Day 1: From Mae Hong Son to Ban Jabo (-/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Baan Jabo, a Black Lahu village where you will be welcomed into the community by our local guides who are all members of the Ban Jabo Community- Based Tourism Group. After an orientation meeting, you will hike up the mountain to visit the local Coffin and Coral Caves, considered to be sacred sites by the Lahu people. Our community guides will explain about local beliefs and how to behave in the caves and also take you to their rice fields and explain their rotational rice farming system and how the local people live in harmony with the forest.
Enjoy a jungle lunch en route to the bamboo forest where you will have the chance to learn how the local people use bamboo for everything from making cooking utensils to a building material.
In the evening, spend time getting to know your homestay families. A team of ‘facilitators’ will assist translation. Homestay accommodation in this village is very basic, but the people are wonderful and you will treasure the memory of your stay. Please remember to bring some pictures of home to show your local hosts where you come from.
Day 2: Ban Jabo - Hiking - Ban Mae Lana (B/L/D)
After breakfast, say goodbye to your hosts and continue hiking through the mountains and past beautiful paddy fields. In the late morning, you will arrive at Ban Mae Lana where you will meet your new host families and check in to your next homestay. The Shan or Tai Yai people of Mae Lana are originally from Burma. They have interesting legends, a unique culture and spectacular dance performances.
Have lunch together with your homestay families and then explore Mae Lana village with local community guides. There are many interesting people to meet, including the herbal medicine man, and groups of local artisans who make a variety of handicraft products. Have dinner with your host family and afterwards enjoy Shan dancing performed by local students who are reviving their cultural traditions.
Day 3: Ban Mae Lana - Lod Cave - Mae Hong Son (B/L/-)
Wake up for a fresh start in the early morning with the opportunity to join in the timeless tradition of daily Buddhist merit making by offering food and flowers to the community’s monks. Then return to your homestay for breakfast. Afterwards travel by 4WD to visit one of the biggest caves in the North, Lod Cave. En route enjoy the beautiful forest and limestone mountain scenery. Explore Lod Cave which contains three main chambers, first is the “Giant Pillar Cave” with a pillar 21 meters in height, the second is the “Doll Cave” which contains a different kind of stone formation that looks like a doll. The doll cave also contains a very old wall painting, dating back around 2,000 years. Afterwards you will take a bamboo raft from the doll cave and then climb up to see the remains wooden coffins, also dating back around 2,000 years. Late afternoon, return to your hotel.
• Private air-conditioned transport and transfers
• Home stay as mentioned in the programme
• Local English-speaking guide
• Meals as mentioned in the programme
• Local community and cultural activities, cave tours
• All entrance fees for visits mentioned in the programme
Services not included:
• Additional soft drinks/alcohol
• Personal expenses
• Tips for guide and driver
• Domestic and international flights
• Travel insurance
Please be advised:
In some villages you may not be allowed take pictures of people and some places may be out of bounds to visitors. If you wish to take photographs or are unsure whether an action is appropriate, please ask your local guide for advice.
The villagers’ income from tourists is to help support the community and preserve its way of life. We have designed our tours to provide them with job opportunities and a sustainable way of maintaining their cultural heritage and to offer an alternative to illegal activities like mineral exploration, deforestation and hunting wildlife.
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