2 lunches, 1 breakfast and 1 dinner
Drinking water during meals
Coffee and tea
Limited medical insurance
Use of sheetbag or sleeping bag
Use of Mosquito net
Use of backpack (on request)
Toilet paper & soap
A flashlight is provided in the village
100 THB donation per person to the school
Other drinks except drinking water during meals
- Hiking shoes with good grip
- Sun cream
- Insect repellent (DEET medicated)
- Sun glasses
- Small backpack
You will stay overnight in either of these two houses: Lung Boon House or Lung Chai House. We have been working with Lung Boon and his wife Ya Ma for a long time. Lung Bun is 56 years old and Ma Ya 42. They moved to Thailand in the 1980s. They have four children who were all born in Thailand.
Lung Chai and his wife Tui were also among the first settlers in this area. They have five adult children. Lung Chai is 60 years old and his wife Tui 52. We have a long relationship with Lung Chai and his family.