Trek the Historic Opium Trail
You can start this Doi Suthep day trekking as early as you like. Most people are fine with 0830 but the earlier, the better. Please let us know. This is a private tour so we are flexible. Your guide will meet you at the hotel. Drive to the foot of the Doi Suthep, the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai. We briefly stop at the statue of Kruba Srivichai at the foot of the mountain. He was the “monk-engineer” whose followers constructed the road that was officially opened on April 30, 1935. Continue to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, without a doubt Chiang Mai’s most famous temple. Walk up the 300 stairs and enjoy the magnificent view over Chiang Mai.
Doi Pui Hmong Village
After this, we will drive to the Hmong village Doi Pui. Today you will meet the Hmong, who are originally from Southern China. Today you will visit their villages and learn about their history, their customs and traditions and about their current way of life. Cultivation of opium was very much part of the Hmong way of life. In 1969 King Bhumibol Adulyadej visited Doi Pui. He was concerned that the slash and burn practice of opium production was, apart from being illegal, destroying watershed areas. He initiated a Royal Project, persuading several Hmong communities to move from the high mountain to lower elevations where cash crops such as tomatoes, cucumber and strawberries would flourish. Doi Pui village has become a tourist destination due to its proximity to the Royal Palace and Doi Suthep Temple.
Ban Mae Sai Mai
At Doi Pui village a local Hmong guide will join us. Then we will start a beautiful six-hour trek on a nature trail Ban Mae Sa Mai, the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand. The trail will take us to the Mae Sa Valley. This trek can be done by anyone in reasonable shape. Along the trail, you will see the remains of the Hmong old settlements. We will pass huge wild banana trees and witness a natural water source. Now and then we will enjoy the magnificent views through the thick foliage.
The trek will be done at a leisurely pace. There will be enough time for making photographs and enjoying the natural environment. The local Hmong guide will explain about the history of the Hmong settlements. After arrival in Ban Mae Sa Mai, we will have a cup of tea at a local house. Your guide will explain about the Royal Project that has benefited the village so much. In the late afternoon, we will return to Chiang Mai. This is the end of your Doi Suthep day trekking.