5 Things to Keep in Mind before booking a Trekking tour in Chiang Mai
By Rohit Agarwal
Located north of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, Chiang Mai is a land of delight with its colourful culture, happy population and serene nature. With many mountains, amazing scenery, dense forests and hidden villages, it also offers a great adventure experience to trekkers apart from various other adventure activities.
Before you pack for a great trek in Chiang Mai, here are 5 things to note:
1. Choose the Suitable Trekking Tour
Chiang Mai offers many trekking trails and you should choose a tour as per the time available. Also, if you wish to explore the harder and more interesting trails, then do get an experienced guide. You will find many tour operators offering different trekking tours. The best thing about such guided tours is that you can either opt for overnight trips or even two or more days’ treks depending on your time that you have decided. It is also advised to book your trek tour much in advance especially if you are looking forward for the same during the peak seasons. The peak season is from November to January when Chiang Mai gets really crowded with tourists across various countries.
2. Find the Right Trekking Tour Company
As trekking being one of the prime attractions for tourists in Chiang Mai, you will find many tour providers offering guided trekking tours. As in any place, there are dark sheep as well and thus you should be cautious. It is best to book a registered operator ad you can check with the official tourism websites. Also, find with the trekking company all the details such as the trail, what to encounter, what you can expect, number of days, food and water facilities and so on. It is also a good idea to shop around and bargain so that you get the best experience as per your budget.
3. Choose the Perfect Trails
Of course, Chiang Mai has some amazing trekking trails but the trails in the north and south are one of the best. Mae Taeng has beautiful trails and is apt for one-day as well as multiple-day treks. While on the treks, you can even try an adrenaline rush with white-water rafting or enjoy a peaceful bamboo raft ride as well. If you love to experience the local culture, the trek is something that you will cherish. Mae Taeng also offers hill hikes as well. Camping and homestay with local tribes are other added attractions to look out for.
4. Things to Carry
Though you will have your regular trekking materials, do carry your medicines, first-aid kit and additional pair of clothes. Carry a swim suit as well so that you can jump into a stream or river that you will happen to cross by and enjoy a cool swim. Thailand can get very sunny, so sunscreen, sun glasses and hats are a must while going trekking. During the months of October to December, it can get quite chilly in Thailand especially nights at hilly regions. So, it is a good idea to carry full pants and long-sleeved t-shirts or shirts to keep yourself warm. Though drinking water is provided, carry your own water bottle.
5. Respect Nature and Culture
You will encounter local tribes in the villages on your trekking trails. Show tolerance and respect for local customs and rituals. Be polite to the people and ask their permission if you wish to speak to them or click photographs. Similarly, show compassion to nature as well and ensure that you do not litter and contribute in your own small ways to keep the forest paths clean. It is also best to avoid smoking and even if you do, be careful about throwing away lit matches as even a small glint can cause forest fire.
Chiang Mai is a trekker’s paradise and with all facilities provided, it is something that you should try at least once when you are on a Thailand tour. Since you will find many trails, do understand what the unique features of each trail are, so that you can choose the right one. Spending some time in the company of nature not only rejuvenates your mind and body but also your soul. A trekking tour helps you achieve that and of course, the adventures that await you are the bonus!
Rohit’s first love has always been travelling. And then comes in writing. His travel stories on Trans India Travels are a treat for readers as they serve as a bucket list for the destination alongside important pointers to keep in mind.