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Trekking the Golden Triangle, Thailand - 4 Days

Trip Overview

A complete and active tour showing the highlights of the North. Suitable for private groups and families. Perfect trip for active people who don’t like to sit in a tour bus.

Trip Highlights

- Trek to hill-tribe villages

- Doi Chiangdao mountain and it’s surrounding valley

- Chiangdao Caves and Buddhist sanctuary

- Hiking easy nature trails

- Elephant camp visit and elephant’s back riding

- Mae Sai and the Burma border market

- Thailand’s northernmost point

- A glimpse at mystical Golden Triangle

- Hall of Opium museum (optional)

Detailed itinerary


08h30am. Your guide will meet you at your hotel in Chiang Mai, and drive on the northern road.

Our first stop is at the Maetaman elephant camp, where you can see a demonstration of the elephant’s skills. Proceed to the Chiangdao caves for lunch at a local restaurant and short cave exploration. The caves are part of a Buddhist Temples. There are 3 different chambers which can be explored, some of them which have inhabited by hermit Burmese monks. We then drive to a village where we begin a short hike (1h) through the countryside, eventually reaching a Palong village. We continue by foot to reach the nearby Padeng Lodge for overnight. Dinner at the Lodge.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner


After breakfast, we take a short hike to reach a small Karen settlement and loop back via another village to reach the camp (1 1/2 hour). Refresh up, have a coffee and drive North to Ban Thaton, a small village near the Burmese border. Make a stop for lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Perhaps you can try some yellow noodles Khao Soi, or other northern Thai food delicacies in the small town of Fang. In Thaton, we suggest you to take a walk to visit Wat Thaton Temple, with it’s giant Buddha statue overlooking the valley, with great pictures opportunity.

Drive further along a scenic mountain road leading to Doi Mae Salong and the Chinese refugee village of Santikiri “The Hills of Peace”, flanked on the mountain’s slope near the summit. The Kuomintang Chinese established here over two decades ago, following the defeat of General Chiang Kai-Shek’s troops against the Chinese communist army. They fled their home town in southern China Yunan’s province, and after a short stay in Burma, they came to establish themselves in remote areas of Northern Thailand. There is a small museum relating the history which you can visit.

You can feel this special atmosphere on the top of this mountain, not felt anywhere else in Thailand, with it’s history and mix of different minorities. Overnight at a your hotel. Evening and dinner is at leisure tonight, and we recommend to eat at the hotel offering a choice of delicious Thai or Chinese dishes.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


In the morning, we will explore the local market where different ethnic population is gathering. Then drive further in the surroundings, visiting a tea plantation as well as other villages in the area. Drive down the winding road, stopping at some remote villages to reach the flat valley and proceed to Chiangrai town for lunch. Afternoon we’ll drive to a large Karen village, from where we will embark on elephant’s back, taking a ride up the mountain. End up in a small hilltop Lahu village where we spend the night with a local family. A delicious Thai dinner is prepared by your guides (basic accommodation, dormitory style hut).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Hike approximately one hour to a small waterfall where you can refresh and continue to the forestry office. Meet our vehicle and drive on the northern road to Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost point and an official Thai-Myanmar border crossing. Visit the bustling border market and as an option, participants could cross the border and visit the Burmese town of Thakhilek (subject to border opening and border pass fees). After lunch at a local restaurant in Mae Sai, we proceed by vehicle to the famous “Golden Triangle”, the point where three country’s borders meet: Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Optional visit (when timing allows) of the Hall of Opium, an interesting museum relating the history and golden era of the Opium Trade and the infamous golden triangle. We end the visit and drive back to Chiang Mai (3+ hour’s drive), making a last stop at the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) along the way.

Arrive back to Chiangmai early evening, usually around 7pm, and drop off at your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

- End of the tour -

Country: Thailand
Transfer: Included
Food: Included
Airport: Chiang Mai - CNX
Registered Member of Tourism board of: Thailand
Testimonials (Website,TripAdvisor, etc.): Yes
Link to reviews:
Guide Languages:
Experience Level: Moderate
Tour operator name: Activethailand
Min group size: 2
Max group size: 6
Duration: 4
Provided Accommodation: Tent and Hostel/Hotel
Included in service: Transportation by private air conditioned car/van Experienced English speaking tour guide Excursions and visits as mentioned Accommodation on day 1 at Padeng Lodge in private fan cooled room Accommodation on day 2 in tourist class hotel in Ban Thaton Accommodation on day 3 hill tribe village’s hut, basic comfort. Meals as mentioned in program Elephant show, elephant riding, cave entrance fees
Not included in Service: Beverages. Additional meals and personal spending. Gala Dinner at hotels during festive period. Guide tips and gratuities Optional border crossing fees (border pass $us 10.-) Optional entry ticket to Hall of Opium museum (THB 300.-) Optional boat trip at the Golden Triangle
Equipment to bring: tbd
Recommended Season:
Guaranteed departure dates: Every Day
Terms and Conditions: tbd
Listing created Dec 2, 2015

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