Experience the Karen hilltribe way of life. Cultural immersion, Hilltribe Homestay, Nature & Scenery, Educational, Agricultural, Hilltribe schools & Village handicrafts.
With many touristic hilltribe villages in Thailand, it can be difficult to visit villages in an uncommercialised way. The Karen villages we will visit on this tour are non-touristic and we are the only group to visit there. As we only visit in small private groups, the experience is kept highly authentic and personalised. Enjoy an intimate cultural immersion experience with the Karen hill tribe, learn about and share daily life in the village, in a natural and responsible way.
– Optional short trek through forest and farmland
– Visit waterfall
– Visit village school
– Weaving cotton on a back-strap loom
– If you’re lucky you may catch a village celebration such as a spirit festival or wedding
– This tour starts+ends in Chiang Mai. We can pick up+drop off at your hotel/airport/train station in Chiang Mai
– Pick up time is 8am and we finish in the late afternoon. The timing is flexible though, please contact us about this
– The itinerary is an outline only, and is flexible. This provides the opportunity to explore local life along the way
– We follow village life, rather than expecting village life to follow our expectations. So we cannot guarantee what activities you will see in the village. But you will have the chance to meet villagers, be invited into their homes and to see how they live in an ethical and respectful way
– We focus on authentic experiences, so we are the only group to visit these Karen hill tribe villages
– *Optional visit to Baan Tong Luang village (where you can see the Long neck women, Palong, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu hill tribes). This is a touristic village, but it provides an educational and all-round insight into a variety of hill tribe groups, which would otherwise be difficult to see in 1 day. You can decide about this on the day, with your guide
ATTENTION : Published price is only estimated budget, the final price will be confirmed after discussion with tour service provider.
Winter (Nov-Feb) This is tourism high season. Tourists prefer to visit during these months due to the all round pleasant weather conditions and as the temperature drops by a few degrees.
Rainy season (May-Sep) Whilst many people avoid rainy season, in our experience its one of the best times to visit. The rain often comes in short downpours, but is rarely severe or prolonged enough to interfere with travel. There are also many advantages to visiting during this time; the nature and scenery is at its most lush green, and with fewer tourists around.
Summer time (March-April) This is the least preferable time to visit, as temperatures reach the mid-late 30 degrees celcius. This is also the season when farmers burn the fields and forests, so air quality is bad and visibility of mountain views reduced by haze.
This allows for flexibility in the tour, so you can choose accommodation/ restaurants/ activities. Each tour is unique, and we can customise them depending on your preferences.
This is also part of our local pay policy, whereby you pay local businesses and our homestay families directly for their services. They benefit directly from your visit , and do not pay us any commission for us taking you there.
We understand that you would like to have a rough idea of how much a total tour will cost, before signing up for one - so we're always happy to provide an estimate of what the exclusions are and total tour cost.
During high season (Nov-Feb) it is recommended to book hotels beforehand, especially if you want first choice. Throughout the rest of the year it is not as necessary unless there is a special festival such as Songkran (Thai New Year) or Loi Kratong (Light festival). For accommodation during our tours, we will handle hotel reservations.
Northern Thailand is a fantastic destination for kids, as it offers something for all ages. From soft adventure and outdoor activities, opportunities for cultural exploration, nature and animals, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. The hilltribehomestay in particular is a great educational and cultural experience for children, and an enriching experience for all the family.
Malaria only exists in specific rural zones along the Thai/Myanmar border most of which are very remote, and not easily accessed by tourists. We do not visit any malarial zones on our tours
Facilities at the homestay are be basic, with running electricity but no hot water. For bedding, thin mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are provided. In villages the bathroom is often located underneath the house, with a vat of water and squat toilet
It is very nice of you to want to bring a gift and anything will be appreciated by your homestay family. We recommend that your guide take you to buy something from the local market here, and you can also bring a small gift from home, maybe something that symbolises your home country.
– All travel items can be purchased easily and cheaply in Chiang Mai, so you don’t need to bring every essential with you. Insect repellant, sunblock, common drugs are all widely available here.
– For the hilltribe homestay you don’t need to bring a lot, but you may want to pack; insect repellant, small flashlight, light warm clothing, gift for the homestay family (your guide can take you to buy fruits/snacks at a local market on the way).
– Bedding and mosquito nets are provided at the homestay, so you do not need to bring sleeping bags unless you wish
– During the winter months (Nov-Jan), early morning and night time temperatures can drop to as low as 8 celcius, so please bring warm clothing and a light jacket.
We are often asked how much time is enough for northern Thailand? Our personal answer would be ‘never long enough’. However if your time is limited, we suggest at least 2 days to cover the basic sights of Chiang Mai city, although you could easily spend a week here and not have covered all that it has to offer. If you want to explore the countryside beyond Chiang Mai, 3 days is recommended for Chiang Rai province, and 5 days for Mae Hong Son.
There are many atms in Chiang Mai city, and also in the towns we travel through on our tours. So it’s possible to access cash along our trip
– During rainy season, waterproof jackets are recommended