If I head up to Chiang mai for 2 weeks is it possible to do some trekking in that time into the jungle? How do I go about doing it? Do I book in advance?
Hi Stephanie, yes it is more than possible.
Basically you can get treks that last one, two or a few nights. It is up to you and how long you want to trek for. Most follow the same rough routes into the jungles, hills and tribal areas of Northern Thailand, visiting different ‘villages’ (where you will also eat and sleep if you are on an overnight trek) such as the Karen village which are often quite tourist orientated. These treks sometimes include short legs of being driven from one point to another, depending who you go with. Many also include different activities such as elephant trekking or river rafting from one point to the next, as well as various educational slants. It all depends on the specifics of the tour group and tour you choose. Some are better than others in terms of funding projects/infrastructure in the communities/villages you visit too, so shop around.
When you get to Chiang Mai, there will be a whole host of companies to choose from. My advice is don’t be hasty, spend some time shopping around, ask other backpackers of their experiences with different companies. Get a feel for the tour operator and their prices, ask about the guide too as a good guide can make or break a trek and you need to ensure that the proper guides are in place and that the trek is registered with the tourist police etc. When you decide on a tour operator it is very easy to simply book it there and then, and they will put you on the next trek that is leaving a day (sometimes two) after that.
You will certainly not need 2 weeks up in Chiang Mai just for the trek, (as I said they usually last a few days and a couple of nights on average) but that will leave you ample time either side to rest, relax and explore Chiang Mai which is a great, relaxed place. You may want a day of rest/massages after your trek anyway! Have a great time!
Two weeks is plenty to go trekking into the jungle around Chiang Mai. Agencies don’t normally offer long trek options – the average is 2 nights/3 days, usually going up to max 5 days – but there are several different adventure tours available to choose from too, so you could do a mixture. You can book in advance with some agencies using the contact details on their websites, but if you haven’t booked anything by the time you arrive, you will find little difficulty in arranging a trip with one of the many agencies dotted about all over town – there are hundreds of trekking agencies in Chiang Mai covering nearly all trekkable areas of the north. Make sure the trek you book has at least two guides – a leader and a back-marker, and check make sure the agency is clear about when the trek starts and ends, and how to get to and from the base (though most will pick you up from your guesthouse). If you can, try to meet the other trekkers in your group and the guides, who should know reasonable English and be knowledgeable about hill tribe culture and etiquette. You should also check what meals are included, how much walking is involved and be shown a map of where you are going. All agencies should have licenses and certificates from the Tourist Authority of Thailand and each trek should be registered with the tourist police.
Most treks include a ride on an elephant and a bamboo-raft excursion, though the amount of actual walking included can vary greatly. A few operators offer something a little different. Eagle House (http://www.eaglehouse.com/) runs the standard type of trek, between two and four days long, with elephants and rafting, but to carefully chosen quiet areas and with an educational bent, and passes on a proportion of costs towards funding projects in hill-tribe villages. Moving upmarket, the Trekking Collective (http://www.trekkingcollective.com/) can arrange pricey but high-quality customized treks from one to five days and can cater for specific interests such as bird-watching; it too is involved in community programmes to help tribal people.
Chiangmai Green Alternative Tours ([email protected]), an eco-friendly and culturally sensitive operation 100m north of TAT at 31 Thanon Chiangmai–Lamphun, offers a fascinating diversity of worthwhile nature field trips. Sharing the proceeds with knowledgeable local guides, they can take you up into the mountains (Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon or Doi Chiang Dao) on one-day or multi-day trips, including bird-watching specialities.
You’re in for a fab time – the trekking in northern Thailand is great fun!
I can recommend Pooh’s eco treks which we found in the rough guide actually. We spent New Year 2012 with them on the ‘survival trek’ which was fantastic.
If you don’t mind roughing it, this option takes you deep into the jungle where you set up your own camp, forage for food, set traps for wild animals (small ones!) and hunt frogs. It was a wonderful experience and we learned a lot. The treks are led by guides from the local community who have lived there for generations. The proceeds are put back into the villages there and developing sustainable tourism. We were led by an English speaking guide and his companion who didn’t speak English but knew everything about the jungle and was able to make everything we needed from bamboo, from plates to cups and even cocktail mixers (well it was NYE!!).
They offer many types of trek including homestays if you are not up for a night under banana leaves!
The Doi Inthanon NP is about a 2 hour drive from Chang Mai and the transportation was a bit bumpy but safe.
Thank you all for the great advice! You have really put my mind at rest. Those tour groups sound great! I think I’ll wait till I get there to find one and look around since it sounds like that is easy to do? But I’ll definitely check those you mentioned out too. Thanks again XXX
You don’t need to book ahead. The longest treks in Thailand are only 3 days. There are some hiking places and you can always go up to Pai for more trekking. But unfortunately Thailand isn’t an amazing Trekking destination, more of just something to do when you are here.
I’m currently reading a book called 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap (http://www.12WeeksinThailand.com) and there is an entire chapter about trekking in Thailand, particularly Chiang Mai and Koh Tao, plus the lack of trekking in Phuket. But the author also goes to Borneo to climb Mount Kinabalu which sounds AMAZING.
I completely disagree. As someone who has trekked in Thailand, climbed mount Kinabalu (as well as jungle trekked in Borneo, Malaysia and a dozen other places, mountain or volcano trekked in dozens of places too), Thailand is still a good place to do a trek. It is a completely different experience from the one you mention.
The prices of trekking vary a lot for a three day trek. The cheapest is maybe 1,200 baht and it goes up to 3,000 baht depending on the guide and where they take you.
I’ve done the 3 day 1,400 baht trek before and it’s fun. But it’s not the best in the world. The trek in Borneo at Mt. Kinabalu the other guy mentioned is supposed to be the highest in SE Asia but that you would have to book 2-3 months ahead for.
I had great exeprience trekking to Ghorepani-poon hill. The exeprience was unbelievable great views with a great guide. The hotel and food exceeded my exepectation every thing was more than I expected. I will definitely reccomemned for Sanjib to other people coming to nepal.
We have had a fantastic two week trek to Everest base camp. Our Guide and porter. Sanjib and Pemba have been excellent and very attentive looking after us.Sanjib is a very good guide and taught us allot about Nepali culture. Pemba was a brilliant porter. We think he will make an excellent guide in future.The level of service from both Sanjib and Pemba was superb. They were available all the way to help us with anything we needed, and both were thoughtful about anything we might require, water, food showers,accomodation. Sanjib’s knowledge of the area and the lodges meant that we were always happy with our accommodation. He took care to visit places which were comfortable and had home stay feel. Sanjib have the qualities to be excellent guide and porter and to give all his clients a wonderful trekking experience.We highly recommend him.
-Nedeen & Alicha,USA .
Everest View Trek – 9 Days
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Everest View trek gives you a glimpse of Everest region, where the tallest point on the earth lies. This trek for 7 days takes you to the Namche bazar and Tengboche which are the beautiful towns on the way to Everest Base Camp.
• Starting point: International Airport or Bus stand
• Start time: N/A
Glimpse of Mt Everest and the sight from nearby
Personal and professional trek services
Tailor-made and private trek available
Currently it is not possible to book this product due to its limited availability.
Everest View Trek – 9 Days
Everest View Trek is the short trek program in the Everest Region. It is only for a total of 7 days and those who have a short time in Nepal and wish to experience the best trek region can enjoy the trek. The trek is not that strenuous thus people in any physical fitness can do this. The trek will take you to the beautiful villages of Everest region either Tengboche or Khumjung of your choice. The view of Everest is superb from those places. The beautiful valleys, the view of Himalayas and the culture of Sherpa people is nice to experience.
The trek begins with the flight to Lukla and then easy walk to Phakding for the first day. The second day is quite harder and steep up in the mountain. You will reach to the Sagarmatha National Park this day (one of the world heritage park) and then to Namchebazar a gateway to the Everest Region. Namche is a beautiful town. Then you will go to Tengboche or Khumjung village as your choice. The trek will end by flying back to Kathmandu again.
Everest views Trekking Itinerary in Detail:
Day 1: Arrival Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu. Meet with our representative and then transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Kathmandu – Likla – Phakding
Fly half an hour to Lukla 2850 m. in the morning which is taken as one of the most challenging and adventurous flights. Due to weather, the flights to Lukla take place in the early morning. Trek to Phakding 2652 m. which will take approximately 2 hrs.
Day 3: Phakding – Namche Bazar
Trek to Namche Bazzar 3440 m. for approximately 5 hrs and the last part is steep up for some 2 hrs. On the way up you can sight the Mt. Everest for the first time. Namchebazar is gateway to the Everest Region and nice town. From the town itself one can see beautiful Kongde Peak and other smaller peaks.
Day 4: Namche Bazar – Tengboche or Khumjung
Trek Namchebazar to Tyangboche 3867m which is a beautiful town with the region’s most popular Tyangboche Monastery . The monastery is seated by the reincarnated Rimpoche (a blessed Monk of Tibetan Buddhism). Mani Rimdu Festival in the Monastery with nine days of ceremonies and special meditation by the monks with Mask Dance is observed in late October (date fluctuate due to lunar calendar) every year. There is the practice of receiving blessing by the Monk for the successful climbing of Everest and other mountains in the region.
Day 5: Tengboche or Khumjung Rest Day
Rest day to explore the valley and town. Enjoy the beauty of the town.
Day 6: Trek Back to Namche or Monju
Trek back to Namche or Monju as far as you reach or the place where you want to stay.
Day 7: Trek to Lukla
Trek back to Lukla and then enjoy the rest day in this beautiful town. You can have a party after your successful adventure.
Day 8: Fly back to Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu in the morning and transfer to the hotel. The day is free for you to explore the city on your own.
Day 9: Departure from Kathmandu
Free time before you departs from Kathmandu. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to your home with fond memories of the World’s Highest Mountain.
Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu in 2/3 star category with Breakfast
Airport meet up and transfer services by the company representatives
Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu domestic air ticket (yourself and the guide)
Kathmandu Airport – Hotel – Airport Transfers
TIMS and Sagarmatha National Park permit
Hotel Accommodation during the Trek in the standard mountain Lodges with breakfast.
Guide for the Trekking ( for larger groups more than 8 pax there will be assistance for Guide)
Note: Passport details of all trekkers must reach to us prior to trip departure for the flight reservation and ticketing.
What’s Not Included?
International flight to Nepal
Nepal Visa ( 1 month Visa is USD 30 and available at the entry point on arrival)
Meals during the Trek and in Kathmandu ( Allow USD 5 – 10 per meal)
Porter for the Trek ( USD 98 Per Porter who will carry stuff of 2 approximately 20 – 25 Kg)
Tips for Guide and Staff
Other not mentioned above as included
Good to Know:
Fitness and Health for the Trek:
This trek is moderate trek suitable for all walkers who have ability to walk at least 4-7 hours a day with a light rucksack. The trek demands some physical and mental preparations to trek in the high altitude, however, with a sound health and average physical fitness, positive attitude, self confidence and strong determination can accomplish the Trek successfully. Exercising and jogging regularly for some weeks in your home prior to this trek is good. Our guide/ leader will take good care of you during the Trekking and we try our best to bring you safe back from the trekking.
What should you bring?
Sleeping Bag / Down Jackets ( you can rent in Kathmandu but better to have your own ), Warm clothing must be suitable for below zero degree ( -10 Degree Celsius ), comfortable walking/trekking boots, comfortable and warm dress to wear during walking, sunglass, hat, sun cream, water bottle, etc