Northern Thailand Self-drive Tuk Tuk

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day tour

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: All day

10 hours    English    Chiang Mai

tour highlights

  • On the quiet roads out of Chiang Mai learn to drive your own tuk tuk!
  • Go through a training program on a local football field to pass your test
  • Explorer the local winding roads in your own iconic three-wheeled machine
  • Drive to a local temple and later enjoy a tasty Thai lunch
  • Visit an ethical elephant home and walk with the elephants to a river
  • Enjoy rafting down the local river

tour details

The perfect day trip for anyone in Chiang Mai who wants to witness authentic rural life, get up close and personal with elephants, try some bamboo rafting and drive your very own Tuk Tuk… yes that’s right, driving your very own Tuk Tuk! Fully insured and meeting Diethelm’s high standards for quality and safety, this is the ultimate Northern Thailand adventure! Don’t forget to bring your driving license from home, as you discover northern Thailand the way few foreigners ever have.

tour description

07:45AM You can either meet the group at the Chiang Mai Gate Hotel at 07:45, or we will pick you up from your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30, (note - pick up's can only be provided for hotels inside the Chiang Mai 'middle ring road') and then transfer by minivan to our base for the day nestled in the Mae Wang valley.

09:30AM (Approx.) On arrival in Mae Wang, our team will introduce you to your Tuk Tuks and begin your driving training. No problem if you don't want to drive a Tuk Tuk; you can enjoy the joys of nature's air-conditioning in in the back.

NOTE: all drivers must be aged 18 or over and hold a valid manual driving license.

10:30AM (Approx.) The Tuk Tuks are pretty easy to master and once everyone is feeling comfortable behind the wheel we'll head through tiny rural roads, snaking through farming villages and past rural Temples. One of our guides always drives the lead Tuk Tuk making sure that you don't lose your way and no-one is tempted to go too fast! With frequent stops to explore and, importantly, make sure everyone has a good opportunity to drive, you'll get a great insight into real rural life in Northern Thailand.

11:30AM (Approx.) By late morning we'll arrive at the elephant home. After being introduced to the elephants, who have been taken out of a life of trekking, help the mahouts feed them.
Lunch is a feast of traditional Thai food, adjacent to the elephants giving more time for observation

1:00PM (Approx.) After lunch walk with the mahouts and their elephants (NOTE: No elephant riding is allowed) through the local countryside to the river where you can help the mahouts wash the elephants - a fantastic experience for you and the elephants!

3:00PM (Approx.) Now it's time to enjoy floating along the local river on a traditional bamboo raft.

4:OOPM (Approx.) Jump back into your Tuk Tuk and head back down the valley enjoying your last moments behind the wheel of a real Thailand 'icon'. Be sure to have your camera out to catch the surprise of the local community when they see you driving your very own Tuk Tuk!

4:45PM (Approx.) On reaching The Tuk Tuk Club HQ, transfer into a minivan for the 75 minute drive back to Chiang Mai

6:00pm (Approx.)
Arrive back in Chiang Mai city.


  • Transfers to and from Chiang Mai city
  • 7:45 at the meeting point (Chiang Mai Gate Hotel) or between 8:00
  • 8:30 from your city centre hotel
  • A tuk tuk (up to 3 travellers per vehicle)
  • Tuk tuk driving training
  • A visit to a local elephant home
  • Lunch at the elephant home
  • Bamboo rafting along the local river
  • Water throughout the day
  • Passionate and professional tour guides looking after you every step of the way


  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditures, such as meals, drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities, etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals


  • This is a fully insured & legal experience

  • The Tuk Tuks themselves are registered as private vehicles (not taxi's) and have 'car' insurance.

  • All travellers who wish to drive a tuk tuk must have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and ideally an International Driving Permit as well
    (particularly for those whose driving license is not in English).

  • Tuk Tuks are relatively simple to drive, however training and experience is also provided during the driver training session.

  • Training takes place on private land and not a public road

  • No traveller is allowed to drive a Tuk Tuk on a public road until the team are satisfied that they have the requisite skills to be able to do so safely and there is a check list that must be completed for each and every driver.

  • The tuk tuk driving is on quiet roads in the hills surrounding Chiang Mai and the excursion includes transport to/from Chiang Mai. There is no tuk tuk driving in Chiang Mai.

  • All trips are limited to never exceeding 50kmh.

  • Driving is done in convoy. This is managed by the lead Tuk Tuk always being driven by a staff member who therefore sets the speed of all, and the rear of the convoy is followed by a support vehicle meaning that all participants are, in effect, cocooned from other road users.

  • The maximum group size for each trip is 9 people total
Tour code: EXCFNTTB

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