One of the activities you can do when visiting Chiang Mai is a trekking or hiking for 2 or 3 days. Trekking is an alternative activity that will give you the opportunity to enjoy a different view of Thailand on your trip, while enjoying the landscape, the natural beauty of Thailand and the authentic contact with the local people.
WHAT IS THE BEST AREA FOR TREKKING IN CHIANG MAI?
Because of its proximity the best area to do it is Mae Taeng, about 35 km north of Chiang Mai. Located near the Sri Lanna Nature Park and bordered by the Taeng River, Mae Tang is a mountainous area inhabited by different ethnic groups, a perfect example of the cultural melting pot that exists throughout northern Thailand.
To be able to do this trekking you can find in Chiang Mai a lot of travel agencies where you can book it. These agencies offer 1 or 2 day overnight tours in some of the villages you visit. The problem with these tours is that most of them include elephant rides, which we really should avoid because we are talking about an activity that involves animal exploitation and in many cases abuse.
Once at the agency and after checking what activities they offer, the ideal is to choose a tour where we can enjoy the contact with the local people and choose more ecotourist activities. These tours are always guided by a local guide who will show us all the secrets of the culture and way of life of the mountain people and will teach us the secrets of the fauna and flora of the area. With our guide we will discover how to use natural elements for cooking and how to make basic utensils. In these tours we will have the opportunity to meet different populations inhabited by different ethnic groups, such as the Akha, Shan, Lisu, Lahu and Karen.
WHAT ACTIVITIES YOU SHOULD NOT MISS IN YOUR CHIANG MAI TREKKING?
Mok fah waterfall: Ideal to refresh yourself
Visit ethnic or mountain tribe villages.
Make a descent in bamboo raft by the Mae Tang river and if you like strong emotions and you go in the appropriate time rafting in rapids.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO GO TREKKING IN CHIANG MAI
The best time of year to do your trekking would be from November to April as these are months when there is almost no rain, the roads are easy and the landscape is wet and green. From April to June you will find the landscape quite dry and from June to November the rains will be abundant which can make the walks very uncomfortable.
Wear the right clothes for the trek so you don’t carry too much weight. In Chiang Mai you can leave the rest of your luggage without any problem.
Take a raincoat with you.
Wear comfortable shoes with your ankle closed. Trekking in sandals is not a good idea.
Understand that the villages and ethnic groups that live there are not fairground attractions, be polite and respectful. Ask permission before taking a photo and do not give gifts to children.
Understand that accommodation and food will be basic, understand that the best part of the trip is living with your fellow trekkers and in the villages where you are welcomed
Understand that the guide will be in English but don’t worry that the language of the gestures is international.
Always look for travel agencies that offer alternative tours where the practices of responsible and ecological tourism are more important. DO NOT COLLABORATE WITH THE MISTREATMENT OF THE ELEPHANTS IN THESE TOURS.
Avoid tours with large groups of tourists. The more personalized the better.