Tribes, Rivers and Elephants Family Adventure
Day 1: Chiang Mai- Palong village
Your guide and driver will meet you at 0830 at your hotel for your Tribes, Rivers and Elephants family adventure. You will drive to the north into the mountains near Chiang Dao.
Drive to a local market. Your guide will do some shopping for the coming days and he will take you along and explain all about the different ingredients he will be using for meals during the trek. We will continue to Kaeng Keud where you will start your whitewater rafting trip on the Mae Taeng (Taeng River). After the necessary instructions you will board the rubber boat and brave some exciting rapids. Great fun. After this exhilirating adventure we will drive to the Chiang Dao Caves. We will explore this beautiful limestone cave before we will have lunch in a local restaurant in front of the cave. After lunch we will drive to the start of our trek. The trail has a few steep hills but most of the trek is relatively easy. All together we walk about two hours with many stops along the way. Your guide will explain about certain trees and plants in the forest. There will be time for taking pictures. Our destination will be another Palong village.
After arrival in the village the children can participate in fun activities in the village. These can vary from picking fruit, collecting vegetables for dinner, feeding the pigs or taking part in sports with children from the village. You will visit the garden of Sukhum. This is an educational visit. Many varieties of fruit, herbs and vegetables are growing in his garden. It will depend on the season but you will see bananas, jackfruit, guava, papaya, longan and many other varieties. You will see mountain rice and bamboo that is edible. We will pick some of the ingredients for our dinner in this garden. Then it is time for a cooking course. Your guide will teach you how to cook in a wok on a wood fire.
He will explain you about the herbs and ingredients he uses. After dinner your guide will take you to one of the village houses where you will meet some of the villagers. The Palong 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
The second day of your Tribes, Rivers and Elephants Family Adventure. After the sounds of nature and the locals woke you up, your guide will prepare breakfast. Villagers will organise a small local market. If you want to can buy some souvenirs. After breakfast your guide will show you around the village. He will explain about the village shrine and about the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart’. The Palong women are amazing weavers. We will introduce you to the weavers. Then we will visit the local school. The children will donate pens and paper to the school. After this we will say goodbye to the villagers and start our short hike to a Karen village where our van is waiting for us. The Karen are another of the ethnic minority groups in Thailand. They migrated centuries ago from China. Most of the Karen live across the border in Myanmar where they have fighting for autonomy against the government for decades. We sit down and drink a cup of tea before we continue to the Chiang Dao to have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch we will continue to an animal friendly elephant camp. Before you meet the elephants you will get a safety briefing. You will change into traditional clothing and prepare fruits for the elephants. Then you will meet the elephants. There is opportunity for taking as many pictures as you want. You will walk with them to the river. They love playing in the water and you can bathe with them. Be ready to become dirty and wet! There will be fruit of the season as well as coffee or tea. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your elephant friends. Take a shower and change back into your own clothes. We will drop you at your hotel at around 1730. It is the end of your Tribes, Rivers and Elephants Family Adventure.