Four Day Jungle Trek to Lisu & Lahu & Karen & Akha
- Walking / Hiking
- Price from:
- 188 GBP /person
- 01273 322040
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 4 days
- Location Start:
- Chiang Mai hotel
- Location Finish:
- Chiang Mai hotel
- We Speak:
Last updated: 02/19/2009
On this challenging hike you'll travel with a personal guide to visit mountain tribes in remote areas. The people here still lead traditional lives and you'll get an authentic glimpse of Thai culture.
Chiang Mai - Trek
You'll be collected around 9am this morning from your hotel in Chiang Mai, and meet your local guide for the next few days. Hopefully you'll get along as well as the two in the photo...
With a full canteen of water, you'll set off in a songthaew (pickup truck). Towards the end of the morning, you'll be dropped off at a forest track. Here, you'll have lunch before starting your first hike. Your guide will cut a walking stick for you and then off you go! You'll hike up to an impressive altitude of 1200m, acclimatising quickly to the thinner air. It will take you around 3 hours to reach the first hill tribe village. You'll be in an area refreshingly isolated from the rest of the world, and modernity as you know it. You can freshen up a little in the washhouse and while your guide makes dinner, you'll make your bed. You'll sleep in a simple hut made out of woven bamboo, on a firm but flexible platform that serves as your bed. The mosquito net is hung up and the blankets and sleeping bags are laid out. Before dinner, you can take a look around the village. There will be kids playing, and hens, pigs, cats and dogs wandering about. You can buy soft drinks and even a cold-ish beer from your hostess. A tasty dinner, typical of the local cuisine, will be served by your trusty guide.
Hill Tribe, Hiking, and Elephant Trekking
At the break of day, you'll be woken by cocks a-crowing. After breakfast, you'll put on your rucksack again, and with a last wave to the village children, you'll set off on a stiff 4-hour hike. On the way, your guide will tell you all about the surrounding flora and fauna. You'll drop down into a beautiful valley where giant trees reach up into the skies. At the bottom of the valley, there's a small collection of huts with palm leaf roofs - behold the elephant camp. The elephants are usually found either grazing in the forest or washing in the river, and a herd of buffalo can usually be seen hanging around the area. You'll climb onto the back of your elephant from a platform, and then your trek with begin. Steadily, the elephant will lumber down the river valley, wading through the water, and sometimes down steep slopes - so be sure you've got a good grip on the saddle. From your elevated view, you can gaze out over the lush jungle. Watch out when the elephant stops for a good scratch on a termite hill.
In the afternoon, you'll arrive at some more huts nestled on the riverbank - the rafting spot. You'll climb down off your new best friend, and can wash off the day's dirt in the fast-flowing current. Whilst your guide is preparing a delicious dinner, you can relax by the riverside and watch or help the locals assemble your bamboo raft. It will even have a tripod on deck so you can hang your rucksack up and keep it dry.
Rafting, Hiking, and Hill Tribe
This morning, your rafting trip begins (3hrs). We strongly recommend wearing your swimmers along with sandals for this activity. In September and October, the rains create a strong current allowing your raft to glide quickly between the jungle-lined banks. The majority of the rafting is relaxed, but the few small rapids that you come across are sure to get your heart pounding and your adrenalin pumping. During the leisurely sections of the trip, you can take in the nature and the waterfowl that surrounds you. At a suspension bridge, you'll tie up the rafts and take a short visit to a Karen hilltribe village. The rafting then finishes at a little Lahu village, where you'll grab a bite of lunch. Afterwards you'll get a chance to work off your lunch, with a stiff uphill climb (approx. 1 hour). Then, after a gradual descent taking about 45 minutes, you'll reach your final destination for the day - a village of the Akha people.
Your accommodation is picturesquely situated at the bottom of a hill covered in banana trees. The traditionally dressed Akha women wear headdresses covered with silver, and the tribe themselves originate from Tibet, coming to Thailand via the Burmese Highlands. As a religion they worship their ancestors. Between mid-August and mid-September you can witness their traditional dance ceremonies. The Akha are also excellent salesmen, so if you don't want to buy anything make sure you say so pretty quickly, clearly and of course politely.
Hill Tribe - Return to Chiang Mai
To finish your trek, you'll walk along a gently sloping cart track between the fruit plantations and the jungle. This is a very beautiful section of the hike, and will take about two hours. After lunch, you'll be taken by sÄwngthÄew (converted pickup truck taxi), for the journey back to Chiang Mai. The truck will rumble along an unpaved road through a river valley with breathtaking views. Around 4pm, you'll be dropped off at your hotel in Chiang Mai, where you will say goodbye to your guide - and new friend.
We cannot guarantee your exact arrival time in Chiang Mai, so we wouldn't recommend that you attempt to continue your journey immediately by overnight sleeper train or by flight. It's far better to spend tonight in Chiang Mai, enjoying a hot shower and a soft bed while you unwind and reflect on your mountain adventure. We can arrange accommodation for you in Chiang Mai - just let us know.
- Inclusions -
- Private transport and private English-speaking guide, all meals (excluding breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last day)
- Exclusions -
- Drinks and other meals, excursions and entrance fees not listed in the daily itinerary
- Extras -
- Things to take with you:
â€¢ Boots and a sleeping bag (sleeping bags can be rented locally approx Â£2)
â€¢ Small rucksack, torch and water bottle
â€¢ Shorts and long trousers, long and short sleeved tops, raincoat and socks
â€¢ A hat or cap, sun block cream and insect repellent with DEET
â€¢ Comfortable shoes (hiking boots not essential, but not sandals)
Blankets are available at all of the accommodation offered during this trip, as the nights can be cold up in the hills. Between July and November we advise you to spend a little money on some â€leech socksâ€ (available in Chiang Mai, prevention is better than the cure).
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