Day 1 Chiang Mai-Pai-Lod Cave-Mae Hong Son (-/L/D)
Pick up from your hotel in Chiang Mai and drive to Mae Hong Son, passing along one of the most beautiful mountain highways in Thailand. Enjoy the beautiful scenery with a stop for lunch in Pai district.
In the afternoon continue the trip to visit Lod Cave, one of the largest caves in the North of Thailand. Lod Cave contains three main chambers: first is “giant pillar cave” with a height of 21 meters. Second is “doll cave” which contains the different kinds of stone formation which resemble a doll. The doll cave also contains a very old wall painting, aged around 2,000 years. Third is “coffin cave”. This is reached by taking a bamboo raft from “doll cave” and then climbing up to see the remains of wood coffins dating back around 2,000 years. From there return to the entrance.
In the late afternoon, arrive in Mae Hong Son and check in at Fern Resort. At leisure until dinner at a local restaurant in town.
Day 2 Trek to Huay Hee Village (B/L/D)
Early Morning start, pick up from your hotel and transfer to the trailhead by 4WD. Visitors have to hike up and then down into the valley of Ban Nam Hoo. Some parts of the trail are very steep and narrow, visitors and participants must take good care. You will climb up and down through different layers of forest, learning from the Karen guide about the upland evergreen forest and mixed deciduous forest and how the villagers try to preserve them. Participants will trek up some 1,650 metres of steep mountain terrain. Varieties of wild orchids grow along the trail up to the mountain top and the beautiful scenery rewards the hard climb. Huai Hee village is reachable by road yet, though the first Karen village to successfully set up community-based tourism to showcase their relationship the surrounding environment to outsiders and so supplement their income, their livelihood still remains primarily based on rotational farming on surrounding mountain slopes. With more than 200 years of settlement history, the population of the village is still under 150. Visitors have to stay in pairs with home stay family. Overnight at homestay with Karen family.
Trekking distance: 4.9 kilometres
Day 3 Trek to Doi Pui the highest peak in Mae Hong Son (B/L/D)
After your breakfast, meet your guide and prepare to enjoy exploring more nature in this beautiful forest conservation area. During your trek, take this opportunity to learn how the Karen live and make wise use of the forest’s natural resources. Then reach your destination, the highest point in Mae Hong Son “Doi Pui” at 1,722 meters above sea level. Enjoy a local Karen jungle lunch prepared by your host family. Continue the trek through this wild-orchid conservation area and in the late afternoon, return to the village.
During your stay, you will see how the Karen cook their rice and prepare their meals. Afterwards, relax and having dinner. Enjoy your dinner while talking with your host family. Your guide will translate for you. Then it’s good night. Overnight at homestay with Karen family.
Trekking distance: 10.5 kilometres
Duration: 5-6 hours trekking
Day 4 Trek to Ban Huai Tong Kaw (B/L/D)
Early morning start and after breakfast say goodbye to the villagers and your host family and start by walking along a gravel road for 1 kilometre, then taking a dirt trail walk to Ban Huai Tong Kaw, descend into a river valley and then back up into the steep mountains. Ban Huai Tong Kaw is good place for visitors to learn about Karen culture. Huai Tong Kaw is accessible by road yet the village has tried to preserve its traditional way of life and. The village is still home to blacksmiths, herbal gurus, spiritual leaders, ritual singers and sword dancers. A highlight for visitors to this village is a metre-high waterfall. After dinner enjoy the traditional sword dance at the village center and then head back to your homestay. Overnight at homestay with Karen family.
Trekking distance: 11-12 kilometres
Duration: 7-8 hours trekking
Day 5 Trek to Huai Kung Village (B/L/D)
After breakfast, trek down into the valley of the Mae Samad River. Visit the biggest waterfall in Mae Hong Son. With many river crossings and steep terrain, you will have no choice but to get your feet wet. The water level can be up to a metre deep. The village of Huai Kung is a small
Buddhist village that consists of approximately 10 households with no direct road access. The village is situated near the Mae Samad River, 380 meters above sea level, and it is called “Baan Lek Nai Pa-Yai” which means small village situated in the ancient forest. Its small size and location limit the number of visitors it can receive and the income it can derive from tourism. The villagers otherwise are dependent on catching fish from the river, foraging and hunting game in the forest and small-scale rice cultivation. Huai Kung Village is very good place for swimming, and for eating fish. Overnight at homestay with Karen family.
Trek distance: 11-12 kilometres
Duration: 6-7 hours trekking
Day 6 Trek down to Pa-Bong Village (B/L/D)
A more relaxing trek today, further down the valley of the Mae Samad River. With many river crossings it will be wet feet again. You are back into primary and mixed deciduous forest, with a lot of teak, bamboo, and red woods. It takes about 4-5 hours to trek to Pa-Bong Village and then drive to the Fern Resort about 30 minutes away.
Trek distance: 7-8 kilometres
Duration: 5-6 hours trekking
Please note: during June-November trail from Ban Huai Goong will be switched to a trail that leads to Ban Nam Hoo Hai Jai, because the water level is too high.
Day 7 Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai (B/L/-)
After breakfast, depart to visit beautiful two Shan-style temples; one located on a hilltop, called Wat Phra That Doi Kong Moo overlooks a nice little town is hiding in the valley. The other temple is located by a lake and is called Wat Jong Kum-Jong Klang. You will struct by the beautiful architecture of these Shan-style temples. Also visit a mini-museum which contains very old wood- carved dolls from Myanmar. Have lunch at local Thai restaurant and in the afternoon, transfer back to Chiang Mai by minibus and drop off at hotel.
• English-speaking guide
• All transport and transfers detailed in the itinerary
• Four nights’ homestay with Karen family (2-4 pax per family)
• mattress, pillow, warm blanket and mosquito net
• Toilet (squat toilet) and shower usually outside (warm water not available)
• Meals as detailed in the itinerary
• Local community guides
• Tour activities as detailed in the itinerary
• Drinking water and snacks
Not included in the price:
• Personal expenses
• Personal contributions to the communities
• Private air-conditioned transport and transfers
• Home stays as mentioned in the programme
• Local English-speaking guide
• Meals as mentioned in the programme
• Trekking and participating in cultural and community activities
• All entrance fees for visits as 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.
Back to: North Thailand