Day 1: Chiang Mai – Palong village
Enjoy an exciting whitewater rafting trip
Your guide and driver will meet you at 0830 at your hotel for your Chiang Dao Tribal Life and Elephant Experience. This is a private tour. We will drive north to the small town of Chiang Dao. Along the way, we will stop at the local market at Mae Malai. You can help your guide do some shopping for the coming days. It is a very interesting, authentic market. After our shopping, we will continue to Kaeng Keud on the Mae Taeng River. It is time for our whitewater rafting trip, the first activity for the day.
Enjoy shooting the rapids on a rubber raft. It’s a fun and exciting trip. Next up are the Chiang Dao Caves which are in the limestone mountain Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third highest mountain of the country. Then it is time for a healthy Thai lunch in a restaurant near the caves. After lunch, we will drive to the start of our third activity: trekking. We will start our hike at a Palong village. We will hike through the forest. It is not flat but fairly easy. Enjoy the hike until we reach another Palong village where we will spend the night.
Overnight in the village
The Palong village Mae Chon was established in the late 1980s. The Palong (Palaung) came from Myanmar in the mid-1980s. They were caught in the crossfire between the Shan and Burmese forces. Most Palong women are still wearing traditional dress. Make yourself comfortable. You can assist your guide in preparing dinner or explore the village.
Overnight will be in one of the village guest houses
Day 2: Palong Village – Chiang Mai
Learn about Palong heritage and local fruits
The second day of your Chiang Dao Tribal Life and Elephant Experience. Enjoy breakfast after an early rise. Villagers will organise a small local market in front of your house. The Palong women are amazing weavers. You can buy their beautiful textiles for a very reasonable price. Great thing is that you buy directly from the people who produce.
After breakfast, your guide will show you around the village. He will explain about the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl’, the ‘village heart’. We will visit the fields and gardens of the village. Everything grows here: rice, corn, beans, vegetables and lots of different fruits. Depending on the season you will see banana, longan, pineapple, mango, papaya, amongst others. We will go for our morning hike to a small mountain with a temple on top of it. We hike through the fields. It is not too difficult. There are some nice views. After this, we return to the village to pick up our luggage. We will leave the village.
Kanta, an ethical elephant experience
Drive to Chiang Dao to have lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, we will continue to Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, one of our favourite elephant camps. You will get a safety briefing before you meet the elephants. If you want you can change into traditional clothing and help prepare some fruit. Then you will meet the elephants and can feed them some of the fruits. There is plenty of opportunity for taking as many pictures as you want. Then it is time for a bath.
Elephant love bathing and you can join them. Be ready to become dirty and wet! There will be fruit of the season as well as coffee or tea for you to enjoy during the activity. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your elephant friends. Take a shower and change back into your clothes. We will drop you at your hotel at around 1730. It is the end of your Chiang Dao Tribal Life and Elephant Experience.