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Northern Thailand Photography Tour 9D8N Trip

North Thailand
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9 Days 8 Nights

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

20 people




Get up close and personal to the best photo opportunities in northern Thailand.From sunsets over sweeping mountain landscapes, to colourful hill tribes minorities. Travel to the most photogenic spots in northern Thailand, and gain access to intimate photo opportunities of local life.

Customisable Photo Tours
Join us on a photographic journey through the hills of northern Thailand, and enjoy capturing some of the best scenes in Thailand through your lens. Travel with our local guides to gain insiders access to local photo opportunities, from the best viewpoints to portraits with hill tribes in a respectful and natural way. Whether you are a professional, amateur or just-for-fun photographer, if you want to capture the real northern Thailand through photography we can customise a trip for you.

Route : Chiang MaiPhayaoChiang RaiChiang SaenGolden TriangleMae SalongThatonDoi AngkhangPaiBan Rak ThaiKayan Long NeckMae Hong SonMae ChaemDoi InthanonChiang Mai

– This tour starts+ends in Chiang Mai. We can pick up+drop off at your hotel/airport/train station in Chiang Mai
– The itinerary is an outline only, it is not fixed, this leaves opportunity to explore local life along the way
– This itinerary can be customised. Please contact us for more details

ATTENTION : Published price is only estimated budget, the final price will be confirmed after discussion with tour service provider.

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Day 1) Chiang Mai - Phayao

From Chiang Mai we’ll head north to Phayao Lake, a vast and serene freshwater lake. Surrounded by tree lined streets and old teak wood houses of this charming lakeside town has a very local feel - well off the tourist trail, you’re unlikely to see any foreign tourists here. We’ll visit a Buddhist temple by the lake, then have time to capture the natural beauty of the lake and even the occasional fisherman casting his net. Sunset shots at Phayao Lake, before dinner at one of the lakeside restaurants to try local fish. O/n in Phayao, local guesthouse.

Day 2) Phayao - Chiang Saen

After breakfast, we will explore local life by the lake, and visit nearby villages to see local handicrafts such as reed weaving. Then we depart Phayao to see the famous White Temple and Black House, a showcase of local art and architecture. Our last destination for the day is Chiang Saen, a traditional town by the Mekong river, sunset pics by the Mekong. O/n Chiang Saen, local guesthouse

Day 3) Chiang Saen - Golden Triangle - Mae Salong

Sunrise pictures by the Mekong river. Then onto enjoy the historical beauty of Chiang Saen, such as the orange-brick ruins of the ancient walls and temples of this former ancient capital. Onto the famous Golden Triangle, where we’ll visit the best viewpoint overlooking the confluence of the Mekong river, and the meeting point of 3 countries; Thailand, Laos, Myanmar. Then a brief visit to Wat Tham Pla (Fish and monkey cave) before a drive through the rolling hills up to Mae Salong. A quaint Chinese village, where Mandarin Chinese is widely spoken here and many signs are in Chinese. Most of the inhabitants here are descendents of the Kuomintang party that fled communist rule in China. Nowadays, it’s famous for its Oolong tea production and idyllic terraced tea plantations. O/n in Mae Salong at a local guesthouse or descend to stay at a Karen Hilltribe homestay.

Day 4) Thaton - Doi Angkhang

Enjoy sunrise pictures from Mae Salong or Thaton temple. Visit to Ban Lorcha Akha hilltribe Community based tourism village, one of our favourite villages, unlike commercialised hilltribe villages, Ban Lorcha is owned and run by its own community members where profits from entrance fees goes back to the village. A chance to capture traditional village scenes and colourful traditional Akha costume. After this we will visit an authentic Karen hill tribe village, learn about the Karen culture and way of life. Then we will head to Doi Angkhang mountain (approx. 2hrs drive), enjoy the landscapes as we drive up and through this sweeping mountain range that borders Myanmar. A cluster of peaks and valleys this is home to colourful minorities such as the Palong and Lahu hill tribe. O/n Doi Angkhang, local guesthouse

Day 5) Doi Angkhang - Pai

After breakfast we’ll visit an outlook point overlooking the mountain range that forms the Thai-Burma border. Then we’ll visit traditional Palong and Lahu hill tribe villages, the villagers here still live in triditional bamboo stilt houses and hold belief in the spirits. We’ll descend Doi Angkhang and head onto Pai (apporx 3hrs drive ). Sunset shots at the impressive Pai Canyon and Memorial bridge. O/n Pai, local guesthouse

Day 6) Pai - Ban Rak Thai

Depart Pai for Mae Hong Son, enjoy the beautiful landscapes on one of the most mountainous and scenic routes in Thailand (apporx 2hrs drive). We’ll stop at the best viewpoints for pics along the way. Visit to a traditional Lahu hill tribe village, then onto Ban Rak Thai (Mae Aw) Chinese village by the Thai-Burma border, (approx. 1hr drive). This traditional village is another outpost of the Kuomintang party from China, characterized by its rustic mud hut tea shops around a serene lake – Try traditional Yunnanese cuisine for dinner – o/n Ban Rak Thai, at local guesthouse

Day 7) Ban Ruam Thai - Kayan Long Neck -Mae Hong Son

Enjoy sunrise pics as the early morning mist drifts upon the lake, before heading to Ban Ruam Thai- a Shan village given the nickname ‘Switzerland of Thailand ‘ because of the European style climate and geology. Then we’ll visit to Pang Ung Lake, where the misty lake surrounded by towering pine trees and occasional elegant swan passing by, forms a picture-postcard scene. Visit to Pha Sua waterfall and then to Su Tong Pae bridge. This is the longest bamboo bridge in Thailand, picturesquely set amongst sprawling rice paddy fields and a backdrop of limestone mountains – another photographic beauty. Onto Mae Hong Son town to visit Jong Kham Temple a traditional and ornate Shan style temple, located in the center of town beside Jong Kham Lake. Then we will head to a Kayan Long neck hill tribe village, nearby the Thai-Burma border. To reach the village we will take a long tail boat - enjoy the tropical scenery and nature, along the banks of the river - arrival at the village, – o/n Long neck hill tribe homestay.

Day 8) Mae Hong Son - Mae Chaem

After traditional breakfast the homestay, we will learn about the fascinating culture and way of life of the Kayan long neck hill tribe women. We will explore the village, for example, visit to the village school, and see the women weaving. We will have time to capture village scenes and the beautifaul long neck women in a natural setting – depart the village and onto Mae Chaem. O/n Mae Chaem, local gueshtouse

Day 9) Mae Chaem - Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai

After breakfast we will visit Doi Inthanon National Park. The summit of Doi Inthanon mountain is the highest point in Thailand. The variety of bird species, makes it a popular spot for birdwatchers. We'll take a short walk on the Angkha nature trail, a great place for nature shots. Then we'll depart Doi Inthanon - on the descent we will visit the mighty Wachiratharn waterfall, another photogenic natural beauty. We'll finish the tour in Chiang Mai, and drop off at your hotel.


  • - Accommodation
  • - Transportation
  • - Mentioned activities
  • - Support guides
  • - Meals
  • - Drinking Water
  • - Insurance
  • - Personal Expenses
  • - Tips

Tour's Location

North Thailand


What is the best time of year to visit?
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.
Why don't you have an all-inclusive price ?
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.
Do I need to book hotels beforehand?
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.
Is it recommended for kids?
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.
Is Malaria a problem?
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
What are facilities like at the homestay?
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
What can I bring for my homestay family?
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.
What will I need to bring?
– 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.
How long do I need in northern Thailand?
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.
Will there be atms?
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
from $ 990

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Hilltribe Holidays

Member Since 2017

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