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Overview

Hit the road for a journey through Thailand’s north, a region of spectacular natural landscapes and intriguing cultures. Take a boat trip along the Golden Triangle and go caving near Pai. Meet ethnic hill tribes in scenic traditional villages before wrapping up the adventure at majestic Doi Inthanon.

Trip Highlights

The North Loop

Explore North Thailand’s impressive caves

Discover remarkable limestone formations and underground rivers at Tham Lod and Chiang Dao caves.

Experience Akha culture

Spend a morning in Hloyo Village, meeting with the Akha people and learning about their traditional ways of life.

Visit the ‘Switzerland of Thailand’

Admire the beauty of Pang Oung, where a stunning, placid lake is surroudned by mountains with lush, alpine forests.

Itinerary

1

Chiang Rai Arrival

Chiang Rai Airport – Chiang Rai Hotel (1.3 km): 16 min

Upon arrival at Chiang Rai Airport, receive a warm welcome from the guide and driver and then transfer to the hotel in Chiang Rai.

The rest of the evening is free to spend at leisure. Relax at the hotel or head out for a bit of independent exploration.

Overnight in Chiang Rai.

2

Chiang Rai - Golden Triangle

Chiang Rai – Chiang Saen (89.3 km): 1.39 hr

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Chiang Rai City. Transfer from the hotel to the Hilltribe Education Center and Museum to get deep insights into the history and culture of hilltribe people who have called the area home for centuries. From there, board a samlor (rickshaw), and start with a ride to the main market area to get a feel for the local life in town. Continue to Wat Phra Kaew with its beautiful brass and copper Buddha image. End the half-day Chiang Rai tour with a visit to Wat Rong Khun for a look at its unique kanok-style architecture.

Midday, enjoy lunch at Chivit Thammada Coffee Shop and Restaurant.

Afterwards, visit the ancient Kingdom of Chiang Saen on the banks of Mekong River to see the magnificent ancient ruins of Wat Pasak. From there, embark on a longtail boat trip to the Golden Triangle area and visit the Hall of Opium (note: the Hall of Opium is closed on Mondays.) The museum is dedicated to teaching about the history of the opium which once proliferated in the area, and the problems caused by narcotics.

Overnight in Golden Triangle.

3

Golden Triangle - Mae Salong - Thaton

Golden Triangle –Doi Mae Salong (66.6 km): 1.16 hr Doi Mae Salong – Thaton (30.9 km): 43 min

Depart from the hotel after breakfast and head to Doi Mae Salong for a visit to the Akha hilltribe at Hloyo Village. Upon arrival, receive warm greetings from the village headman and other villagers. The local host will provide insight about Akha people which includes describing their beliefs, religions, traditions, and ways of life. Visit the Akha Museum uniquely built in a mud house with recycled bottles as windows.

Afterwards, take a tour of the community to witness the charming and peaceful Akha lifestyle. See traditional bamboo houses in Akha-style where local people use their wisdom to build their own house by hand. Then enjoy a hands-on tribal crafts session with locals. Later, partake in a cooking class for some signature Akha dishes. Get involved and help in the kitchen while learning local methods! Then, enjoy a home-cooked lunch with the local host while exchanging stories. After lunch, it is time to say goodbye to the host family, the community and new friends.

From the Akha village, head for the town of Mae Salong, which was founded in the 1960s by former Kuo Mintang soldiers who had been expelled from Myanmar. Visit their tea and coffee plantations, which give an amazing photo opportunities, before continuing to Thaton.

Overnight in Thaton.

4

Thaton - Pai

Thaton – Chiang Dao (131 km): 2.21 hr Chiang Dao – Pai (134 km): 2.53 hr

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing to the mountainous area of Chiang Dao. Visit the astounding Chiang Dao Caves for some easy exploration of its caverns and natural limestone formations. Picnic lunch will be taken on the way. Afterwards, continue towards Pai with stops en route at Mok Fah Waterfall and Pong Duad Hot Spring.

Overnight in Pai.

5

Pai - Tham Lod - Mae Hong Son

Pai – Tham Lod (48.9 km): 1.10 hr Tham Lod – Tham Pla (61.4 km): 1.31 hr Tham Pla – Mae Hong Son town (28.6 km): 39 min

After breakfast, continue towards Soppong. The area boasts limestone caves that are said to be some of the largest in Southeast Asia. Follow a series of walkways and cross small creeks by bamboo raft to reach the cavern. In the darkness of the cavern, listen to and smell the bats buzzing overhead. After the cave experience, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing by car to Tham Pla, a splendid natural area whose focal point is a cave with creeks flowing out of it that are filled with unusually large fish. After checking out this unique area, continue to Mae Hong Son.

Upon arrival, drive around the central lake to visit Burmese-style temples Wat Chong Klang and Wat Chong Kham.

Overnight in Mae Hong Son.

6

Mae Hong Son

Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before heading on a scenic drive up the nearby mountains to visit Pang Oung, located in Ban Ruam Thai. As part of Pang Tong Royal Development Project, Pang Oung, also known as the ‘Switzerland of Thailand’, is a beautiful place that can be visited all year round. It offers gorgeous views of a scenic lake nestled in a valley which glitters with sunlight in the morning hours. After a visit, transfer to Ban Rak Thai Village (Love Thailand Village), a small village with a Yunnan Chinese culture that lingers despite its inhabitants having immigrated to Thailand centuries ago.  Here, sip tea at the village and mingle with locals before enjoying lunch.

After lunch, drive back to Mae Hong Son.

Overnight in Mae Hong Son. 

7

Mae Hong Son - Khun Yuam - Mae Sariang

Mae Hong Son – Khun Yuam (85 km): 1.41 hr Khun Yuam – Mae Sarieng (84.9 km): 1.37 hr

After breakfast, start the day with a short transfer to Baan Huai Dua Boat Landing and take a 30- minute longtail boat ride along a scenic route with marvelous views of the Pai River. Return to the boat pier and continue to Khun Yuam for lunch, followed by a visit of a World War II Museum containing an assortment of weapons, uniforms, military equipment and personal possessions left behind by Japanese soldiers who took possession of the town in the closing weeks of the war in neighbouring Myanmar.

In the late afternoon, arrive in Mae Sariang and enjoy a short cycling trip in this charming city.

Overnight in Mae Sariang.

8

Mae Sariang - Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai

Mae Sarieng – Doi Inthanon National Park (154 km): 3 hr Doi Inthanon National Park – Chiang Mai (88 km): 1.27 hr

After breakfast, depart for Doi Inthanon National Park.home to Thailand’s highest peak -Doi Inthanon. The park is especially popular among bird watchers, with more than 300 species reported to be living in the area. Visit the mountain’s summit to see the shrine of Chao Inthawitchayanon, the former prince of Chiang Mai, before stopping at Wat Phra That Chom Thong with its holy relic and ancient treasures. A short trek along Michael’s Trail offers a beautiful and unforgettable experience. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. Afterwards, proceed to Chiang Mai for the conclusion of the tour

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Hotel accommodation with local breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements applied)
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary
  • Tips for drivers and hotel porters
  • Drinking water

Our services do not include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above
 
 
 

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