around Chiang Mai Mae Taeng & Mae Hong Son
Trekking from Chiang Mai:
Trekking 3 days / 2Nights around Mae Taeng
Day 1: Chiangmai-Karene village
Depart from hotel around 09h30. Visit of orchids farm, of Mae Malai local market and waterfall. Lunch in small restaurant on the way. Then 2 hours walk to the Karene village. Dinner and night in the village: basic accommodation in local house under mosquito net.
Day 2: Karene Village – Mouseu Villagei
Breakfast, then a 2h30 walk to the elephant camp. Lunch. Afternoon elephant ride for about one hour. Arrival in the Mouseu village around 16h30. Dinner and night in the village: basic accommodation in local house under mosquito net.
Day 3: Mouseu Village – Chiangmai
Breakfast, then bambou rafting for one hour on Maetaeng river to Bane Sopkai. Lunch. Afternoon, pick-up drive to visit Akkha and Lisou villages. Drive back to Chiangmai
Trekkings in Mae Hong Son
During the months of April and May, dry season, fires are started in Mae Hong Son to burn the dried vegetation. These fires create a smoke screen that often forbid the planes to land. We cannot therefore organize the transport by plane from Chiang Mai during that period
What to expect:
All accommodation in our tours is provided by local families in the communities as a homestay. Homestays are very basic. You will be provided blankets and a pillow, but you may want to bring your own sleeping bag during the cold season. Some of our villages have mosquito nets, but you may also want to bring your own. In most of our villages there is no electricity, and toilet facilities are also basic, with no hot water.
Food is also provided by the local people we visit. They provide an assortment of traditional foods as well as basic fare, such as eggs and vegetables. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know in advance.
Bottled drinking water is provided in our tours. In the villages you will also be offered water and tea by your host family. This is boiled rain water, and poses no health hazards; however, if you do not feel comfortable drinking it, feel free to drink bottled water at all times.
What to Bring:
Lightweight trousers and shirts for trekking
Warm shirt/fleece during the rainy season and cold seasons (June-February)
Rainproof jacket during the rainy season (June-October)
Good walking shoes/boots and waterproof sandals
Sunscreen and hat
Camera and film
Binoculars, if you have them
Sleeping bag during the cold season (November-February) or if you plan to camp on Doi Pui
Tour 2: Doi Pui (2 days, 1 night)
Day 1 Ban Nam Hoo and Baan Huay Hee Karen villages; Rainforest trek and camping Head out into the mountains towards two Karen villages, Baan Nam Hoo and Baan Huay Hee, located beneath Doi Pui, the highest mountain in Mae Hong Son province. Stop along the way at a viewpoint, Doi San Pha, to take in the view of Mae Hong Son town and her surroundings Arrive at Baan Nam Hoo. Talk with the villagers over tea, introducing ourselves and getting to know one another. We will be provided with a booklet of Karen phrases to stimulate real dialogue. Transfer to Baan Huay Hee, the second Karen village. After resting, villagers as our guides will take us hiking through the protected forest area as we head towards the top of Doi Pui. We will have local Karen food for lunch in the forest. During the walk we can observe and investigate a great variety of orchids, ferns and forest wildlife, asking questions and learning about the environment. Set up camp in the forest and have dinner over our campfire. Sleep well – it’ll be a big day again tomorrow!
Day 2 Baan Huay Hee Karen village life
Wake up in the forest and finish the walk to the top of Doi Pui, arriving just as the sun does. Enjoy breakfast at the top of the mountain with the new sun rising over the land. Make our way down back to Huay Hee Karen village .Talk with the villagers and interact with them as they share with us their lifestyle. Meet with the weaving group, the blacksmith, and the local craftspeople. Visit the rice fields, helping out if we wish. Lunch with the villagers . Leisure time to talk with our new friends, pack our belongings and say goodbye. Return to Mae Hong Son with an appreciation of local wisdom and a priceless experience of life in the north!
Tour 3: The Great Hornbill Habitat (3 days, 2 nights)
Day 1 Rainforest Trek and Baan Huay Goong Karen village life and homestay
Head out towards Ban Nam Hoo Karen village, stopping along the way at Doi San Pha viewpoint for a view of the town and her surroundings. Arrive at Ban Nam Hoo, located beneath Doi Pui, the highest mountain in Mae Hong Son province. Meet with the villagers over tea. Walk in the village’s community forest, birdwatching and checking out the nearby waterfall. Leave Baan Nam Hoo and head to the trail that will take us to Baan Huay Goong, a Karen village deep in the rainforest with no connecting roads. Hike for about three hours through the rainforest and bamboo forest. We will be trekking through some spectacular scenery, crossing creeks and rice fields. We can stop halfway for a picnic lunch. Arrive at Baan Huay Goong and set up with our host families - we’ll be here for two nights. Meet the villagers and relax, swimming in the Mae Samat River, talking with or participating in the fishing activities of the villagers. Experience a local Karen-style dinner and sleep at our host family’s home.
Day 2 Rainforests and The Great Hornbill trek
Have breakfast and head out along the river with our local guide for an awesome 7 to 8 hour walk through the Great Hornbill habitat. This is one of the oldest patches of forest that remain in Thailand, so we’ll see great big trees of old growth, and hopefully catch a glimpse of one of the most beautiful and rare birds in the world, the Great Hornbill. Lunch in the forest near a beautiful waterfall. Return to Huay Goong by late afternoon, with time to chill out and explore, go fishing with the villagers or swim in the river. Enjoy a local Karen dinner and sleep at our host family’s home.
Day 3 River crossing
Hike out along the Mae Samat river for a three hour trek to Baan Pha Bong village. We will have to cross the river several times today, so be prepared to get wet! Lunch in Pha Pong with time to look around before being picked up by a jeep and driving back to Mae Hong Son. (B, L)
Tour 4 : Shan and Lahu Culture (2 days, 1 night)
Day 1 Pha Sua Waterfall, Fish Cave,
Baan Melana Shan village life and homestay Head out through some beautiful mountain scenery towards Baan Melana, a Shan village located about 2 hours north of Mae Hong Son. Visit Pha Sua Waterfall on the way, at its best at the end of the rainy season in September and October, to look around and, if we like, take a swim. Continue on to the Fish Cave, where we can feed local food to the sacred fish. Lunch in Huay Pueng village. Continue on towards Melana, pausing high in the hills where, if lucky, we can see the famous ‘sea of mists’. Arrive at Baan Melana, a large Shan village that offers both traditional and modern-style Shan architecture. Relax and have dinner with our host families. Meet with the villagers in the evening for some fun as we introduce ourselves to the lifestyle of the Shan people. Here we can learn about Shan culture and history, sharing our experiences and talking with the villagers. (L,D)
Day 2 Trekking, caves and Baan Bokrai Lahu culture
Breakfast with our families, say goodbye and head out on a 3-hour trek to Baan Bokrai, a Lahu village inaccessible by road. Arrive at the village and rest, before meeting with the local guide, who will take us with him to explore a cave – with prehistoric coffins!. Return to Baan Bokrai for a taste of Lahu food as we have lunch with the villagers. Head back to Mae Hong Son, stopping to take pictures and explore as we wish, returning to town with memories to last a lifetime.
Tour 5: Mountains and Caves (3 days, 2 nights)
Day 1 Waterfall, Baan Jabo Lahu village life and homestay
THE MORNING OF THIS TOUR IS THE SAME AS TOUR 4, heading this time to Baan Jabo Lahu village. Before we reach the village we’ll stop at a viewpoint, where, if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to see the famous “sea of mists.” Arrive in Baan Jabo in the early afternoon. Meet our host families, relax and look around the village. Learn about local Lahu culture, as they tell us of the traditional belief system - of ghosts in the nearby caves! We’ll have the opportunity to visit these caves and explore the area. In the evening we’ll have a traditional Lahu dinner and sleep at our host family’s house.
Day 2 Jeep trek and Baan Melana Shan village
Head out on a jeep trek to the Burmese border. Pass through a beautiful mountainous landscape scattered with Lahu villages and caves. We can stop when and where we want, to take pictures and look around. The day is ours to make of it as we wish, with a picnic lunch on the way. Arrive at Baan Melana in the afternoon, a large Shan village that offers both traditional and modern-style Shan architecture. Meet the villagers, relax and have dinner with our host families. In the evening we will have a chance to learn about Shan culture and history, having fun, sharing our experiences and talking with the people of Melana.
Day 3 Trekking, caves and Baan Bokrai Lahu village
After breakfast with our families we’ll say goodbye and head out on a 3-hour trek to Baan Bokrai, a Lahu village inaccessible by road. Rest at the village and meet with our local guide, who will take us with him to explore a cave where the remains of prehistoric coffins are still intact. Return to Baan Bokrai for a taste of Lahu-style meals as we lunch with the villagers. After lunch head back to Mae Hong Son. We’ve gained priceless knowledge in the last few days, and gathered memories to last a lifetime!(B, L)
Tour 7: Trekking Adventure*
* may not be available during the rainy season (June-October)
Day 1 Ban Nam Hoo and Baan Huay Hee Karen villages, Doi Pui Mountain
Head out of town towards Baan Nam Hoo Karen village, located beneath Doi Pui, the highest mountain in Mae Hong Son province. Stop along the way at Doi San Pha viewpoint, to take in the view of Mae Hong Son town and her surroundings. Arrive mid-morning to Baan Nam Hoo, where we’ll have some locally brewed tea with the villagers and talk with them about their life and culture. We’ll be provided with a leaflet of Karen phrases for the duration of the trek, to stimulate real cultural exchange. Transfer to Baan Huay Hee, the second Karen village. After resting, villagers as our guides will take us hiking through the protected forest area as we head towards the top of Doi Pui. We will have a picnic lunch of traditional Karen food along the way. During the walk we can observe and investigate a great variety of orchids, ferns and forest wildlife, asking questions and learning about the local ecosystem. Arriving for the spectacular view at the top of the mountain, we’ll rest and enjoy before heading back down. Back in Huay Hee village we’ll talk with the villagers as they share with us their lifestyle. Meet for demonstrations with the weaving group, the blacksmith, and the rice field workers, helping out if we wish. Dinner with the villagers before heading off to sleep. Sleep well - it’ll be a big day again tomorrow!
Day 2 Baan Huay Thong Kor Karen life and homestay Say goodbye and head out for a great jeep trek towards Baan Huay Thong Kor. We will be driving through several Karen villages and some beautiful mountain scenery, pausing for pictures and exploring as we wish. We’ll stop for lunch in Baan Huay Maidam, and reach Huay Thong Kor by mid-afternoon. This is a remote village far in the mountains, with nearby waterfalls and a unique culture of bright swords and deep cloths. We’ll meet with the villagers, relaxing and learning as we enjoy the company of our new friends. Dinner with and sleep at our host family’s home.
Day 3 Jungle trek, Huay Poo Ling waterfall, Huay Goong village homestay
Have a local-style breakfast with our host families and say goodbye, as we start off along the Mae Samat River towards Huay Goong, a Karen village deep in the rainforest with no connecting roads. We will be hiking through some spectacular scenery of old growth forest and the Huay Poo Ling waterfall. Halfway there we can stop for a picnic lunch in the jungle. Arrive at Baan Huay Goong in the afternoon. Meet the villagers and move into our host family’s homes – we’ll be here for two nights. Leisure time to relax and swim in the Mae Samat River after the trek, talking with the villagers or participating in the fishing activities of the village. Have a local Karen dinner before a heading off for a well-deserved night’s rest.
Day 4 The Great Hornbill Habitat
After breakfast with our host families we’ll start to walk along the river with our local guides, who will take us on an awesome 7 to 8 hour walk through the Great Hornbill habitat. This is one of the oldest patches of forest that remain in Thailand, so we’ll see great big trees of old growth, explore, and hopefully catch a glimpse of one of the most beautiful and rare birds in the world, the Great Hornbill. We’ll have lunch at a beautiful waterfall, with time to rest and swim. Return to Huay Goong in the afternoon, asking questions and having fun with our new friends. Rather than seeing and leaving we have the chance here to really learn and enjoy the life that the Karen people live. We stay one more night here with our homestay families. (B, L, D)
Day 5 River crossing
Hike out along the Mae Samat river for a three hour trek to Pha Bong dam. We will have to cross the river several times today, so be prepared to get wet! In Pha Bong we will be picked up by a jeep and head back to Mae Hong Son, with priceless memories to treasure for the rest of our lives.