Elephants Treks and Temples

About the Experience

All of Thailand will embrace you in an instant. The mesmerizing aromatics of the curries fill the air–simmering coconut milk, lemongrass, Thai basil, garlic and the fire of bird’s eye chilies. Add the buzz of the neon night markets and bazaars, vibrating with vendors selling everything from noodles to football jerseys to smoothies and intricate Hilltribe embroidery.

This itinerary is packed with childhood dreams–float down the Mea Win river on a bamboo raft! Learn about Asian elephant behavior and antics from the dedicated mahouts at ChangChill. Hop in a long-tail boat and visit the bamboo floating house village of Mae Ngat Dam Reservoir.

The scenery is a guaranteed knock-out: koi ponds, rice paddies, tea plantations, bamboo hills and exotic fruit orchards. We’ll take it all in on foot, by raft and bike saddle while drinking some of the world’s best coffee from the Chiang Rai beans! This is a deep immersion in Thai culture–visit secret temples, a very quirky museum (no spoiler here!), climb up the famed Sticky Waterfalls like Spiderwoman and learn kitchen secrets from the hilltribes.

Did we mention the pampered days of Thai massage and aromatic herbal steams? The eco-lodges and resorts on this trip revolve around harmony, meditation and celebrating the natural soundtrack. Kaomai Lanna Hotel and Resort is an unforgettable boutique resort that celebrates the heritage of Northern Thailand’s tobacco industry. The former tobacco farm and curing barns have been repurposed as sumptuous guest rooms.

We will have the opportunity to visit Studio Naenna, a community of women weavers, embroiderers, designers and support staff who have joined forces to establish “Weavers for the Environment,” creating sustainable products and financial support for local women. Learn the true art of tie-dye and Thai ikat (Mudmee) techniques.

We know what you’re thinking…check! Check! Check!

This trip delivers a HUGE sensory experience from spending time observing the six resident elephants of ChangChill to soupy jungle trails and century-old paths travelled by monks.

Elephants, Treks and Temples is spiritual, satiating, rejuvenating and jammed with unreal scenery. You’ll see.

 

To learn more about why Wild Women Expeditions has redesigned this trip to ensure a more ethical elephant experience, this post by WWE owner Jennifer Haddow explains her connection and unswerving commitment to putting animal welfare at the forefront of all of our adventures.

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Elephants Treks and Temples

About the Experience

All of Thailand will embrace you in an instant. The mesmerizing aromatics of the curries fill the air–simmering coconut milk, lemongrass, Thai basil, garlic and the fire of bird’s eye chilies. Add the buzz of the neon night markets and bazaars, vibrating with vendors selling everything from noodles to football jerseys to smoothies and intricate Hilltribe embroidery.

This itinerary is packed with childhood dreams–float down the Mea Win river on a bamboo raft! Learn about Asian elephant behavior and antics from the dedicated mahouts at ChangChill. Hop in a long-tail boat and visit the bamboo floating house village of Mae Ngat Dam Reservoir.

The scenery is a guaranteed knock-out: koi ponds, rice paddies, tea plantations, bamboo hills and exotic fruit orchards. We’ll take it all in on foot, by raft and bike saddle while drinking some of the world’s best coffee from the Chiang Rai beans! This is a deep immersion in Thai culture–visit secret temples, a very quirky museum (no spoiler here!), climb up the famed Sticky Waterfalls like Spiderwoman and learn kitchen secrets from the hilltribes.

Did we mention the pampered days of Thai massage and aromatic herbal steams? The eco-lodges and resorts on this trip revolve around harmony, meditation and celebrating the natural soundtrack. Kaomai Lanna Hotel and Resort is an unforgettable boutique resort that celebrates the heritage of Northern Thailand’s tobacco industry. The former tobacco farm and curing barns have been repurposed as sumptuous guest rooms.

We will have the opportunity to visit Studio Naenna, a community of women weavers, embroiderers, designers and support staff who have joined forces to establish “Weavers for the Environment,” creating sustainable products and financial support for local women. Learn the true art of tie-dye and Thai ikat (Mudmee) techniques.

We know what you’re thinking…check! Check! Check!

This trip delivers a HUGE sensory experience from spending time observing the six resident elephants of ChangChill to soupy jungle trails and century-old paths travelled by monks.

Elephants, Treks and Temples is spiritual, satiating, rejuvenating and jammed with unreal scenery. You’ll see.

 

To learn more about why Wild Women Expeditions has redesigned this trip to ensure a more ethical elephant experience, this post by WWE owner Jennifer Haddow explains her connection and unswerving commitment to putting animal welfare at the forefront of all of our adventures.

 

 

 

 

DAY ONE: CHIANG MAI ARRIVAL

ยินดีต้อนรับ (welcome) to Chiang Mai! Please book your flights with a planned arrival time of no later than 2pm. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), you’ll meet your spirited Wild Women guide and driver at 3PM at Starbucks (near the domestic arrivals gate). As a group we will then transfer to the hotel to check-in, refresh, recharge and revive before our briefing at 4PM. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant that will give you an authentic introduction to the fragrant spices and distinct flavours of Thai cuisine.

Meals Included: Dinner
Accommodation: Ratchapruek Lanna Boutique
Other Notes:
Transfer: Chiang Mai Airport to Ratchapruek Lanna Boutique: 20 minutes

DAY TWO: SPICE OF LIFE

Today will be spent far removed from the buzzy tourist congestion of Chiang Mai. Instead, we’ll be intimately immersed in the local culture courtesy of Mr. Prapat and his family. Our generous hosts will warmly welcome us into their home and allow us to explore their property. Mr. Prapat will describe local architectural styles and share stories about the traditional ways of the Thai people. We will watch an intricate basket-weaving demonstration–a handmade process that has remarkably remained unchanged for centuries.

We’ll also visit Mr. Prapat’s robust organic gardens and select a few 100% fresh ingredients for an interactive cooking experience (grab an apron!). The Prapat family will share their coveted recipes and demonstrate the traditional techniques required to prepare northern Thai dishes. We’ll swap stories and family recipes while learning about staples like Thai bird chilies, curry paste, Thai basil and Vietnamese coriander as we prepare today’s lunch. We’ll then enjoy lunch with the Prapat family to see how well we were paying attention when slicing and dicing!

In the afternoon, we will be well-spoiled and fully indulge in self-care. We’ll experience traditional spa treatments like the Fah Lanna healing treatment, aromatic herbal steam, an oil massage and surrender to the powerful, near-hypnotic effects of Thai massage techniques.

Dinner tonight will be at the Michelin-recommended Khaomao-Khaofang Restaurant. It’s celebrated for its imaginary jungle experience complete with an enormous, crashing waterfall, blooming flowers and soundtrack that adds to the vibe.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Ratchapruek Lanna Boutique
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from Hotel to Mr. Prapat: 30 mins
Transfer Time from Mr. Prapat to Massage: 30 mins
Luggage: Your luggage can stay in your room today.

DAY THREE: MAE NGAT LAKE RESERVOIR 

We’ll make a beeline for Sri Lanna National Park this morning (a 1.5 hour drive from Chiang Mai). We’ll visit the park’s famed Bua Tong or limestone “Sticky Waterfalls”. The name of the falls is derived from the mineral deposit that makes the surface of the rocks super grippy. The limestone is callous and feels like hardened sponge–no algae adheres to the rock allowing the falls to be ascended like an agile Spiderwoman. There are five different levels and ropes in addition to steps alongside the waterfall if you’re not feeling very superhero-like!

We will have a picnic in this area, allowing for ample time to climb up these surreal falls. After our Spiderwoman experience, we’ll hop on bikes for a 17km (11 mile) ride to Mae Ngat Dam reservoir, known best for its one-room bamboo floating houses. The hilly part of this ride is about 15-20 minutes long–a moderately fit and determined Wild Women will be able to complete this, no sweat. Well, maybe just a little. The remaining 15km (9 miles) involves a pedal along quiet, flat rural roads through mesmerizing scenery. The rolling landscape shifts from tidy, organized rice paddies to bountiful exotic fruit orchards to bamboo and verdant fern groves. *For those who do not want to participate in the cycling portion, you can take a transfer directly to the Mae Ngat Dam instead. Or, if anyone wishes to ride halfway, you can also take a shuttle to the dam to rejoin the group. 

At Mae Ngat Lake Reservoir, our biking trail comes to an end but another adventure instantly unfolds! We’ll climb into the narrow hull of a long-tail boat and cut through the freshwater lake’s placid surface and cross the expanse of the reservoir to absorb the backdrop of distant landscapes. 

We’ll have an incredible traditional lunch in a floating bamboo raft house and spend the remainder of the afternoon at this otherworldly location. We can swim in the rejuvenating waters, take five on the shoreline or navigate the more remote corners of the reservoir by kayak. After a full day spent pedalling and paddling in Sri Lanna National Park, we will sleep well tonight!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Sibsan Resort & Spa Maetaeng
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from Prat Rachapruek to Sri Lanna National Park: 1 hour 30 mins
Cycling Distance: up to 17 km
Cycling Difficulty: Medium. Helmets provided, and bikes will have a water bottle holder. There will be a support van following if you get tired.
Luggage: Pack your bag today and load it in the van. It will be along for the ride today until we arrive at the Sibsan Resort & Spa Maetaeng.

DAY FOUR: MOVING THROUGH MOUNTAINS

After breakfast, we will leave our resort to explore Doi Ang Kang, the second highest mountain in Thailand. The views here are unparalleled–neighbouring Myanmar is also visible from this vantage point. We’ll learn about the historical battles that took place (almost unbelievably) in this serenity. We’ll also visit Thailand’s most famous botanical gardens and linger over an authentic lunch. Today involves a lot of driving (not by you though!)–so, kick back and absorb the views as tomorrow’s trek to a hill tribe village will demand more energy!

In the afternoon, we’ll follow a 30-minute jungle trail to stretch our legs before moving on through the mountains to our end destination of Fang. We’ll pass through the addictive mountain scenery to the Phumanee Lahu Home. The family-run property is operated by ancestors of Phu Muen, the man who boldly initiated and led the migration of Lahu people from Myanmar into Thailand over 120 years ago.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Phumanee Hotel
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from Mae Taeng to Doi Angkhan: 2 hours
Hiking Time: 30 mins
Hiking Difficulty: Easy
Transfer Time from Doi Angkhang to Fang: 1 hour
Luggage: Pack your bag today and load it in the van. It will be along for the ride today until we arrive at the Phumanee Hotel.

DAY FIVE: LISU HILLTRIBES

This morning, we’ll take off via 4X4 to the starting point of a 4-hour trek to the top of the mountain. During this trek, the views are startling and ever-changing. Once we reach the hilltribe village we’ll recharge with a predictably piquant lunch. (*Women who would like to opt out of the hike can continue on in the 4×4 to travel up the mountain to the village.)

Today’s lunch and learn will be a dynamic hands-on experience. After a tutorial, we’ll pick tea leaves and observe the complete process of making tea (and coffee!) in this vibrant Lisu village before transferring back to Phumanee where a van will be waiting to take us to Thaton for the night. 

With the grounding taste of tea intense in our mouth and the memory of slippery, smooth tea leaves on our fingertips, we will have a final transfer to the luxury eco-lodge, Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort, set in the bamboo hills. It’s a big slice of heaven in the mountains of Chiang Rai. Prepare to be pampered! Laze about in the pool, let your muscles recover from the trek with a steam or sauna. Book a volcanic lava stone massage (not included) or simply wander along the calming pathways that skirt the koi pond and elaborate gardens of paradise!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Phu Chai Sai Hotel
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from Hotel to Start Trek: 30 mins
Transfer Time from Hotel to Thaton: 2 hours
Trekking Time: 4 hours
Trekking Difficulty: Medium
Luggage: Pack your bag today and load it in the 4×4. It will be along for the ride today until we arrive at the Phu Chai Sai Hotel

DAY SIX: PHU CHAISAI

Today is wholly dedicated to pure relaxation in the open arms of Phu Chaisai and the property’s incredible amenities and activities. Sign up for a yoga class (scheduled times for each will be provided by the property) if you’re in the mood to bend and stretch! 

If you’d like to explore the area independently or opt for another activity, be sure to ask our guide.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Phu Chai Sai Hotel
Other Notes:
Luggage: Can stay in your room today

DAY SEVEN: WHITE TEMPLE

We’ll have a long ride ahead of us today but it will be peppered with history and highlights as we drive. We’ll leave our gorgeous resort this morning with a full (and quirky) agenda to anticipate. 

First stop: We’ll visit the wonder that is Wat Rung Khun (the “White Temple”). This contemporary ornate temple is one of the most famous and instantly recognized buildings in Thailand for its prevalence of white plaster which represents the purity of Buddha. Designed by renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the remarkable depictions of heaven and hell are displayed in vivid mural paintings and an eccentric sculpture garden. Unlike any other temple in Thailand, The White Temple pushes the boundaries of Buddhist art, resulting in an evocative and controversial experience.

Next: The Black House Museum or Baan Dam, is the eccentric vision of Thawan Duchanee who curated an impressive collection of animal skins, bones, teeth and taxidermy. There are a total of 15 buildings that showcase his affection for skulls, shells and remains.

Sometimes things are black and white in life! Lunch will be en route today and we’ll have a coffee break too as the Chiang Rai region is known for some of the best beans, grown in a sustainable, ethical way. The young farmers are a part of a regional cooperative and a larger, monumental movement towards coffee farming (versus opium production in the past).

We’ll return to Chiang Rai’s city centre and visit ArtBridge, a collective space established by the local art community. A passionate art expert who will share the behind-the-scenes story of ArtBridge, its evolution and activities. We will have time to browse the collection of works on display then enjoy lunch at ArtBridge’s slick restaurant. 

Tonight’s stay is at Kaomai Lanna Hotel and Resort. This unforgettable boutique property in the Sanpatong district is surrounded by serene tropical gardens. In 2018, the resort won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific award for Cultural Heritage Conservation in New Design in Heritage Contexts. Kaomai is an ode to northern Thailand’s tobacco industry and heritage. The former tobacco farm and curing barns have been converted into sumptuous guest rooms thoughtfully curated with colonial-style antique furniture. The on-site cafe, Tao Cah, serves house-blended herbal teas made from local ingredients and the estate’s own garden

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Khao Mai Lanna
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from hotel to Baan Dam: 40 minutes
Transfer from Baan Dam to White Temple: 30 minutes
Transfer from White Temple to ArtBridge: 20 minutes
Transfer Time from Chiang Rai to Khao Mai Lanna: 4 hours

DAY EIGHT: MEET THE ELEPHANTS OF CHANGCHILL

This morning, after a bright and healthy breakfast, we’ll depart Kaomai Lanna at 8:30am to meet the mahouts and magnificent Asian elephants of ChangChill. Each elephant has their own mahout (a person who works with, rides and tends to an elephant’s needs) who will demonstrate how to speak to them including simple commands. 

Supakorn Tananseth, the owner of ChangChill, comes from a family that has worked with elephants for several generations. He originally operated a camp that offered elephant rides but discontinued this practice to establish Happy Elephant Care Valley. Here, his wish was to provide his elephants better, ethically-sound living conditions. Fast forward to today, Happy Elephant Care Valley is now home to ChangChill, which offers 100% touch-free elephant experience in alignment with World Animal Protection’s new ethical tourism model. ChangChill’s commitment is to allow their resident elephants to have a more natural, free-roaming life where they can bathe, graze and socialize with each other, versus humans.

We’ll learn about ChangChill’s history, pachyderm personalities and behaviour before joining the mahout on a one hour forest hike to learn more about their daily life and environment. The mahouts will also share the secrets and unique charms of their beloved elephant. 

Back at the pavilion, we’ll have a snack break and observe the behaviour of the six resident elephants before helping to feed them (this is a touch-free experience). Afterwards, we’ll have our own lunch at camp.

The bonding experience between the mahouts and their elephants is a remarkable and indelible one. We will learn how to make a simple medicine and supplement for the elephants. 

Around 3pm, we will transfer to the Hilltribe community village of Baan Mea Sapok. We’ll have time to slow things down and walk around Baan Mea Sapok before a traditional dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Karen Hill Tribe
Other Notes:
Transfer from the Resort to Starting Point: 53.2 km (54 minutes)
Trekking Time: 4 hours (approximately 10km)
Trekking Difficulty: Medium
Luggage Notes: You will pack your overnight clothes into your backpack and your luggage will stay in the van for the evening.

DAY NINE: RAFTING ALONG THE RIVER

We’ll have breakfast before kicking off at 8:30am on a 2 hour-long trek across Mea Wang mountain to Mea Win village. We will pass several waterfalls en route for a refreshing splash and some selfies. Then, we’ll indulge in the ultimate childhood dream: bamboo rafting along the Mea Win river! We’ll enjoy the thrill of a few rapids on our one-hour float (depending on the water levels) before gathering for a riverside lunch bright with colourful, seasonal fruits and jungle scenery.

At 12:30pm, we will transfer to our Chiang Mai hotel and arrive at Banthai Village around 2pm. We will have time to journal, catnap or review memory cards full of elephants before visiting the famed Chiang Mai Night Market and Bazaar. Expect to see the unexpected–everything is for sale here! Football jerseys, noodles, furniture, samurai swords, sarongs, Starbucks…

After the wild and hectic shopping experience, we’ll compare notes and spontaneous purchases over dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Banthai Village
Other Notes:
Transfer Time from Mae Taeng to Chiang Mai: 1 hour 10 minutes
Bamboo Rafting Time: 1 hour depending on the water levels.
Rafting Difficulty: Easy
Trekking Time: 1 hour
Luggage: Will be transferred to Banthai Village

DAY TEN: HIKE AND HIGHLIGHTS

It will be a rise-and-shine-and-yawn early breakfast today before our final hike of the trip. We’ll transfer to the start point of the ‘monks trail’ to Doi Suthep Mountain. Monks frequented this trail on their pilgrimage to the Wat Pha Lat, one of Chiang Mai’s least visited temples. The temple is hidden in a pocket of forest which makes it all the more mysterious and captivating.

Our insightful and spiritual Chiang Mai temple tour will be followed by lunch at a local restaurant before we plug ourselves into the positive vibes with a visit to Studio Naenna. Founded in 1986, this Northern Thailand community of women weavers, embroiderers, designers and support staff have joined forces to establish “Weavers for the Environment” (WFE). The women unite artisan craft makers from various ethnic groups to create high quality, environmentally-friendly and sustainable products. It’s evident that they encourage pride in traditional techniques and empower women financially within their villages. 

Today’s tie-dye workshop at Studio Naenna will begin with a quick introduction to natural dyes and Thai ikat (Mudmee) technique. Patricia Cheesman, a renowned textile expert, or her daughter, Lamorna Cheesman, will guide us as we tie and dye pieces in indigo vats.

We’ll have a coffee and tea break before we poke around two galleries of textile garments, interior design textiles and antiques from Patricia’s private collection (depending on the current display) 

Note: Whatever you wear to this workshop may become inadvertently tie-dyed and accidentally stained! Please wear items that you’re not totally attached to– aprons will be provided as well. 

The tie-dye activity will finish around noon allowing for time to chill out back at the hotel after our transfer. Relax, reflect and take a deep breath and inhale the harmony found in the journey we’ve been on together for the last 10 days.  

Tonight will be our final celebratory riverside dinner. Sigh! Savour every Thai flavour and aromatic on your tongue: coconut, curry, basil, lemongrass and maybe the fire of a nam prik.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Banthai Village
Other Notes:
Hiking Time: 40 minutes with a slight uphill

DAY ELEVEN: JOURNEY’S END

Our trip has come to an end in a physical sense–but Thailand’s powerful effect will stay deeply stitched in your DNA. It’s time to say goodbye to your Wild Women tribe, swap contact info and future travel plans. Please plan to book your departure flight anytime between 8am – 4pm so that transfers to (25 minutes) to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) can be accommodated.

Where next?

Meals Included: N/A

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!



Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

Arrival into Chiang MaiNote: For international destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes, which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling.The airport in Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) is not very big, there are only 2 sections, domestic and international. We will provide one group airport transfer that will be scheduled based on the group’s flight arrival times on Day 1 and this time will be communicated closer to the trip departure date. Flights should not arrive later than 14:00 (2pm).Your guide will have a WWE sign and will meet you at the Starbucks coffee shop near the domestic arrivals. If you arrive earlier or later you can take a taxi to the starting hotel which will cost approximately ฿1,050 Baht or you can arrange a transfer directly with your starting hotel.Group Rendezvous Point Day 1:

  • Time: 4:00 PM
  • Location: Hotel lobby,Ratchapruek Lanna Boutique, Nong Kwai, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230 | Phone Number: +66 (53) 114 006

If you will be arriving early we recommend you stay at our arrival hotel in Chiang Mai: Ratchapruek Lanna Boutique and you can book a room on this website.

Departure from Chiang MaiYou will be transferred from Banthai village to the Chiang Mai International airport (CNX) after breakfast on your final day. Please plan to book your departure flight between 8am – 4pm.Drop-Off Point:

  • Location: Chiang Mai airport

If you want to stay in Chiang Mai longer we recommend booking at our departure hotel, Banthai Village. You can book your rooms directly on the hotel website. Early or later airport transfers can be booked directly with the hotel.

You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements.

Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:

Megan and Zale | ****Travel Edge Travel Specialist

Email: wildwomen@traveledge.com

Note: Travel Edge only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

  • Visa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs oversees immigration and visa issues. There are frequent modifications of visa regulations so check the website or the nearest Thai embassy or consulate for application procedures and costs. The best online monitor is Thaivisa.

If you plan to stay in Thailand longer than 30 days, you should apply for the 60-day tourist visa from a Thai consulate or embassy before your trip. Recent changes to this visa now allow multiple entries within a six-month period. Contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate to obtain application procedures and determine fees for tourist visas.

Visas and Customs in Thailand – Lonely Planet

Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.

  • Customs and Immigration

Immigration Card Information:

Prat Rajapruek Resort & Spa | Address: Nong Kwai, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230 | Phone: +66 (53) 114 006


Tips for your minivan drivers, hotel porters, restaurant waiters are included in your trip price. Your local leader will provide more details when needed throughout the trip about tipping local guides but the advised rate is $2 – 5 USD per person per day.Tips for your Tour Leader should range from $5 – 10 USD per person per day. Tour Leader tips can be paid in USD to Thai Baht “per person per day” means each Wild Women in the group contributes this amount.

  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (minimum of two people per room), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner.

  • Private Upgrade

Single upgrades are subject to availability. You can request a single upgrade for all but 1 night of the trip. The rooms are double occupancy for the night at the Homestay. Please email support@wildwomenexpeditions.com to inquire about a single room.

  • Bathrooms

There will be Western flush toilets with toilet paper and there will be some squat toilets. Bring your own toilet paper, sanitary wipes, and hand sanitizer for bathrooms that may be of lower quality when you are on the road or in remote areas. You may also have to pay for bathrooms when not at your hotel so make sure you have small denominations of the local currency with you.

  • Internet / WiFi / Cell Coverage

If you have an unlocked phone you can purchase a phone chip with wifi data in Thailand at the airport. If you do not have time to do this at the airport you can ask your local guide to help you purchase one.

Most hotels will have WiFi available. The hill tribe village and van will not have wifi.

  • Potable Water

Drinking water is provided throughout the expedition. It is advised to not drink the tap water, even in major hotels.</>

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

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  • You will stay at a local house of the Karen tribe, you’ll experience the original way of life of this hill tribe. Accommodations are very rustic, traditional and authentic. Shared accommodation will be in a single room bamboo hut. Washroom facilities are shared, outside bathrooms, with a scoop shower and an Asian squat toilet. This is pretty much camping – Thai style!
  • We will be sleeping on the floor but there are mattresses that are about 6 cm thick. Mosquito nets and clean sleeping bags and/ or sleeping sheets and blankets are provided. There is no internet and no power. Be sure to pack your headlamp!
  • Note: there is no electricity.
  • Banthai Village, Chiang Mai | Banthai Village | Boutique Hotel


  • Full Country Name: Kingdom of Thailand
  • Capital City: Bangkok
  • Language: The official language is Thai, or more precisely Siamese or Central Thai
  • People: About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% Thai Chinese, and 3% is ethnically Malay; the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. Religion: The primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of the population.
  • Government: The country is a constitutional monarchy, headed by King Rama IX.
  • Major Industries: Thai rice, textiles and footwear, fishery products, rubber, jewelery, cars, computers and electrical appliances.
  • Currency: Thai Baht

220 V; Plugs A & C. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use North American appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. (See Packing List)

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including; dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.We highly recommend that you obtain advice from a travel clinic prior to traveling, to ensure that you have all of the recommended vaccines necessary for the destination.

Days are usually hot with balmy evenings, so visitors should pack light and cool clothing.The average temperature in Chiang Mai in October for a typical day ranges from a high of 81°F (27°C) and a low of 67°F (20°C).

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc., and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Cash

The currency in Thailand is the baht (THB). There are 100 satangs in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in 1B, 2B, 5B and 10B coins. Older coins have Thai numerals only, while newer coins have Thai and Arabic numerals. The 2B coin was introduced in 2007 and is confusingly similar in size and design to the 1B coin. The two satang coins are typically only issued at supermarkets where prices aren’t rounded up to the nearest baht, which is the convention elsewhere. Paper currency is issued in the following denominations: 20B (green), 50B (blue), 100B (red), 500B (purple) and 1000B (beige). In the 1990s, the 10B bills were phased out in favour of the 10B coin but occasionally you might encounter a paper survivor. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are widely available and are the easiest ways to get Thai baht, however bank fees can be as high as 200 Thai Baht.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Almost all money exchange booths and banks will change Canadian dollars. We suggest not to change too much money at the airport in Bangkok as they don’t offer a good exchange rate. At the airport and other places in Chiang Mai they offer better rates. Current exchange rates are printed in the Bangkok Post and the Nation every day, or you can walk into any Thai bank and ask to see a daily rate sheet.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Credit Cards

Major credit cards (like Visa & Mastercard) are widely accepted in big cities and resort hotels but not in family-run guesthouses or restaurants.


You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.