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Farmland of the Thai hill tribes

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Example 10 Day Tour
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Explore Thailand the adventurer's way! Visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and spend two days rafting or trekking in the Mae Hong Son region in northwest Thailand. Bike through the countryside, visit local villages and connect with the people. Bike and use public transportation as you experience the city the way the locals do. Cultural encounters, wildlife spotting, breathtaking landscapes and activity to get your blood pumping make this the ideal Thailand tour for the active traveler.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Bangkok
Day 2 : Explore Bangkok
Day 3 : Countryside Cycle
Day 4 : Fly Chiang Mai
Day 5 : Si Lanna National Park Bike & Paddle
Day 6 : Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand
Day 7 : Lahu Outpost | Lisu Lodge
Day 8 : Lisu Lodge | Kanta Elephant Sanctuary
Day 9 : Chiang Mai
Day 10 : Return Bangkok


  • Bicycle through the countryside past riverboats, rice fields, & fish farms
  • Kayak Mae Ngat Lake Reservoir to a bamboo floating house
  • Feed and bathe elephants at the Elephant Nature Park
  • Raft down Class II and III rapids on Mae Hong Son

Places Visited

  • Asia
  • Thailand
  • Bangkok
  • Chiang Mai
  • Elephant Nature Park
  • Mae Hong Son
  • Mae Hong Son Trek - Karen Village
  • Mae Hong Son Trek End
  • Mae Hong Son Trek Start - Doi Sunfa Mtn
  • Nong Chok
  • Pai
  • Si Lanna National Park


Trip Type

  • Adventure Life Exclusive

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Farmland of the Thai hill tribes Bamboo rafts on Pang Oung, Mae Hong Son Biking through rice fields Biking tour through rural areas River rafting in northern Thailand Thai farmers with water buffalo Thai elephant playing in the water Smiling hmong women in traditional dress

Day 1 Arrive Bangkok

Arrive to Bangkok where you are met by your guide and drive to your hotel. Spend the evening relaxing after your journey.

Day 2 Explore Bangkok

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the full day exploring Bangkok today with your guide using exclusively public means of transportation. Take a boat to a terminal station on the banks of Chao Phraya River and then continue to Tha Thien pier to visit Wat Pho in time to witness the morning chanting of the monks. Explore the temple, see the Reclining Buddha, and if you like stop for an optional Thai foot massage. Continue to the Grand Palace by foot, Thailand's most important landmark. This was the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) from 1782 until 1925 and is still used for official state events. Explore the grandeur and majesty of the building and its throne halls this afternoon. See also the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in all of Thailand, which according to legend was first created in 43 BC in India. Stroll through the markets or try a taste of the local Thai Cuisine on the way to your lunch spot.

This afternoon you will learn about Muay Thai from the home gym of Thailand's most famous fighter, Buakaw. The multi-times world champion Muay Thai and K1 fighter is the poster child of the gym, but there are many other very high level athletes training at the gym and as such it attracts people who want intense Muay Thai camps to prepare for a real match. The trainers here have had illustrious careers so you know the training is high level.

Day 3 Countryside Cycle

This morning drive out of the city into the countryside for a day on bikes. Explore the Thailand of old in a land of gentle river boats, rice fields and tropical landscapes. See the temple of Phurt Udom Pol, Kamalulislam mosque, and the market town of Nong Chok. Visit a local women's cooperative, fish farms, working rice mills, traditional Thai wooden houses and an old medicine shop. Stop for lunch before continuing on for a close-up view of Thai village life this afternoon before returning to Bangkok for a leisurely evening.

Biking Distance: 24 miles/ 40 km on easy dirt roads and field pathways.

Day 4 Fly Chiang Mai

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a flight out of Bangkok today north to Chiang Mai. On arrival check into your hotel and freshen up before lunch.

This afternoon choose between two options. In the first, you take a local songthaew to explore Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most sacred in Northern Thailand located on the mountain of Doi Suthep. Learn about the story of the temple and the white elephant and walk around the impressive grounds. Next trek one hour to a Hmong village where 800 inhabitants still wear their traditional tribe clothes and practice a culture that dates back 500 years. Trek back and return to the city. The second option is to spend the afternoon exploring temples around Chiang Mai by Segway. After a brief introduction, set out to visit some of the following: Wat Phra Singh, Wat Pan Tao, Wat Chedi Luang, Tapae Gate, Wat Chiang Man, and Three Kings Gate.

This evening get a taste of the Chiang Mai nightlife. First join monks in a nightly chanting at a local temple. Here you may light some incense or burn a candle to participate as well. Next enjoy dinner at 137 Pillars colonial house. After dinner, drive to the lively Waroros market, the hub of local life bursting with fresh flowers and local street food stalls. Sample some local Thai sweets before returning to your hotel for the evening.

Day 5 Si Lanna National Park Bike & Paddle

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Get active today for an exciting day of kayaking and cycling around the spectacular Si Lanna National Park, located only an hour drive from Chiang Mai. First cycle 20 km along beautiful rural roads set against the backdrop of bamboo groves, fruit orchards and rolling rice fields. Next paddle kayaks out on Mae Ngat Lake Reservoir. Enjoy lunch at an exotic bamboo floating raft house on the lake and continue exploring the lake by kayak. Swim or find a spot to sunbathe as you relax this afternoon. Pack up the bikes and transfer to your home for the evening, Mountain Float Raft House. Accommodations will be in a Cacoon Room.

Approximate biking time: 2 hours, up to 10 miles on flat country roads
Approximate kayaking time: 2 hours, up to 10 miles

Day 6 Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning you will be picked up after breakfast around 8.30AM and taken to the Lisu Lodge (1 hour drive). Upon arrival at the Lisu Lodge, enjoy a traditional welcome drink before driving by local open-air truck to the area near Pha Mieng. Start walking along the jungle trails to the remote village of Hmong Pha Mieng where you will meet the inhabitants of this small hill tribe village. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the jungle. After lunch, you can walk to the top of the mountain, (about an hour and a half), to the Red Lahu Village of Pha Daeng. Continue walking along a mountain ridge to the Lahu village of Kup Kap, (about another hour), from which you have a spectacular view overlooking the Mae Taeng district and Chiang Mai town glittering at night in the distance. Beyond the mountain peaks to the west lies Myanmar.

Dinner and overnight at Lahu Outpost, modeled after a typical Lahu house. Basic amenities are provided: mattress, pillow, bed linens, blankets, towels, mosquito nets, etc. Two Western-style toilets and a communal shower are provided.

Day 7 Lahu Outpost | Lisu Lodge

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After an early breakfast, we go on a 1.5 hour walk down a steep jungle path passing by the Huay Sadharn Waterfall. Enjoy some time to relax at the waterfall before another 30–45 minute hike before lunch. In a remarkable setting on the bank of the river you will share a delicious picnic lunch. Afterwards, raft down the river for about 45 minutes. After your short rafting adventure, you will be taken to Lisu Lodge where a welcome drink will be awaiting you. The lodge staff will give a quick briefing so guests can select their preferred activity for the following morning.

Guided by a Lisu villager, guests will walk from Ton Lung temple to visit the herbal garden. Continue through the village with a stop for a cup of tea at the village shaman’s house. Chat with the Lisu shaman and learn about his life, beliefs, curing rites and Lisu traditions. 

Finally, visit the 'museum' created by the villagers where all kinds of tools and household utensils of Akha and Lisu tribes are exhibited. The rest of the afternoon you have time for yourself before dinner. During dinner, enjoy traditional Lisu music and folk dances

Day 8 Lisu Lodge | Kanta Elephant Sanctuary

After having breakfast at the lodge, guests have a choice of activities. These include a guided bike tour around the Lisu Lodge area, a relaxing steam bath and massage, or go an exciting ox-cart ride through farmlands and orchards to the Thai village of Baan Pang Mai Daeng. Guests are also welcome to go cycling on their own - the lodge will provide a road book of recommended itineraries.

Enjoy a delicious Thai lunch at Lisu Lodge before leaving for Kanta Elephant Sanctuary around 2:00PM. Once at the sanctuary, change into traditional Thai clothing and prepare fruits for the elephants. Guests will have the opportunity to feed, interact, and play with the elephants in a natural environment and get a little muddy as you learn about their behavior and history. You will also have some great photo opps with the elephants.  Around 4:00PM, your hosts will help you guide the elephants to a river to bathe them!

After your time with these amazing creatures, refresh yourself with some tea, coffee and seasonal fruits before saying goodbye to the elephants.  From Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, the drive is approximately 1 hour to Chiang Mai.

*Please Note: At the Sanctuary, we will allow you to spend as much time as possible with the elephants. Therefore, there is no formal schedule and aside from pick-up times, the times shown here are approximations.

Overnight at a hotel in Chiang Mai.

What to Bring: Hat, Sunscreen, Sandals/Flip Flops, Change of clothing as you will get muddy or wet, Towel, Shoes suitable for walking, Camera, Bug Repellent

Day 9 Chiang Mai

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you have the option to participate in a group cooking class at Baan Thai Cookery School. Learn how to make Thai food in a traditional setting. Teachers help you in this participatory group class that includes a market tour. Or you may opt to enjoy the morning at leisure in Chiang Mai.

Enjoy your final evening in Chiang Mai with a traditional Khantoke Dinner. Your meal is served on special, low circular tables called toke. Enjoy delicious northern Thai dishes accompanied by Thai folk dance.

Day 10 Return Bangkok

  • 1 Breakfast
Return to Chiang Mai for your flight back to Bangkok. From here connect with your international flight home or extend your trip and explore southern Thailand.

Bangkok - Hotels

Chiang Mai - Hotels

Lahu Outpost

Lisu Lodge

Mountain Float House

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  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
    • 7 Nights Hotel
    • 2 Nights Lodge
  • 8 Days Private Guide Service
  • Both International Arrival and Departure Transfers are included.


  • Internal Flights
    • $350 Bangkok - Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai - Bangkok
    • Flight cost is subject to change
  • International Flights


  • $80 Meals not Included
  • $50 Optional Excursions
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Mary C

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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