Northern Thailand Hilltribes Trek
Once upon a time, Northern Thailand was off-the-radar; the sort of place only true-blue adventurers knew about. Now that the secret is out, though, its once-isolated hilltribe villages are swamped with tourists. For the real thing, though, you’ve gotta go deeper. Join us as we trek further into the hills to rice fields and lush valleys far from the crowds, learn about traditional medicine from a village shaman, and explore the deep cave of Tham Lod by bamboo raft. The magic of Northern Thailand is still out there; you just have to know where to find it. Now, you do.
3-day trek to remote hilltribe villages. G Adventures-supported community stays. Lod Cave visit and bamboo rafting. Free time to explore Chiang Mai. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore the vibrant colours of Chiang Mai, trek through Northern Thailand, meet the friendly locals, support tribes in remote locations by experiencing their homestays
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
G Adventures requires your passport number and date of birth before we can confirm your booking. Please make sure you give this information to your travel agent.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our CEOs, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 5. Please note this trip runs often in order to provide maximum flexibility when choosing dates. It’s possible your group size will be fairly small.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap.
Open pickup truck, van, trekking, raft
About our Transportation
Land Transfers & Included Tours/activities: Many of the land transfers and included tours will be by private van, car or taxi, while others may be shared with other travellers depending on availability, nature of the activity and destination. For transfers, you may have a local non English-speaking driver only, for included tours, you will be accompanied by an English speaking local guide.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (2 nts), basic huts (2 nts, multi-share).
Please remember that hotel/lodge/resort standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.
Day 1 of the “Full Itinerary” section provides an example of the hotels used on this trip.
For your departure specific joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, your MyG account, the G Adventures App or consult your travel agent.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit.
Most travellers prefer to carry a softbag or rolling bag of small to medium size can be suitable. If you have combined Independent trip with some other G Adventures trip (basic or standard) we recommend you to travel with a backpack. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones.
If you don’t know what type of clothes to bring, you can check different weather web sites. We also recommend you to bring sun protection creams (better to buy them at home, because ones in Thailand are produced for local types of skin).
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Dry shoes – sealed, sneakers, hiking boots
Wet Shoes – crocs, sandals, reef shoes etc
Light Jacket – March-November
Medium Jacket – Dec-Feb
Long pants for night, shorts ok for day
Respectful clothing covering knees and shoulders for villages
Towel or sarong
Sml/med backpack (min 20ltr)
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
First Aid Kit, personal medicines (including car sickness)
Sleep sheet (other bedding provided)
Feminine Hygiene Products (these are not available in the villages)
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Thailand: Most nationalities including Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, American, Belgian, Swedish, German, Dutch and Danish passport holders do not require a visa for a stay of 30 days or less. If staying in Thailand for more than 30 days, you will be required to obtain a tourist visa in advance.
During this tour the local currency you will use is the Thai Baht. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Departure tax is included in all international and domestic tickets.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information about before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any 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 our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist trekking guides.
Allow USD30-40 for meals not included.
4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: ATHH, ID: 23698
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Chiang Mai
Arrive at any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Chiang Mai/Ban Pha Mon (1B, 1L, 1D)
Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found. Trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these diverse hilltribe villages; often, each will have their own unique language, clothing style, and belief system that differs significantly from those of neighbouring tribes. You are well looked after by your CEO and local guides, who take the responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying food supplies.
The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also, please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate — your CEO and guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic; remember, it’s all about an authentic and unique experience!
Hilltribe Trek Day 1
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Ban Pha Mon/Ban Muang Pam (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek for about six hours and between villages, over farmlands and grasslands and acend to the ridgeline. Learn about bush medicine, seasonal fruits and plants and seeds. Slip on your wet shoes and descend to the Huew Hin Poon Creek for lunch.
Here, go for a swim and help the local guides make a friction fire and prepare lunch. Continue another hour and a half to the jungle Buddhist temple outside the second village. Spend the night in the Karen village learn about wood carving, weaving and cooking. Opt to learn about medicine from a shaman or play football with the locals.
Hilltribe Trek Day 2
Day 4 Ban Muang Pam/Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)
After breakfast, leave the village and continue on, trekking beside the Pam River through lush jungle. Arrive at Tham Lod, a 1666m deep cave. Enter by bamboo raft and move to different chambers – a truly unique experience. After lunch, drive back to Chiang Mai for some free time to explore.
Hilltribe Trek Day 3
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Chiang Mai (1B)
Depart at any time.