Northern Thailand Self-drive Tuk Tuk: Join In

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day tour

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: All day

8.5 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

After being driven by vehicle out of Chiang Mai to the Mae Wang area, begin your tuk tuk driving training. Those not wishing to drive can still stick along for the ride and enjoy the breeze from the backseat. The tuk tuks are surprisingly easy to master and once you're confident we'll head out on narrow rural roads winding through farming villages in convoy.

Arriving at the elephant home, you'll have the opportunity to interact with these incredible animals and after lunch walk with the mahouts to the river to help wash the elephants - a fantastic experience! Later in the afternoon, float lazily along the river on a traditional bamboo raft until it's time to jump back into your tuk tuk and wind your way back down the valley enjoying your last moments behind the wheel. As the road curves gently down into the valley be sure to have your camera out to catch the surprised looks of the locals when they see you driving your very own tuk tuk!


  • 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: EXCFNTTA

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