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adventure travel trip to Thailand
Dates
  • Weekly departures Oct-Mar
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 7 days
    Group Size 2-10
    Land Cost $1,750 Details
    Single Supplement $200 Details
    Lodging 1 star-2 stars
    Grade II
    Best Time

    Thailand Karen Home-Stay Trek

    Walk from village to village on forested trails of northern Thailand's hill country

    Day 1      Arrive Chiang Mai

    On arrival in Chiang Mai, you meet your guide who will transfer you to your hotel. Most people will arrive from Bangkok, but you may have visited other areas of Thailand or Southeast Asia.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Holiday Inn or similar

    Orchids greet you everywhere, growing in the forests and cultivated in the villages
    Day 2      Mae Hong Son/Karen Villages

    After breakfast, you depart by 4WD vehicle through Sa Merng-Ban Wat Chan to Mae Hong Son. Along the way, enjoy beautiful mountain and alpine scenery with the chance to stop for a picnic lunch. You continue off road to Ban Huai Tong Koe, a white Karen village. By late afternoon, arrive in  Ban Huai Tong Koe and check in with your home-stay family. Huai Tong Kaw is a good place for visitors to explore the Karen culture and is easy to reach by road. However, the village still preserves their traditional knowledge and is still home to blacksmiths, herbal gurus, spiritual leaders, ritual singers, and sword dancers. The highlight of the visit is a waterfall almost 500 feet high. Enjoy dinner of local Karen food and talking with the locals.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Karen Home-stay

    Visit large and small villages
    Day 3      Huai Pu Ling Waterfall/Ban Huai Hee

    Early in the morning, hike to Huai Pu Ling waterfall and then on to Ban Huai Hee. You will be hiking up and then down into the valley over very steep terrain and narrow paths, as well as through different layers of forsts, including evergreen and mixed deciduous forest which the villagers are trying to preserve. You continue hiking up the steep mountain to the top from which the scenery is spectacular (5,412 ft). Along the way, you will find a variety of wild orchids. Huai Hee village is the first Karen village to set up successful community-based tourism to promote their relationship with the surrounding ecosystem to  outsiders and supplement their income, while their livelihood remains primarily based on rotational farming on surrounding mountain slopes. With more than 200 years of settlement history, the population of the village is less than 150. Overnight with a local Karen family.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Karen Home-stay

    Swim at the base of a waterfall
    Day 4      Ban Huai Hee/Ban Huai Kung

    Hike down into the valley of Mae Samad River. Along the way, there will be many river crossings over water levels of about three feet and hiking over steep terrain. You arrive at the village of Huai Hung, a small Buddhist village consisting of about ten households with no direct road access and situated near the Mae Samad river at 1,245' above sea level. They call this village "Baan Lak Nai Pa-Yai," meaning "small village situated in the ancient forest." The village limits the number of visitors. The villagers are dependent on fresh water fish in addition to hunting game, paddy rice farming, and gathering forest products. Huai Kung village is a great place for swimming, and you will also enjoy the locally cooked fish.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Karen Home-stay

    Bamboo grows wild and tall
    Day 5      Hike to Pa Bong Village/Mae Hong Son

    Today, you will have a more leisurely hike down into the valley of Mae Samad River with more river crossings and steep terrain. It takes about four or five hours to hike to Pa Bong village through deciduous forests of teak, bamboo, and red wood trees. From Pa Bong village, you make a short 30-minute drive to the unique Fern  Resort in Mae Hong Son. The resort is outside of the city at the edge of a vast national park and is designed to attract wildlife and offer easy access to the forest. You will stay in comfortable deluxe air-conditioned cabins.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Fern Resort or similar

    Fern Resort fits naturally into the landscape
    Day 6      Mae Hong Son/Chiang Mai

    After breakfast at the resort, you check out and depart for the boat landing, where you board a long tail boat for a ride along the beautiful Pai River. Along the way, stop and visit another Karen village. This is followed by an elephant ride through the jungle. After lunch at the Fern Restaurant, transfer to the Mae Hong Son Airport for the flight to Chiang Mai, where you transfer to your hotel with the rest of the day free to explore on your own.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Holiday Inn or similar

    Travel by boat on the Pai River
    Day 7      Chiang Mai/Onward

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Bangkok or other Asian destinations. Ask us about extending to other areas of Thailand including Chiang Rai, Ayutthaya, or Bangkok or perhaps spend some time at one of Thailand's many nature reserves or beautiful beaches such as those on the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Buddhism in Thailand is vibrant. Visit Doi Suthep Temple in Chaing Mai


     
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