Journey: Chiang Mai Thailand
Five days, adventure with mae hong son and chiang rai
Mae Hong Son, the village in the fog, lies in a valley of authentic culture. There is much to explore, such as the prehistoric Tham Lod caves in Pang Mapha, waterfalls, Burmese-style temples, mountain tribes and the intriguing Palong Langnek mountain peoples. The local culture is evident in the architecture and the friendly population, a rich mix of Lanna Thai, Karen and Burmese mountain tribes, with corresponding traditions. The charm and serene tranquility of Mae Hong Son create a perfect atmosphere of peace. A vacation in paradise!
Nice points to know
Professional local english speaking guide
Transport by minibus or SUV and flight ticket from Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son or vice versa with KAN Air (budget airline.)
Stay in simple tourist class hotels with air conditioning and private bathroom
All listed meals and entrance fees
Excluding : Other meals, fresh and / or alcoholic drinks, personal expenses unreported transfers, airline tickets, visa fees *, baggage handling and optional excursions.
Introducing Mae Hong Son, by boat to the Long Necks, beautiful temples.
We pick up you early in the morning at your hotel and take you to Chiang Mai Airport for flight to Mae Hong Son. The guide is waiting for you. He guides you to a restaurant in the city. After lunch we go to the pier, from where we go to the Long Neck tribe with a longtail boat.
Their village is located on the border of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). We can see how these people live there; The women wear bronze rings around their neck day and night. In total, they can weigh 4 kilos! By boat we return to Mae Hong Son to visit two beautiful Burmese temples (200 steps!) And the colorful local market through the Sutongpe Bridge. This bamboo bridge was built by the local community so that monks can walk from the temples across the rice fields to the town.
Transfer to Fern Resort. This resort is a ‘natural pearl’ in the Mae Hong Son flora and fauna. It is a little 7 kilometers outside the town, in a peaceful valley on the threshold of Mae Surin National Park. Happy Hour starts here at 17:00!
Colorful mountain stems, prehistoric Tham Lod cave, the artistic town of Pai, stunning nature
After breakfast, it is time to leave Mae Hong Son. We go up the mountain to visit the colorful Lisu mountain village. The men are easily recognizable in their clothes: they wear brightly colored “broekstrakt” (mostly sky blue or light green). The beautiful womens of the women are deposited with strips of application work in all the colors of the rainbow. We go by 4×4 or minibus to the Black Lahu tribe. Little is known about the origins of the Lahu’s. It seems to have been excellent hunters. They have also taken on a large scale with the opium cultivation.
We drive further to visit the Tham Lod cave. This huge limestone cave is hidden in the dense jungle and through the cave flows a river. Local residents ignite kerosene lamps and pull us on bamboo floats across this mysterious giant cave. Inside, there are several images from Buddhist mythology and sarcophages from the Bronze era and prehistoric cave paintings. Our guide takes us to all corners.
We lunch in a restaurant on our way to the town of Pai. After lunch, we visit the Sai Ngam hot springs. The spring water is 36 degrees so perfect for a hot tub (take swimming and towel!).
Pai is located in the narrow valley of the Pai River, surrounded by wooded mountains that belongs to Thailand’s most beautiful. We drive over the back of the mountain to the top. We stop to see the amazing panorama of innumerable mountains. On the winding road downhill we visit the village of the Hmong mountain trunk, probably the best known. The men usually wear black or dark pants. The women often wear their hair in a knot. The Hmong make beautiful sweets in sober tones that are available for sale on the evening market in Pai. Then on to Baantawan Pai Guesthouse or equivalent for overnight.
Canyon adventure with steep slopes, beautiful vistas and deep caves
First breakfast and then on the way to Thailand’s Grand Canyon to see how amazing the visit to the Pai Canyon is? We can spend the whole day here except when you have a high fear. Enjoy the adventurous walk over the narrow canyon trails and the wide view and take advantage of the many photo moments.
Further for a visit (and a soda) at the historic ‘Memorial’ bridge over the Pai River built by the Japanese during World War II.
We continue the journey through the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range to the famous Chiang Dao Cave Complex. In one of the caves, in this 12 kilometer deep cave system, is a marble Burmese Buddha statue. The guide will guide you and we will show you the immediate area. Do not get lost! Afterwards we drive the mountains towards the town of Thaton for lunch in a restaurant along the river.
On the way we regularly stop at beautiful viewpoints to enjoy a cup of coffee and at a Hmong mountain village sponsored by the royal family to grow coffee, strawberries and vegetables instead of opium.
The town of Thaton is the starting point of a popular boat trip to Chiang Rai. The Kok River flows from Burma, Thailand. Overnight at the Khun Mai Baan Suan Resort or equivalent.
Chinese refugees, ancient capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom, time for powerful opium and the Golden Triangle
Have a nice breakfast and then we’ll have tea in the Chinese refugee village at the Doi Mae Salong. The village is on top of the mountain where Thailand’s best tea comes from. In addition, there are many stylish wooden houses from the Chinese and there are ponies through the village. The view is superior and we visit the Tangerine and Dragonfly plantations. Of course we also find the best arabica coffee plantation. Time for a sturdy cup of coffee.
We have lunch at a Chinese restaurant in the village. On our way to Chiang Sean we visit a Yao and Akha village and local sanctuaries. Once in Chiang Sean we visit the ruins of this ancient capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom. Then on to the Golden Triangle (famous for the famous opium trade), where we enjoy the wide view of the Mekong River.
The Hall of Opium has an intoxicating appeal! Do not think; “I’ll be back in half an hour.” Certainly not when your children take along. Visitors to this museum take a walk through the long and highly varied history of opium, originally a drug, but later also known as the highly addictive hard drug.
At the end of the day check-in at the Poonya Mantra Resort or equivalent for the last night.
In the evening it is free to see the area of the Golden Triangle on your own.
Experience the market at the border with Burma, apengrot, unique white and black temples
After breakfast, we leave the resort to visit the busy town of Mae Sai on the border between Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). We see the local market, where many products from Burma are for sale, such as green cigarettes, sarongs and countless plants. We also visit the Burma jade (processing) factory. Thai lunch in a restaurant at the border.
In the afternoon we visit the ‘monkey cave.’ It’s a solid walk to the cave. Inside is the temple of a monk who meditated here in the past. We leave in the direction of Chiang Mai but first stop at Wat Rong Khun – the White Temple. Probably you have seen many temples in Thailand but this is truly unique. The outside is completely white, it is a masterpiece that is still being worked on!
Then we visit the Thawul House Museum, or the Black Temple, the life and masterpiece of another artist. Beautiful wood carvings, animal skins and skulls provide a mysterious atmosphere. Like the White Temple, very photogenic!
We are still visiting the ‘Mae Kachan Natural Hot Springs’, a collection of market stalls and a pit in the ground with very hot water in which bystanders cook eggs. Late in the afternoon we reach Chiang Mai and transfer to your hotel.