Min 1 person

Countryside with volunteering in a Karen tribe village.

From $380.00

A 4-day trip that combines activities in the countryside with volunteering in a local Karen tribe village. The days are packed full of activities all designed to give you an insight into traditional life in the countryside and connect with local communities. This is a great way to experience the nature and local traditions while giving back to communities you visit.

  • 4

    Days

  • S Asia

  • Tropical

  • Casual

  • 5

The Karen

Trip itinerary

Day 1

Mae Wang countryside

Pickup at 8 AM in Chiang Mai. Transportation to Mae Wang countryside (about 45 min, depending on road conditions). Stop at a local market to stock up on supplies. Transportation to treking start point in Sop Win (short drive. Trek in the forest by a waterway on mixed terrain (about 3 hr, depending on pace and number of stops along the way). Stop at a viewpoint and by a waterfall. Cook jungle style lunch in bamboo – traditional way of cooking for local communities, lunch consists of several traditional northern Thai dishes. Afternoon trek to Karen tribe village (a selection of trails is available, the trek can take from 1-3 hr, depending on guests’ wishes). Meet the hosts and learn to cook traditional Thai dishes with them (cooking class in a traditional kitchen). Dinner. Homestay in the village

Day 2

Mae Wang countryside

Breakfast. Volunteering until lunch (either at the local school, helping the teacher with daily tasks or in the farmland, helping the farmers, this depends on the school schedule as well as on guests’ wishes). Lunch in the village. Visit a local elephant camp and feed and bathe the elephants (about 1 hr visit). Return to the village and help hosts prepare dinner. Dinner. Homestay in the village

Day 3

Mae Wang countryside

Choice of activity: Volunteering until lunch (either at the local school, helping the teacher with daily tasks or in the farmland, helping the farmers, this depends on the school schedule as well as on guests’ wishes) – OR - learning local crafts: Karen weaving and basket making. Lunch in the village. Say goodbye to the villagers and transportation to Wang River in the valley (about 30 min, depending on road conditions). Bamboo rafting (about 45 min, depending on water level). Seasonal activity (usually from June to September): River tubing. Transportation to Chiang Mai (about 1 hr, depending on road conditions).
Stay in Chiang Mai (not included)

Day 4

Chiang Mai

Free day in Chiang Mai. Departure

Min 1 person

Trekking Challenge: The Remote Beauty of Mae Wang

Witness the beautiful countryside of Mae Wang. Trek the foothills of Doi Inthanon National Park, home to Thailand’s tallest Mountain. Learn about the Karen hill tribe community’s way of life with a homestay experience in their traditional Thai-style homes. Trek through lush evergreen forest teaming with rare birds and exotic wildlife. Highlights: ● Trek through undiscovered nature. Mae Wang is not visited by mass tourism which ensures for a 100% local experience. ● Get in-depth knowledge about the Karen hill tribe. Our trekking guides come from this area, you’re walking in their backyard and meet their families and sister tribes. ● Away from the world 7 days out in the wild changes a person. Coming from our high tech places, this week out in nature will recharge your battery and leave you with an unforgettable experience. - Explore areas where no tourist comes - Learn about different hill tribes and their way of life - Spend 7 days in complete nature - Visit the unnamed waterfall - Loads of chances to spot wildlife

  • 4

    Days

  • S Asia

  • Tropical

  • Intense

  • 5

The Karen

Trip itinerary

Day 1

Chiang Mai

After arrival, meet with the local guide and driver and be transferred from Chiang Mai Airport to the hotel.

After checking in, freshen up and then enjoy a nice welcome meal for dinner in the evening.

Dinner at a local restaurant in Chiang Mai.

Overnight at Chiang Mai
Distance and journey time:
Transfer from Chiang Mai Airport to Hotel: 45 minutes

Day 2

Khun Na Sa

Check out of the hotel and head out of Chiang Mai towards Doi Lor District, southwest of the city. Stop at the local market so that porters can pick up fresh locally-produced vegetables and meat for the trek. If this day falls on a Saturday we have an option to stop at the buffalo market in Hang Dong to watch a local livestock auction while stocking up on food.

Then, head to Huay Teun, a small stream running down Doi Lor Mountain. From here, start walking along the stream for an hour and take a picnic lunch on the way.

In the afternoon, the trekking becomes a little more strenuous as we start gaining elevation on a trail used by locals.

After a challenging couple of hours on the trail, take a rest at a hidden nameless waterfall in the middle of the jungle.

Afterwards, head further up before arriving at Khun Na Sa for a home-cooked dinner and overnight stay under the charming hospitality of a local hilltribe family.

Overnight in Khun Na San Village Homestay

Distance and journey time:
Transfer from Chiang Mai to Khun Na Sa: 2 hours Trekking: 4-5 hours
Difficulty: Medium

Day 3

Khun Puay

After a home-cooked breakfast, pack up and head out for another day of adventure. Start walking through the evergreen forest with the occasional ray of sun streaming through thick lush green vegetation. There are two trails on this day, a shorter easier walk of 4 to 5 hours and a longer more challenging 7 to 8 hour trail which holds the reward of a waterfall on the way! Both trails provide excellent opportunities to spot wildlife, especially birds which are abundant in this area -so binoculars are a good thing to bring!

Lunch will be a jungle-style picnic. Afterwards, make one last push to Ban Khun Puay, a Karen hilltribe village of 70 families. Spend some time to get acquainted with the people in the village learn about their culture and lives. At dinnertime, spend the evening as locals do: with a session of vocal storytelling! Afterwards, tuck in early for a well-deserved night of rest. The hilltribe village is nestled deep in a secluded valley, so dozing off to sleep tonight will be accompanied by little more than the chorus of nature.

Overnight in Khun Puay Village Homestay

Distance and journey time: Trekking: 4 to 8 hours Difficulty: Hard

Day 4

Khun Wang

From the village of Khun Puay we start walking the hills north of Doi Inthanon National Park between Khun Puay and Khun Wang. The area was once subjected to furious deforestation, which posed a significant threat to the biodiversity of the entire region. Today, more sustainable practices have been adopted by the hill tribes inhabiting the region, and forests are once again teeming with wildlife. This will be a great opportunity to see how big of an impact local conservation initiatives can have on improving the environment.

If the season and opportunity allows, this area also offers the opportunity to witness the rare Wild Himalayan Cherry. This light-pink tree flower can be seen blooming in the first months of the year in Khun Wang.

Overnight in Khun Wang

Distance and journey time: Trekking: 5- 6 hours Difficulty: Medium

Day 5

Ban Pa Mon

Leave Khun Wang in the morning after breakfast and head out for another day of trekking. This trail is at over 1,000 metres in elevation, and crosses through lush evergreen forest, occasionally paired with farming plots facilitated by the hill tribes.

The destination for the day is Ban Pha Mon, a Karen Village located on the northern tip of Doi Inthanon National Park. Along the way, enjoy a ‘jungle lunch’ and then have dinner with the Karen people in their village in Ban Pa Mon.

Overnight Ban Pa Mon

Distance and journey time: Trekking: 6-7 hours
Difficulty: Hard

Day 6

Ban Mae Sapok – Chiang Mai

The last day of our adventure takes us trekking through dense jungles to Ban Mae Sapok, a Karen village locally famous for its weaving techniques. Besides farming, the main occupation is hand weaving traditional Karen clothing, the village also has an interesting mix of spiritual beliefs that are unique to the Karen tribe. If we are lucky, there might be a ceremony on the day of our arrival such as a Wrist-Binding ceremony held in January and February or a Rice-Harvest Ceremony in August.

Lunch at the village and then transfer back to Chiang Mai by private air conditioned van.
Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, check in at the hotel for a well-earned hot shower.

In the evening, take a short walk from the hotel and celebrate the completion of an amazing journey in northern Thailand with a fabulous dinner of northern Thai specialties.

Afterwards, head out to explore the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar to pick up any last-minute souvenirs or handicrafts.

Overnight in Chiang Mai

Distance and journey time:
Transfer from Ban Mae Sapok to Chiang Mai: 2 hours Trekking: 5 - 6 hours
Difficulty: Medium

Day 7

Chiang Mai

Check out and transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for the onward flight.

Distance and journey time:
Transfer from Chiang Mai hotel to Chiang Mai Airport: 45 minutes