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ADVENTURE IN NORTHERN THAILAND

From $2,167/pp

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From $2,167/pp

Thailand

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ADVENTURE IN NORTHERN THAILAND

A truly amazing 11 Day Adventure in Northern Thailand and the very best way to experience this stunning part of the world, which many say is the ‘real’ Thailand. Get ready for a superb adventure from your seat in Thailand’s most iconic vehicle – the Tuk Tuk. This action-packed trip gets you right off the beaten track and into the heart of Thailand. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the mountains with the best view possible in our specially built Tuk Tuks, which are able to cope with the mountain roads with ease. Remote Temples, fascinating Hill Tribe communities, elephants, bamboo rafting, hiking, superb overnight locations, delicious food and, of course, your bright orange Tuk Tuk. There simply is no better way to experience real Thailand!

Description

A truly amazing 11 Day Adventure in Northern Thailand and the very best way to experience this stunning part of the world, which many say is the ‘real’ Thailand. Get ready for a superb adventure from your seat in Thailand’s most iconic vehicle – the Tuk Tuk. This action-packed trip gets you right off the beaten track and into the heart of Thailand. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the mountains with the best view possible in our specially built Tuk Tuks, which are able to cope with the mountain roads with ease. Remote Temples, fascinating Hill Tribe communities, elephants, bamboo rafting, hiking, superb overnight locations, delicious food and, of course, your bright orange Tuk Tuk. There simply is no better way to experience real Thailand!

Itinerary

Day 1

ARRIVAL, MEET YOUR TUK TUK, EXPLORE REMOTE TEMPLES AND SMALL RURAL COMMUNITIES

You’ll be picked up at 10:00am from the CHIANG MAI GATE HOTEL in Chiang Mai city and our team will transfer you by private minivan to The Tuk Tuk Club HQ in Mae Wang, around 45-60 minutes Southwest of the city.

On arrival you’ll check into the lovely local hotel which is your base for the next couple of nights, and then immediately get to meet your Tuk Tuk (you’ll become very fond of this wonderful machine over the next few days!) and of course meet your guide and support team.

You’ll then head for a delicious lunch at a ‘laid back’ local restaurant where your guide will run through all of the adventures ahead. Once your training is complete, you’re then off exploring tiny winding rural lanes, passing through rarely visited communities and fascinating Temples with stunning views. At one of the Temples you’ll receive a blessing for the adventure ahead giving you a real insight into how communities interact with Monks and their local Temple.

You’ll arrive back at base in the late afternoon in time to freshen up and head out for a delicious Thai dinner at a local ‘country – pub’. Great food, live music, brilliant views across the fields and a great way to end the day.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 3 HOURS INCLUDING DRIVER TRAINING DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 45 km

A Warm Welcome to Thailand and your first introduction to your trusty Tuk Tuk

Activities

  • Transfer To Our Base Camp
  • Full Tuk Tuk Orientation
  • Exploration Of Remote Temples & Rural Communities
  • Lunch Dinner & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/double accommodation in a very pleasant rural resort in Mae Wang – air-conditioning, en-suite facilities, Wi-fi.

Day 2

WATERFALLS, HILL TRIBE VILLAGES, ELEPHANTS AND BAMBOO RAFTING

After breakfast, you’re back into your Tuk Tuk (we guarantee you’ll already be possessive about which Tuk Tuk is ‘yours’!) and you’ll head through the countryside and small communities to a fantastic pagoda at a hilltop Temple with great views of the surrounding mountains, giving you a glimpse of where you’ll be heading tomorrow!

Then you'll head North up the valley, in your Tuk Tuk, to a fantastic small elephant home that is leading the way in taking elephants away from a life of trekking and instead creating an environment where people can learn about and spend time with elephants on their terms, not ours!

On arrival you’ll learn about the history of the elephants and what the team at the Elephant home have been doing to continually improve the lives of the elephants. Then, after a simple but filling lunch at the home (right next to the elephants), it’s time to enjoy the company of these wonderful animals. You’ll be able to help their mahouts feed them and then walk with them (no riding allowed!) to the local river where they take their daily bath.

After the elephants are clean, you’ll have a change of pace as you float gently downstream on bamboo rafts before it’s then time for a late afternoon Tuk Tuk convoy as you head back to the base camp to freshen up before heading out for another great dinner at a local family restaurant.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 3.5 HOURS SPREAD OUT DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 70 km

A day focused on the humane treatment and rehabilitation of local Elephants, finished off with some fun Bamboo rafting and a delicious local dinner

Activities

  • Visits To Temples & Pagodas
  • Elephant Home Experience
  • Bamboo Rafting
  • All Meals & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/double accommodation in a very pleasant rural resort in Mae Wang – air-conditioning, en-suite facilities, Wi-fi.

Day 3

AND WE’RE OFF – THAILAND’S HIGHEST MOUNTAIN HERE WE COME

After an early breakfast you’re back in the Tuk Tuk convoy and heading along some of the most spectacular roads towards Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon.

Your guide will be in the lead Tuk Tuk and everyone travels in convoy with the support vehicle at the rear (the support vehicle takes all your luggage, spare parts for the Tuk Tuks – always best to be prepared! – and huge amounts of water!). And do note that each Tuk Tuk has a walkie talkie so not only can your guide let you know all sorts of information but you can also ask any questions or simply chat to your fellow travellers!

The first 20-30km of the route is simple with gentle curving roads but you soon hit stunning switch back bends, breath-taking scenery and small Karen Hill Tribe communities as you make our way towards Doi Inthanon National Park. Enjoy the look of real surprise from everyone as they see Tuk Tuks this far up in the mountains – trust us, novelty doesn’t not even begin to cover it – and you’ll stop frequently to explore different locations, take in the views and of course to sample some of the great coffee that grows in this area. Lunch will be in a roadside snack bar – more tasty Thai food!

You’ll arrive at our accommodation in the village of Mae Khlang Luang by early/mid afternoon before jumping into another classic Thai mode of transport - a ‘Songtaew’. A taxi adapted from a pick-up truck, which will take you to the summit of Doi Inthanon (over 2,500 metres) where you’ll explore some of the trails and take in the spectacular views. This evening it’s time for a traditional Thai BBQ eaten over the rice fields as the sun sets behind the mountains. Another great end to a superb day

Winding roads, local communities, Doi Inthanon summits in a Songtaew and more tasty Thai food in the form of a Traditional BBQ

Activities

  • All Meals & Drinking Water
  • Visit To Doi Inthanon & National Park Entry Fees

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation near Doi Inthanon
– This is the most ‘basic’ of the accommodation but it’s the best available and by staying here we can ensure that you’re perfectly located for the trek tomorrow.

  • Fan cooled, en-suite bathrooms, Wi-fi available
Day 4

HIKING

The Tuk Tuks have a well-earned rest today as you head to explore the mighty Doi Inthanon on foot.

Starting with a quick transfer by truck, you then walk up into the forest led by a charming local guide (who knows everything about every tree and plant – and can spot a snake from miles away!) You will then hike past stunning waterfalls, rivers and towering forests.

There are a number of spots where you can cool off with a dip in the pools under the waterfalls. You’ll have a packed lunch (wrapped in leaves) to enjoy in a clearing within the forest. The hike ends with a walk back down into the village where you stayed the night before. There’s the chance to enjoy the freshest coffee around at a local old-style mountain coffee shop – one of our favourite coffee shops anywhere in Northern Thailand!

Then in the evening it’s time for another superb Thai feast – again overlooking the beautiful rice terraces – and perhaps one or two well deserved cold beers!

NOTE – The hike is suitable for all ages/fitness levels. The total distance is around 5-6km, done at a gentle place and after the initial uphill section, the majority of the hike is flat or downhill.

Spend your day hiking and exploring the stunning waterfalls that hide along Doi Inthanon

Activities

  • All Meals & Drinking Water
  • Doi Inthanon Hike With Experienced Guide

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation near Doi Inthanon
– This is the most ‘basic’ of the accommodation but it’s the best available and by staying here we can ensure that you’re located in a stunning location and perfectly located for the trek tomorrow.

  • Fan cooled, en-suite bathrooms, Wi-fi available
  • The fantastic location and the experience of staying in the village far outweighs the simple nature of the rooms!
Day 5

ON THE ROAD AGAIN….

Time to get back on the road and today you head out of Doi Inthanon National Park towards our destination of Mae Sariang, close to the Burmese/Myanmar border. Hopefully you’ve got your road trip playlist perfected (don’t forget to charge those Bluetooth speakers) as today's route takes you deep into the heart of rural Northern Thailand (you spend much of the day in territory where Thai visitors are a rarity, let alone people from overseas!)

The route winds along through incredible scenery and some very quiet roads for the first section of the day and we then join the ‘main road’ for the last hour or two on the descent into Mae Sariang. Towering trees, steep hills and more than a few sharp curves are the order of the day. As always, lots of stops to enjoy the surroundings, stretch your legs and keep stocked up with excellent coffee!

You’ll arrive in Mae Sariang by late afternoon and check into your pleasant riverside accommodation for the night, complete with riverside swimming pool. Mae Sariang is well worth exploring. With friendly people, a fascinating mix of Thai and Burmese culture (Mae Sariang is home to many Burmese Muslims), interesting Temples and more than one laid back, friendly bar to visit and meet the locals.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 5-6 HOURS SPREAD OUT DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 160 km

Take the road less travelled, finding yourself close to Burmese/Myanmar border, enjoying the beautiful changing scenery on route

Activities

  • Breakfast & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/Double riverside accommodation in Mae Sariang – Air-conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, Wi-fi and a riverside swimming pool

Day 6

MORE BENDS, MOUNTAINS AND INCREDIBLE VIEWS

After a good night’s rest (or a late night enjoying the friendly bars of Mae Sariang!) you’re back in the best seats in the house for the spectacular drive to Mae Hong Son, your overnight location. The route starts out gently but it’s not long before you’re heading up and over mountains and along fantastic winding roads with mountains stretching off into the distance, across the Myanmar border.

You’ll stop for lunch at what we like to think is Northern Thailand’s best roadside restaurant - the perfect place to get seriously adventurous with your food (raw buffalo anyone?) before continuing on along these fantastic roads towards our overnight destination just outside Mae Hong Son town.

By late afternoon you’ll arrive at the magnificent Fern Resort, your base for the next two nights. The perfect place to rest up after a stunning day of adventure.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 5-6 HOURS SPREAD OUT DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 165 km

Relish in travelling through the winding mountain roads, passing small villages and stunning landscapes as you make your way to our best sunset bar

Activities

  • Breakfast & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation outside Mae Hong Song town -- ‘Fern’ is fast becoming a legend amongst Tuk Tuk Club travellers, with its lovely bungalows set around rice paddies, surrounded by forest and, in our opinion; the best sunset bar in the world, complete with an infinity pool. – Air-conditioning, en-suite, Wi-fi, two swimming pools and a stunning location

Day 7

FREE DAY TO EXPLORE MAE HONG SON

Another day off for the Tuk Tuks today (they’re wonderful machines but they do need their beauty sleep) and a day off for you too – if you wish. There are no activities planned for today – you can hang out by the infinity pool or alternatively there’s a great 8km trek right from the resort (with added dogs who walk with you as guides – we’re not joking!).

If swimming or trekking don’t appeal then why not head into town to explore, visit Wat Doi Kong Mu the most important Temple in the area with amazing views over the town or even take a river boat trip and visit different Hill Tribe villages.

Let your guide team know, they will be able to arrange everything for you – but trust us, they won’t judge you if you fancy a lazy day by the pool either!

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: NA DISTANCE COVERED: NA

Explore the Town, visiting the most important Temple in the area, or simply take in your surroundings with a lazy day at the pool

Activities

  • Breakfast & Drinking Water
  • Variety Of Optional Activities

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation outside Mae Hong Son town – Air-conditioning, en-suite, Wi-fi, two swimming pools and a stunning location

Day 8

MOUNTAIN ROADS TO PAI

Pai, one of the most famous of all mountain towns in Thailand, and it is your destination today. But before you get there, you need to navigate several hundred bends and some of the steepest roads on the trip. Take in the spectacular views, fascinating communities and yet more delicious mountain coffee along the way.

You’ll stop for lunch at the spectacular Lod Caves and then, if you’d like, explore the huge cave system with a local guide – don’t worry, you’re not scrabbling through tiny potholes, rather enjoying a raft along the river than runs through the caves themselves! By late afternoon you’ll drop down into the valley where Pai sits but not before a couple of awesome pit stops – try your hand at the Hill Tribe swing, we dare you!

You'll arrive at your laidback resort, the base for the next couple of nights. Time to freshen up and either enjoy a relaxing evening surrounded by rice fields and mountains (and another relaxing infinity pool) or head into town to explore. The choice is yours.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 4-5 HOURS SPREAD OUT DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 120 km

Activities

  • Breakfast & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation outside Pai – Air-conditioning, en-suite, Wi-fi, swimming pool and another stunning location

Day 9

ENJOY PAI AND THE SURROUNDING AREA

A final day of rest before the last push tomorrow when you head back to the Tuk Tuk Club base. Enjoy the resort and pool, wander around the local village or why not head further afield and explore some hot springs, a giant land split or Pai Canyon.

Your guide team can help organise everything and even go along with you if you’d like (whilst the support team do their final checks on your Tuk Tuk ready for the last days adventure tomorrow)

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: NA DISTANCE COVERED: NA

Activities

  • Breakfast & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation outside Pai – Air-conditioning, en-suite, Wi-fi, swimming pool and a stunning location

Day 10

THE FINAL LEG

Today’s drive is simply stunning! We’ve definitely saved the best for last.

Leaving Pai behind you’re immediately deep into the countryside, heading along tiny mountain roads on our journey South to where the adventure all started, Mae Wang. It’s 180 km of pure magic – random hot springs (and boiled eggs if you’d like), Hill Tribe villages with teak Temples, giant Buddha heads appearing out of the forest and even Thailand’s very own Rio de Janeiro (we’ll leave that one for you to work out on the day). Today takes you off the map rather than just off the beaten track.

Enjoy the drive and make the most of your last day of adventure in your trusty bright orange Tuk Tuk! You’ll arrive back in Mae Wang by late afternoon and there’s time to freshen up before heading out to a village restaurant for one final superb Thai feast.

TUK TUK DRIVING TIME: +/- 6.5 HOURS SPREAD OUT DISTANCE COVERED: +/- 180 km

Activities

  • Breakfast Dinner & Drinking Water

Accommodation

Twin/Double accommodation in a very pleasant rural resort in Mae Wang – Air-conditioning, en-suite facilities, Wi-fi

Day 11

FAREWELL

Your adventure comes to an end today with a minivan transfer back to The Chiang Mai Gate Hotel, arriving around late morning. Say your farewells to your fellow travellers and the team, knowing that you’re now a fully-fledged member of The Tuk Tuk Club!

Activities

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer To The Chiang Mai Gate Hotel

What's Included

Accommodation

All Accommodation as per itinerary

Ground Transport

Tuk Tuks and all related costs are included. For those booking the chauffeur driven option each Tuk Tuk can take a maximum of 2 adults, for those booking the self-drive option each Tuk Tuk can take a maximum of 3 adults.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our trips. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have appropriate cover for all aspects of your trip

Self-Drive Option

All travellers who wish to drive a Tuk Tuk MUST have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and an International Driving Permit (IDP) No previous Tuk Tuk driving experience is necessary as you will be trained on Day 1 but please note that if you don’t usually drive a manual/stick shift car then we strongly recommend you choose the chauffeur driven option At the end of training session all drivers must pass a test. If the guide / training team believe you have not passed the test then unfortunately you will not be able to drive on the roads. The decision of the training team is final.

The Best Travel Stories

After all, who else has travelled through the mountains of Thailand by Tuk Tuk…

Flights

International and Domestic Flights

Meals

All Meals and Drinking Water as specified in itinerary

Group Size

The minimum group size for this adventure is 2 people, the maximum is 12

Out of Season Travel

Traveling outside of High Season has its perks! Contact us for discounted rates if you're visiting from March - October

Low/High Season Rates

Low Season Travel: (March - October)

  • 2-3 Travellers: £1625pp
  • 4-5 Travellers: £1550pp
  • 6+ Travellers, Standard "Join in Rate": £1395pp

High Season Travel: (November - February)

  • 2-3 Travellers: £1825pp
  • 4-5 Travellers: £1750pp
  • 6+ Travellers, Standard "Join in Rate": £1595pp
Created by
Bruce Haxton

Obsessed with travel since an early age and lucky enough to have lived, worked and travelled all over the world, helping others get under the skin of Thailand and and to experience life and communities well off the beaten track is what gets me out of bed with a smile every day. Originally from Yorkshire (and still addicted to Yorkshire Tea and Leeds United) I’ve worked in the travel industry for most of my life being lucky enough to run exciting adventure and experiential travel opportunities throughout the world.

Having had strong connections to Thailand since my first visit many years ago as a backpacker and then operating many travel adventures throughout the country, my family and I re-located here several years ago and headed for the beautiful mountains of Chiang Mai where we run our unique, award winning Tuk Tuk Adventures

Taking travellers well off the beaten track and into the heart of the mountains and communities in Northern Thailand, all our travel is done by Thailand’s iconic Tuk Tuk, albeit ones that were specially built for us and the awesome mountain roads. With self drive and ‘chauffeur’ driven options, super passionate guides and support teams on every trip, brilliant accommodation (who says an adventure has to be uncomfortable?!) and more activities than you can shake a stick at our Tuk Tuk Adventures are perfect for anyone with a lust for life, a sense of adventure and a desire to experience the full beauty of Thailand well away from the tourist trail.

And when not out and about in a Tuk Tuk, my family and I can be found cycling up stupidly steep mountain roads, exploring yet more remote villages and indulging in our never ending quest for the perfect sunset bar…..

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