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About your trip
Watch the sun rise over the highest mountain in Thailand and feed elephants in a sanctuary on this original trip through the northwest of Thailand. You’ll be joined by a small-group of like-minded travellers on this intimate 10-day adventure through Chiang Mai, Pai and the Doi Inthanon National Park. Float through a 1,666m (5,466ft) cave and watch the sun set over the scenic Pai Canyon. In between jungle trekking and waterfall swims, enjoy a slice of slow living at a geothermal hot springs and savour local Thai delicacies. This off-the-beaten-track journey will show you an authentic side to the former Lanna Kingdom. All of our trips are flightless in destination, with 100% of all carbon emissions offset. It's just part of how we see the world while being good to it.
- Explore the street art and food of Chiang Mai by bicycle
- Discover Kho Kuu Bamboo Bridge and Pam Bok Waterfall
- Marvel at the sunset from Pai Canyon
- Trek through the Mae Hong Son jungle past idyllic waterfalls
- Hike up Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand, at sunrise
- Feed and bathe elephants in a rescue sanctuary
Touch down at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), where a private transfer will be waiting to whisk you off to your hotel. Our Local Insider will be there to greet you and will accompany the group throughout the trip. Meet your fellow travellers at 5pm over a welcome drink and an orientation talk on northern Thailand, highlighting any cultural dos and don’ts. As the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai has a rich cultural heritage distinct from the cities in the south. Get to know the group over dinner, followed by a traditional Lanna show.
Kick off your first full day in Chiang Mai with a walking tour, exploring the alleyways and temples of the Old Town. Home to many creative types, it’s no wonder the city is alive with art. After lunch, hop on a bicycle to tour the street art and food. Lanna cuisine is a medley of hot, salty and sour flavours. Must-try delicacies include khao soi, coconut curry noodle soup, and sai oua, spiced pork sausage. Regroup at the hotel for an evening briefing on your epic road trip, which starts tomorrow.
Rise and shine with a robust cup of local joe before hitting the road to Pai. Located three hours from Chiang Mai, this dreamy town is the gateway to beautiful Mae Hong Son province but is a charmer in its own right. En route, you’ll be dropped off at the unusual Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall. You can easily scramble up the cascade, thanks to the limestone, which makes the rocks grippy rather than slippery. Come evening, bed down at your resort in Pai.
Fancy another day chasing waterfalls? This morning, you’ll visit the postcard-perfect Pam Bok Waterfall, hidden within a rocky canyon. After a swim in the clear waters, head to the nearby Kho Kuu So Bridge. This bamboo bridge stretches across large paddies, offering panoramic views. Next, it’s on to the Pai Land Split, a vast gorge created by an earthquake in 2008; enjoy a juice here while swinging in a hammock. Finish up the day at Pai Canyon, where you can explore the narrow, twisty trails with drops either side and watch the sun set behind the mountains.
You'll be heading underground this morning to Tham Lod Cave, one of the largest and most impressive in the country. As you make your way through the cavern on a raft, you’ll feel like Indiana Jones on a mission – watch out for the bats! Next stop: Ngam Hot Springs. Lower yourself into the therapeutic waters and any tension in your muscles will melt away. Rinse off at the Mo Paeng Waterfall, or hurl yourself down its natural waterslide, before ending the day at the towering Yun Lai viewpoint, with vistas over Pai and the valley below.
It’s time to leave Pai and make the 2.5hr journey inland to Mae Hong Son, where you’ll have the day at leisure in your hotel in the mountains. Take a dip in the pool or enjoy lounging in the sun with a fruit shake. Spend the afternoon chilling, or you might prefer to join an optional hike in the nearby forest, inhabited by rare, brightly coloured birds. Once you’ve snapped the requisite pictures, make your way back to the hotel for cocktails at the bar.
Enjoy a lazy breakfast this morning at the hotel. Today, you’ll embark on a one-day jungle trek around the hills of Mae Hong Son. Starting from the hotel, you’ll stomp uphill through the lush vegetation, stopping at waterfalls along the way. Refuel over a picnic lunch – you might even be able to spot the craggy mountainous border with Myanmar in the distance. Wend your way through the palms and rubber trees, back to the hotel. Round off your time in Mae Hong Son by watching the sun turn crimson red from the Pha Bong lookout point.
Today, you'll continue the journey southwards to Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand at 2,565m (8,415ft), but it's actually a relatively easy hike to the top. Don't overdo it, though, as you need to save your energy for the sunrise trek tomorrow. Check in at the hotel, where you’ll be served a traditional Thai tasting feast for lunch. Expect local delicacies such as nam phrik ong (pork and tomato chilli served with deep-fried pork crackling) alongside khao niaow (sticky rice). There’s an optional afternoon waterfall tour, or you can unwind by the outdoor pool. Spend the evening as you like.
Set your alarm for 4am – it’s an early start for a sunrise hike to the summit of Doi Inthanon. Watch the sun break through the clouds before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. Return to Chiang Mai, but not before a stop at the Elephant Nature Park, a rescue centre that provides a safe space for former working elephants to live out their golden years. You'll feed, trek and bathe these giant mammals before hitting the road once more. Top off the trip with a farewell dinner at a riverside restaurant in Chiang Mai.
Take it slow this morning and indulge in a late breakfast. Checkout isn’t until midday, so you can laze by the pool or pop down to the nearby Warorot Market for any final souvenirs. Wave goodbye to your fellow travellers at midday before scooting off to Chiang Mai airport (CNX)
- Three nights premium hotel accommodation
- Three nights eco-resort accommodation
- Two nights jungle resort accommodation
- One night riverside hotel accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Nine breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners
- Local Insider
- Return airport transfers to Chiang Mai (CNX)
- Lanna dinner show
- Chiang Mai walking tour
- Street art and food bicycle tour
- Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall
- Kho Kuu Bamboo Bridge
- Pam Bok Waterfall
- Pai Land Split
- Pai Canyon
- Tham Lod Cave
- Ngam Hot Springs
- Mo Paeng Waterfall
- Yun Lai viewpoint
- Mae Hong Son guided jungle trek
- Sunset from Pha Bong viewpoint
- Sunrise hike up Doi Inthanon
- Elephant sanctuary visit
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Sandwiched between the Tha Phae Gate and the Ping River in Chiang Mai, Banthai Village has 41 rooms centred around an outdoor pool that's dotted with sun loungers. Unwind with a fruity cocktail at the poolside bistro after a day exploring.
You’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled across a jungle oasis at this boutique resort, where charming hut-like suites are surrounded by greenery and breathtaking mountain views. The highlight? A truly spectacular outdoor pool that you will not want to get out of.
Enjoy an idyllic stay at this rustic 30-room resort, set in a lush valley just outside Mae Hong Son. Take a dip in the outdoor pool with views across the paddy fields. Come evening, nab a seat at the Rice Terrace Bar and drink in the gorgeous sunset views.
Doi Inthanon Riverside Resort
With its peaceful location by the river, this resort will help you relax into a slower pace. You don’t have to stray far, as there's a restaurant and large swimming pool on site. Bicycles are provided for free, plus there are hiking trails from the front door of the hotel.
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
- Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
- We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
- Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
- Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.
You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure.
Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you.
For the full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.