5-Day Northern Thailand Off the Beaten Track

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Superior

Tour Period: 5 Days

tour highlights

  • See a traditional Ulong tea ceremony in a tea plantation
  • Drive through breathtaking mountain scenery
  • Observe the distinctive ways of life of hill tribes
  • Bamboo rafting
  • Learn the secrets of traditional northern Thai crafts

tour details

The Golden Triangle, meeting of the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos, was once a major heroin producing region, as documented in the interactive Hall of Opium. The stunning mountain scenery in this area provides shelter for many people from other lands who retain their distinctive cultures. We’ll visit the tea-growing Yunnan people, originating in Southern China, the Akhu and Lahu hill-tribes, and the Palong, who emigrated from Burma and retain their colourful traditional costumes. We’ll also stop in the delighful village of Mae Salong, founded by former Kuomintang (anti-Communist) soldiers, to admire its Chinese temples, tea shops and busy market. On the way, you’ll experience a bamboo rafting and interesting demonstrations of traditional crafts.

Our guide will meet you at Chiang Rai airport or your hotel in Chiang Rai. Depart for Doi Wawi via Mae Suai. A 2-hour drive uphill through a scenic landscape brings you to a settlement of Yunnan people. This ethnic group had immigrated to Thailand from the south-westernmost province of China. You have the opportunity to visit a tea plantation and to witness the traditional tea ceremony of the Ulong tea. Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with visits to Akha and Lahu villages before checking at Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa - Bamboo Cottage

Meal included: Lunch at local restaurant
After breakfast, depart to the Golden Triangle for a boat trip on the Mekong River towards the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge. Visit of the Hall of Opium (closed on Mondays), an interactive museum pertaining to opium culture, it's history and trade. Then we start exploring the mountain regions of Northern Thailand. We depart for Doi Tung, where we visit the Mae Fah Luang Botanic Garden and Royal Villa, which originally was built as a retreat for HRH the Princess Mother. Parts of the villa are now open to the general public. Explore the picturesque garden surrounding the villa and enjoy the grandiose views. After lunch, our next stop will be at Phra That Doi Tung, one of Chiang Rai's most popular landmarks. We continue on winding roads to Doi Mae Salong (Doi translates into mountain), famous for its tea plantations. The splendid views on the way alone are worth driving to Mae Salong. The little town was founded in the 1960s by former Kuomintang (anti-Communist) soldiers, who had been expelled from Burma (Myanmar) and settled in the area. Mae Salong is 1800 meters above the sea level and cool enough for Japanese cherry trees to bloom - as you will see if you come in the right season. The town has Chinese temples, open air bazaars, and shops that offer Chinese specialties such as tea and locally grown preserved fruit. Mae Salong is also a market place for the Lisu and Akha from the surrounding hill tribe villages. We descend to lower grounds and visit the Akha hill-tribe community project at Ban Lorcha, before checking in at Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort - Bamboo Cottage.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart for Ang Khang via Fang, passing picturesque and breathtaking scenery of mountains and valleys along the way. Check in at Ang Khang Nature Resort, followed by lunch at the resort. In the afternoon take a stroll to visit the Royal Project with its huge and wonderful garden of flowerbeds, fruit, orchards and extraordinary rock garden. For those who wish to experience a breathtaking view of being surrounded by mountains and valleys, just walk a bit further into the forest. Overnight at Angkhang Nature Resort - Deluxe room

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at hotel
Departure to Nor Lae Village, situated on the Thai and Burmese border. Originally from the Chan State in Burma, approximately 2,000 people of the Palong, or Da-ang tribe migrated from Burma to Thailand around 1984. The Palong people have their own language and culture which, like that of the Muser hilltribe, follows the ancient traditions of their ancestors. The Palong hilltribe make their living agriculturally, growing vegetables for which they receive the support of the Royal Project. Women wearing traditional clothes and colorful belts can be seen following their daily chores. 4 kilometers further is the Black Muser village of Khob Dong. Here life carries on much as it has done for centuries. Families live together in single room bamboo houses raised 4 or 5 feet above the ground, with a roof made out of grass. Next follows a scenic drive towards Chiang Dao, which offers splendid views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. After lunch at a local restaurant, on the way visit Chiang Dao Cave, which penetrate deep into the limestone hills. The caverns contain an assortment of Buddha and hermit images as well as some impressive natural rock formation. Proceed to Mae Rim. Late afternoon we will check in at the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge and rest of day at leisure. Overnight at Hmong Hilltribe Lodge - Standard room

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
After breakfast, at leisure in morning or begin the Hilltribe Cultural experience by understanding their basic history, way of life and culture. Take a walk through the farming and agriculture area to a small Mae Khi village where we visit Hmong Shaman's house (the spiritual belief of Hmong people). Return to the resort and check out. Lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, visit Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park, it's an eco-friendly, naturally built outdoor museum park focused on introducing and explaining the unique steps involved in making our world famous paper products from elephant poo fibres. Afterwards, transfer to Chiang Mai city hotel.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at local restaurant


Our package tour prices are inclusive of -

  • Transfers and tours by air-conditioned car or minibus with English-, German
  • or French speaking guide
  • Baggage handling
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals as specified in the program (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch)
  • Accommodation in air-conditioned room with shower or bath
  • Service charges and VAT


Not included are -

  • Other meals than mentioned in the program
  • Optional tours and expenditures of personal nature


Note: Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on road
  • and weather conditions and availability of rooms.
Tour code: CEIDBGAR

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