Northern Hilltribes & Villages

  • Thailand

Experience the bustle of Bangkok, explore the vibrancy of Chiang Mai, trek through northern hilltribes and meet the locals, float downstream on a bamboo raft.

From the luxury of Bangkok's malls and gleaming high-rises, head north to Thailand's hills. Eating and sleeping with the hilltribes will bring you face-to-face with these colourful cultures. We’ll leave plenty of time for fun in historic Chiang Mai with its night market and delicious cuisine. Our CEOs will help you get off the beaten path – but you'll stay flexible by being able to choose the activities you really want.

was €5298 days from €379

(€47.38 per day)

Suitable for
All ages
Trip Code
ATHV
Travel Style
18-to-Thirtysomethings
Service Level
Basic
Physical Grading
3 - Average
Trip Type
Small Group
Group Size
Max 18, avg 12.
Transport
Local bus, songthaew, train, walking, river raft.
Accommodation
Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (3 nights), basic hilltribe huts (2 nights, multi-share), sleeper trains (2 nights).
Meals
5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Other
  • Hilltribe trek
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Street food crawl
  • View more
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Northern Hilltribes & Villages itinerary
  • Day 1Bangkok

    Arrive in Bangkok at any time.

    Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Enjoy free time to relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frantic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.

    After your meeting, head out for an optional dinner to get to know your CEO and fellow group members better.

    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

    The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

    accommodation

    Bangkok Centre Hotel

    Please arrive at our start point hotel before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting.

  • Day 2Bangkok / Chiang Mai

    Opt to visit Wat Po and the Grand Palace, or check out the city's klongs by boat. Board an overnight train to Chiang Mai.

    free time

    Get out and explore bustling Bangkok!

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Tonight's accommodation is on an overnight sleeper train. Beds are dormitory style, with bunks on two layers along the side of the train carriage. There are curtains along each bunk for privacy. Your luggage will be accessible during the journey. The train has air conditioning, and clean bedding is provided for each bunk. There are western-style toilets at the end of each carriage. Food and drinks are served on the train, but you can always bring your own from the shops and restaurants in the train station.

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    Optional Activities:

    • Grand Palace Visit

      Visit the King’s official residence (made up of many buildings, halls, lawns, gardens, and courtyards) on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

    • Klong Riverboat Tour

      Travel by longtail boat on the busy Chao Phraya River. Go through the smaller klongs (canals) to see skyscrapers, temples, and shops in the distance, and the densely populated waterfront settlements up close.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport.

  • Day 3Chiang Mai

    Enjoy one of two street food crawls with the group and CEO. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, comb the night markets for souvenirs, or participate in a Thai cooking class.

    free time

    Get out and explore this bustling city in northern Thailand.

    Street Food Crawl

    Bring your appetite and your wallet. The CEO will bring the group to the best spots to eat and teach everyone about the local street food. Yum!

    accommodation

    Chiang Mai Gate Hotel

    Optional Activities:

    • Cooking Class

      2-3 hours of cooking class delivered by the local expert, You will learn about the different Thai herbs

      Pick out the best ingredients at a local market and learn how to make delicious Thai dishes.

    • Massage (Southeast Asia)

      Lay back and soothe aching muscles with a famous local massage. Affordable and amazing, don't miss out.

    • Yoga Class

      Stretch and hold poses in this gentle but effective form of exercise.

    • Doi Suthep Temple Visit

      If you're worried about the difficulty of the stairs and elevation, for an additional fee there is a cable car available to take visitors to the top of the temple. **Temple clothing: shoulders and knees must be covered.**

      Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a golden Buddhist temple outside of Chiang Mai on the Mt Doi Suthep. Climb 300 steps to reach the temple and be rewarded with an unforgettable view. Admire the many Buddhist relics at this sacred temple and visit the white elephant shrine. Legend has it that the location of the temple was chosen after a white elephant carried a relic to the mountain and trumpeted three times before dying on the spot. Also, with a little luck, you may witness the chanting of the monks.

  • Day 4Chiang Mai / Ban Mae Jok

    Trek through rugged forests and experience the wonderful diversity of this region: each village has its own language, belief system, style of dress, and traditions. Drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Malai village, where the trek will begin. After a few hours of hiking, reach the first village.

    We might have time to visit a local market before stopping for lunch and starting our trek.

    Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found. Trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these diverse hilltribe villages; often, each will have their own unique language, clothing style, and belief system that differs significantly from those of neighbouring tribes. You are well looked after by your local guides, who take the responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying food supplies.

    Pickup truck

    Hop into the back and ride along to the next destination.

    Hilltribe Trek Day 1

    Hit the road in an open pickup truck for Mae Malai where there is time to visit a local market to purchase food and snacks. Start the trek through forests and rugged terrain to Baan Mae Jok, a Karen village.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner

    The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also, please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate -- your CEO and guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic; remember, it's all about an authentic and unique experience!

  • Day 5Ban Mae Jok / Pa Khao Lam

    Trek 2-3 hrs and, after lunch, head to a Karen village to learn about traditional basket weaving and scarf-making. Continue trekking another few hours to the next village for the night.

    You will also have the chance to fish at Mae Tang River using local tools; learn how to construct a bamboo raft.

    Hilltribe Trek Day 2

    After breakfast, trek 3.5-4 hrs to reach the lunch stop. Take in the beautiful scenery along the way. Enjoy lunch before carrying on another hour or so to the Karen village of Ban Pa Khao Lam.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
  • Day 6Pa Khao Lam / Chiang Mai

    After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft, stopping at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai for some free time to explore.

    Bamboo Rafting to Lahu Village

    Board the traditional bamboo raft for a leisurely ride down the Mae Tang River. Reach the Lahu hill tribe village near Ban Pong Ngan. Enjoy a visit with the locals here and learn about the life and unique culture of the Lahu tribe.

    Lahu Village Visit

    Take a bamboo raft down the Mae Tan River for one hour journey to a Lahu village to witness a lifestyle that dates hundreds of years.

    Bamboo Rafting to Shan Village

    Board a traditional bamboo raft and enjoy a ride through some small rapids on the Mae Tang River.

    Pickup truck

    Hop into the back and ride along to the next destination.

    free time

    Check out more of Chiang Mai.

    accommodation

    Chiang Mai Gate Hotel

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 7Chiang Mai / Bangkok

    Opt to go shopping, enjoy a Thai massage, or explore Chiang Mai's many temples. Board an overnight train to Bangkok.

    free time

    Enjoy a final day to check out Chiang Mai.

    Basic overnight train (beds)

    Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

    Optional Activities:

    • Massage (Southeast Asia)

      Lay back and soothe aching muscles with a famous local massage. Affordable and amazing, don't miss out.

    • Chiang Mai City Tour

      Enjoy a tour of spectacular Chiang Mai, a delightful city surrounded by rolling hills and filled with impressive architecture. Explore the great cafes, shops and accommodations of the old city; an important Buddhist centre since the 14th century, it is home to more than 300 temples. Many visitors come here to attend meditation retreats, massage classes or yoga lessons.

    • Chiang Mai Cycling Tour

      Meander through the old city of Chiang Mai on bike.

      2-3 hours of biking

      Moderate fitness level required

      Age range: 14 to 60

    • Doi Suthep Temple Visit

      If you're worried about the difficulty of the stairs and elevation, for an additional fee there is a cable car available to take visitors to the top of the temple. **Temple clothing: shoulders and knees must be covered.**

      Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a golden Buddhist temple outside of Chiang Mai on the Mt Doi Suthep. Climb 300 steps to reach the temple and be rewarded with an unforgettable view. Admire the many Buddhist relics at this sacred temple and visit the white elephant shrine. Legend has it that the location of the temple was chosen after a white elephant carried a relic to the mountain and trumpeted three times before dying on the spot. Also, with a little luck, you may witness the chanting of the monks.

    • Cooking Class

      2-3 hours of cooking class delivered by the local expert, You will learn about the different Thai herbs

      Pick out the best ingredients at a local market and learn how to make delicious Thai dishes.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport.

  • Day 8Bangkok

    The trip ends on arrival at the Bangkok train station.

    Arrive in Bangkok at approximately 8am. Tour finishes on arrival at the train station.

    Departure Day (Activities)

    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with any onward travel arrangements you require.

Please select passengers to get started!


How it works?

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Booking conditions

Adventure Tour prices are subject to terms, conditions and availability.

Only 1 tour can be discounted per passenger per reservation booking. If multiple tours are booked the discount will be applied to the most expensive tour booked.