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Hilltribe Experience

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highlights
  • Discover real Thai countryside and its people with a 3-day trek into the hills of Northern Thailand
  • Local guides deepen the learning and appreciation of different villages, each with their own language, clothing style and belief systems
  • Meet and chat with friendly villagers and discover more about their unique cultures
  • Stay in atmospheric wooden houses in different hilltribe villages each night
The Hilltribe Experience tour starts and ends in Chiang Mai. The Hilltribe Experience is a Trekking tour that takes 5 days taking you from Chiang Mai, Thailand and through other destinations in Asia.

Pull on your walking boots, stretch those leg muscles and take to the hills on a classic Intrepid trek through Thailand’s hilltribe country. Walk along winding jungle tracks and through green fields, observing what life is really like for villagers in this remote area, and sleep in traditional bamboo huts at night. Make friends with welcoming tribespeople as you hike through this remote region where each tribe has its own distinct language, style of dress and religion and learn the secrets to jungle survival from those who know best. Stay on a few extra days to explore ancient temples in Chiang Mai - there are over 300! If you’re after a short city escape and the chance to experience the real Thailand away from the tourist crowds, then this trip is just the ticket.
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time before the welcome meeting tonight at 6.30pm. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There are so many things to do here – spectacular temples, delicious food, an enormous night market, a picturesque river-front and fantastic shopping, so perhaps arrive a few days early. Chiang Mai is a great place to hire a bicycle, sign up for a Thai cooking class, or loosen those muscles with some traditional Thai massage. After the welcome meeting your evening is free to explore the city as you please. Your local guide will meet you again tomorrow morning.

Notes: The trekking route is not fixed and may change due to weather and local conditions. Please bear this is mind.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This morning around 8:00am, leave Chiang Mai with your local guide by songthaew and head South (approximately 1 hour). At Chom Thong Market stock up on snacks and water for the trek, you will also have time to visit Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara, which is highly respected because of the sacred Buddha relic that is enshrined here. The Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong was constructed halfway through the 15th century located where the Buddha relic was found. The oldest structure is the chedi, which was built around 1450. The chedi is a large golden structure with a square base and a spire on top of that. Next, continue on to Wachirathan Waterfall, then on the way up to the mountain, visit Hmong Hilltribe Market at Baan Khun Klang. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. After lunch, start trekking at Doi Pha Tang, today you will trek 2-3 hours along an easy undulating path, mostly walking downhill through the natural forest. On the trail, you will pass the Mai Phai waterfall which is a great spot to take a break. Then, hike further through mixed deciduous forest. You’ll then arrive at this evening’s destination, a Karen Hilltribe Village called Baan Tin Tok. Around 20 Christian families of Karen people live in this village. Enjoy dinner cooked by your host, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals, perhaps checking out the local naturally dyed clothes. You’ll stay in a wooden house, surrounded by an organic vegetable farm, with shared facilities. Conditions are basic, but this is a truly unforgettable Intrepid experience!
Accommodation
  • homestay
Wake up to the sounds of roosters and pigs, fuel up on breakfast around 8:30am, then maybe chat with local women and see the handicrafts that they sell, perhaps choosing to purchase some – spending your money on community enterprises directly can help support community development. Farewell your hosts and begin today's walk, which will take around 5-6 hours today. Make your way through agricultural land, step paddy fields and jungle, before stopping at Baan Den Karen Village. Here you will take a break before descending for approximately 1.30 hours to a well-deserved lunch in a beautiful setting at your 2nd Karen village, Baan Ha Kiah. Enjoy noodles, vegetables, and fruit – maybe using some chopsticks that a porter has shaped from bamboo along the way. After lunch, continue your trek for another hour to another waterfall. Relax and rest your legs, before continuing to the last Karen village at Baan Huey Luang. There are around 120 people living in this village with a mixture of Buddhist and Christian families. Explore the village on a short walk and tonight you’ll enjoy a cultural treat – a cultural show by the local people, mainly about the Karen Instrument Player. You will stay in a Wooden House again tonight with shared facilities. After dinner, you will have a chance to share the life experience with the Karen Homestay Host.
Accommodation
  • homestay
Enjoy a natural animal wakeup call around 8am this morning, try and chat with the locals and discover more about their culture, then get some fuel – maybe pancakes or French toast! – on-board for today’s walk. Then it’s the start of your last day of trekking, and an easy walk to finish it off. Spot the local agricultural practices as you trek through farmland for the last 1.30-2 hours of the trek until you arrive at Mae Ya Waterfalls, the biggest waterfalls in Doi Inthanont National Park. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. Then continue back to Chiang Mai (approximately 2.5-3 hours), arriving around 4pm and checking into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city. Maybe head out for a final celebratory meal as this Hilltribe Experience comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
This adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. A transfer to the airport for your departure flight from Chiang Mai is included.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights), homestay (2 nights)
Meals
  • 4 Breakfast, 3 Lunch, 2 Dinner
Transport
  • Songthaew , Private vehicle
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Hilltribe village visit
  • Hilltribe - 3 days trek
  • Hilltribe Cultural show
  • Complimentary Airport Departure Transfer
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Chiang Mai are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Hilltribe Experience tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 5 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 12 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Chiang Mai/ Chiang Mai
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Hilltribe Experience
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 12 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Hilltribe Experience tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Hilltribe Experience tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Hilltribe Experience tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    13 Jun 2019

  • Trip title

    Hilltribe Experience

  • Trip code

    TTAX

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Pull on your walking boots, stretch those leg muscles and take to the hills on a classic Intrepid trek through Thailand’s hilltribe country. Walk along winding jungle tracks and through green fields, observing what life is really like for villagers in this remote area, and sleep in traditional bamboo huts at night. Make friends with welcoming tribespeople as you hike through this remote region where each tribe has its own distinct language, style of dress and religion and learn the secrets to jungle survival from those who know best. Stay on a few extra days to explore ancient temples in Chiang Mai - there are over 300! If you’re after a short city escape and the chance to experience the real Thailand away from the tourist crowds, then this trip is just the ticket.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    Short Breaks,Walking & Trekking

  • Transport

    Songthaew,Private vehicle

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Physical preparation

    For the trek on this trip the general rule is the more preparation you have done for it, the more you will enjoy it! Although we are not walking at altitude or setting any distance records each day, the trek can still be demanding, as we walk through hilly terrain with our packs, and the temperature is often hot and humid. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of being active regularly. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trek to its fullest.

  • Joining point instructions

    An arrival transfer is included on this trip. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
    Our local representative will be holding a sign with your name when you exit the airport terminal. Should you need to contact our office for any reason, please call the following numbers:
    +66 282 2863 business hours
    +66 898 103 722 after hours.
    A taxi from the airport to your hotel in Chiang Mai costs about THB150-200. Buy a ticket at the taxi kiosk outside the baggage claim area in the airport.

  • Finish point instructions

    If you have a transfer to the Chiang Mai Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your Guesthouse 1.5hrs (90mins) before your flight time for domestic flights and 2.5hrs before your flight time for International flights. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please call the Thailand 24hr emergency number +66 89 810 3722

  • Group leader

    The aim of our local leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

    Your local leader will meet you on the first day for a group meeting and will then accompany you on days 2-4 on the hilltribe trek.

  • Visas

    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
    Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

    THAILAND:
    If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival. If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.

    If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.

  • Is this trip right for you

    Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.

    This trip is lead by our local representative – they will meet you on Day 1 at the group meeting, then meet you again on the morning of Day 2 to begin the Hilltribe trek. They will not stay in the hotel in Chiang Mai.

    This trip includes treks of moderate difficulty of 4-5 hours on Days 2 and 3, and requires you to carry your trek pack and any additional personal items required for two nights. Therefore a good level of fitness is required to maximise your enjoyment of this trip.

    There is 2 nights spent in hilltribe villages in traditional wooden houses on this trip. Conditions are basic with share facilities, but this is a truly unforgettable Intrepid experience!

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your leader or local guide will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where and what to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility.

    MEALS ON TREK:
    Meals will be prepared by the porter/guide during the trek. We will stop for a simple lunch of rice or noodles and a rest during the day. Bottled drinking water is not included on this trip.

  • Money matters

    SPENDING MONEY:
    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

    We recommend USD40 for meals not included.

    The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB). The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via ATMs which are available in most towns and cities. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels and more upmarket shops and shopping centres.

    DEPARTURE TAX
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

    The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    Local guides: We suggest US$2-3 per day for local guides.

    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-2 per day for drivers.

    In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

  • A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

  • Accommodation notes

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for your arrival, especially if you're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible, which means you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, you can store your luggage and explore the new destination.

    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

  • Your fellow travellers

    On this Short Break Adventure the fellow travellers that may join you during activities can come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of their various needs and preferences - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep others waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best adventures we operate are those where the dynamics between travellers works well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your Short Break Adventure prior to departure.

    As a single traveller on a Short Break Adventure you will always get your own accommodation where available. However on this trip some accommodation is only available on a shared basis with other travellers, who might not necessarily be Intrepid travellers. This shared accommodation can vary from twin to multishare, so refer to the daily itinerary for more details on your accommodation. Note that solo travellers will still need to pay the single room price for this Short Break.

    Please note many of our Short Break Adventures operate with a minimum of 1 person, so there may be instances where you are the only person on the trip.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Due to the trekking components on this trip the minimum age is 12 years old

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (2 nights),homestay (2 nights)

  • Important information

    1. Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.
    2. This trip is operated by one of our local partners in Thailand and therefore you may be joined by a mixture of Intrepid-booked passengers and other travellers during activities.

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  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
  • Trip Details: ... Read More Read Less
How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
New customised trip enquiry by {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}:
  • Title: {{myRequest.title}}
  • Country: {{!!tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation?tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].geoLocation:myRequest.country}}
  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
  • Activity: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].activity.join(', ')}}
  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
""
Can you handle {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}'s enquiry? Rejection Reason
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
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