Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
Going on a Trek with a guide is the best way to see the hilltribes.
Experienced guides will take you through the maze of tracks in the hills to villages where there is a good chance of seeing something of the traditional way of life. Good guides will also be able to explain the tribal spirit world and associated rituals.
Trekking is a well-established part of the tourism industry and has necessarily affected the hilltribes and their economy. After more than thirty years, no area in northern Thailand can therefore be "new". Treks often include an elephant ride and a bamboo rafting trip. Some tours may also include the opportunity to smoke opium, a practice which makes money for the hilltribes, but which is definitely illegal.
You do not have to follow the beaten path if you decide to go on a trek. Some trekking companies offer alternatives. You can organize your own group and then approach one of the companies and work out what you want to do.
Expect to pay at least 600 THB per head per day for a reasonable tour if the group is between 6 and 10 people, and more if there are less people.
What to take on a Trek
When trekking, travel light. Keep at least one clean change of clothes dry for wearing in the evening and night. Warm clothing and a sleeping bag are essential in the cold season. A rain poncho (sold to protect motorcyclists from rain and widely available for around 70-90 THB.) serves both as a raincoat and ground sheet.
Basic medical supplies to sterilize and cover cuts, settle upset stomachs, and sterilize water may be useful.
Use mosquito repellent and clothing to keep mosquitoes away in the evening and early morning. Malaria is more of a threat near the Burmese border than close to Chiang Mai. Do not rely on either a mosquito net (you may not be able to put it up) or an anti-malaria drug.
Good hotels should have a reliable safe-keeping service for personal valuables, but there can be no guarantees. In the past, a few travelers have found that credit cards left for "safe-keeping" have been used in their absence.
Whether to take yours with you and keep it hidden away, or leave it along with other "valuables", is your choice. When visiting remote places, keep valuable possessions hidden from sight.
Visiting Hilltribe Villages Malaria Prevention
Excursions and one day guided tours from Chiang Mai including sightseeing, hilltribe and jungle tours, Elephant Riding, Elephant Show, Bamboo- & Whitewater Rafting, Jungle Walking, Mountainbiking, ATV Rides, Hilltribe Villages, Long-neck Karen, Orchid and Butterfly Farm, Oxcart riding, Show "Monkeys at Work", Snake show, Handicraft Village, Zip Line Canopy Tour, Doi Inthanon, Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen (Ancient City), the famous Golden Triangle, Wat Rong Khun (The White Temple), Mae Sai (Thai-Myanmar border town), Mae Kachan Hot spring.
Half Day Chiang Mai Temple Sightseeing, Activities and Handicrafts Shopping,
Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Khantoke Dinner, Cultural Show, Horse Carriage, Wiang Kum Kam, Dinner on the Ping River.
One - five Days Hiking, Adventure, Hilltribe & Jungle Trekking Tours
Chiang Mai's main tourist attraction is trekking.
Discover the jungle, mountains and hilltribes around Chiang Mai on one of our single or multi day hilltribe trekking tours.
We offer trekking tours with activities such as elephant riding, white water rafting, bamboo rafting, Mahout training courses and elephant interactions.
Or you can just walk through the jungle and visit hilltribe villages from the Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha and Lua and Palaung tribes.
One - four Days Special Treks & Sightseeing Tours
(AC-Van or 4x4 Offroad) Chiang Dao, Pai, Mae Hong Son, Doi Inthanon Chiang Rai, Mae Sai, Chiang Saen
Trekking in the Mountains