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Trek the Green Forests of Salawin, Northern Thailand & meet those Hospitable Hilltribe Folks

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Northern Thailand, well, it’s quite different from the rest of the country. Far removed from the bustle of big city Bangkok and the beaches of the south, the mountains and cool weather will surely be a welcome relief from the warm and balmy weather experienced almost everywhere else in Thailand. This beautiful natural scenery also makes for a perfect trekking experience. Yeah, imagine hiking through tropical forests and trails with cooler weather to back you up. Any trip up north includes a stop or two at a hilltribe village, a great way to discover a way of life unchanged through the centuries. So, get off the beaten track and discover true Northern Thailand.

So, let’s head out to your adventure starting point! Depart from Chiang Mai for a three hour drive to Mae Sariang, near the Burmese border. Along the way, be awed at some of the national parks you’ll be passing through (a preview if you will) and chill out at Mae Saring town for a bit before starting your hike.

The journey starts now! Hop on a song taew (those two row taxi things) for the trip to the Salawin River. There a longtail boat awaits your arrival. Your river cruise will take you past hilltribe villages and beneath high cliffs. Now, your four hour trek starts. Make your way through the jungle to a Karen village where a homestay with a local family is sure to be a highlight of your Thailand tour.

Looking for authentic food? It doesn’t get any more genuine than a hilltribe breakfast. That should get your day started. And getting started is an understatement. Kick things off with an elephant back ride! This giant will give you a cool perspective of the jungle, all while you sit back (and sway left and right) on the beast. Continue on by foot for about an hour until you come across another welcoming Karen village, and just in time for lunch too. Two Karen meals in a day. Sweet! Let’s head out for another short trek (well, two hours is short for some) through more villages and forests to a cool campsite where you’ll bed down in bamboo huts for the night.

Your final day includes, well another scenic trek. Walk through those beautiful tropical Northern Thailand rain forests and over the Salawin River to meet the Rawang hilltribe. These guys are actually from across the border in Burma and only a few settlements are in Thailand. Enjoy lunch (what do you like better, a Karen meal or a Rawang meal?) and head back to Mae Sariang where a van is waiting to bring you back to Chiang Mai, with time to reflect back on your Salawin River Hilltribes Trek.

All you active boys and girls yearning to hit the trails and explore more of Thailand should certainly look into our adventure tours. Combine it with our Thailand vacation packages and you’re in for one heck of a varied and certainly memorable holiday.

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