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Thai elephant playing in the water

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Example 12 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.
Farmland of the Thai hill tribesBamboo rafts on Pang Oung, Mae Hong SonBiking through rice fieldsBiking tourRiver rafting in northern ThailandThai farmers with water buffaloSmiling hmong women in traditional dressReclining Buddha at Wat PhoDoi Suthep in Chiang MaiAerial view of the city of BangkokThai elephant playing in the water
  • 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
Activity Level: Moderate

Full Itinerary

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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

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Take a cycle ride in Bang Kachao, Bangkok's green lungs, glimpse a side of the city travelers rarely experience and meet the families that call this area home. 

Join your fellow riders for a briefing, select your bike and let your bicycle adventure begin. Pedal past new townhouses and be introduced to some of the people of the neighborhood. Step inside a kindergarten sponsored by our local partner and make a stop at a sweetshop for a well-deserved treat. Jump on board a longtail boat for the short journey to Bang Kachao and cycle along paths through lush vegetation, in the shade of coconut palms and banana trees. Travel by samlor, stop of at a local market open only on weekends. Enjoy a simple local Thai lunch (pad thai or khao pad). Spend time at a community Buddhist temple and gain an insight into Buddhism. Continue cycling to the pier and a short boat ride back to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

Biking Distance: approx. 30 km
Fitness: Moderate

Day 3: Countryside Cycle

This morning drive out of town this morning for a day of biking in the countryside. Explore ancient Thailand, a place of soothing river boats, rice farms, and tropical scenery. Visit the Grand Palace, which features the Emerald Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Keow). The magnificent Buddha figure, carved from a single piece of jade, is one of Thailand's holiest and most cherished religious relics today. Wat Phra Chetuphon, also known by its previous name of Wat Po, is located just beyond the Emerald Buddha Temple. The statuesque pagoda of Wat Arun, also known as Wat Chaeng, or the Temple of Dawn, is the last destination on the tour. The huge pagoda, or prang in Thai, is unquestionably the showpiece of Wat Arun. The 67-meter-tall pagoda is built of cement and coated in a million pieces of China porcelain. This afternoon, continue on for a closer look at Thai village life before returning to Bangkok for a relaxing evening.

Day 4: Fly Chiang Mai

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 temple 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 gets 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: Bike and Kayak Sri Lanna National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Travel to Sri Lanna National Park early in the morning. Set off on foot to the famous Buatong Waterfall, popularly known as the "sticky waterfall" because of its popularity as a climbing area. Spend a fun day kayaking and cycling around Sri Lanna National Park. Before hopping into your kayak for an excursion on Mae Ngat Lake Reservoir, cycle along the picturesque rural roads past rolling rice fields and stop for a local Thai meal.

Spend some relaxation time with a refreshing and rewarding swim before returning back from nature to the city.

Biking Distance: approx. 20 kilometers.
kayaking Distance: approx. 15 kilometers
Fitness level: Moderate

Day 6: Chiang Mai | Meet the Tribal People Around Chiang Dao

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Drive across the Chiang Dao area, where the Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Palong (called Dara-ang), and Karen tribes live. It is largely an agricultural area surrounded by mountains. Your first stop will be at Mae Malai's local market, where your guide will discuss the herbs and vegetables, as well as the unique foods and other local products available. Proceed to the rafting camp for a pleasant experience of bamboo rafting. 

Stop at the Dara-ang village of Pang Daeng Nai, where the majority of the women still dress in traditional attire. You stroll through the protected community forest to Mae Chon, another Daraang village, after witnessing a small royal project.

Your final destination is Mae Chon. The trip concludes with a walk through the villages' plantations and fields. Your guide takes you on a tour of the settlement, explaining the village shrine and the 'huja rawl,' or 'village heart.'

Return to Chiang Mai after the walk. On the way back, you might want to stop by an orchid nursery.

Day 7: Lahu Outpost - Lisu Lodge

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Pick up from your hotel in the Chaing Mai region at 14:00 pm today and transfer to Lisu Lodge, where you will be greeted by Lisu Lodge staff and given a welcome drink. Your chance to explore the local culture in nearby Lisu Village or the lodge's local temple, vegetable farm, and Himmapaan Nursery, among other things.

At dinner, enjoy Lisu music and folk dances before turning in for the evening at Lisu Lodge.

Day 8: Lisu Lodge – Kanta Elephant Sanctuary

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge, then prepare for your choice of activities:  You may take a guided bike tour around the Lisu Lodge area or just relax and have a nice steam bath and massage. Or choose to go for an ox-cart ride through farmlands and orchards to the village of Baan Pang Mai Daeng - about an hour's journey ending up back at Lisu Lodge. You are also welcome to go cycling by yourself with a road book of recommended itineraries.
Enjoy a delicious Thai lunch, then prepare for an afternoon journey to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary. 

Arrive at Kanta Elephant Sanctuary. Walk through and learn about the elephants, then change into traditional clothing and prepare fruits for our elephants. Meet the elephants and take the opportunity to feed, interact, and play with them in a natural environment. Get muddy as you learn about their behavior and history, and take the chance to take photos with the elephants before walking them to the river to bathe them.

Get some tea, coffee and fresh local fruit, then say goodbye to the elephants.  Leave Kanta Elephant Sanctuary and drive approximately 50 minutes back to Chiang Mai, where you will be dropped off at your hotel or accommodation.

Day 9: Chiang Mai

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.

Day 10: Fly to Krabi

Today, the guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to Chaing Mai Airport. The next destination will be Krabi,  the capital of southern Thailand's Krabi Province. Enjoy the rest of your day in Tup Kaek Sunset Beach Resort.

Day 11: Free day in Krabi

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy your free day at Tup Kaek Sunset Beach Resort,  travelers can wake up to the resort's own private beach and spend their days participating in eco-water sports, bathing in an open-air mountain stream, cooling off in the swimmers' island paradise, or simply relaxing by the water's side.

Day 12: Fly back to Bangkok | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Today is the last day of our journey; head back to Bangkok and connect with your international flight home.


De Lanna Hotel

Pool and exterior at night
Balcony with a pool view

Nouvo City Hotel

Exterior of the hotel

Lisu Lodge

Tup Kaek Sunset Beach Resort

Deluxe Rooms
The Reception
Red Leaf Bar

Dates & Prices

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  • 10 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 1 Dinner
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • 4 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Entrance Fees during City tours
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package


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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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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