Insider's Guide to Chiang Mai

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Tour code: 5942CNXTTAC05
Take a privately guided walk on an old opium trail in Northern Thailand, where you’re accompanied by a local Hmong guide between mountain villages. You’ll visit the Hmong communities of Doi Pui and Ban Mae Sa Mai, and learn about the people and plants of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, whose slopes once supported a prolific opium trade. Your full-day private tour includes a stop at Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, the FORRU tree nursery and a Hmong museum, plus a picnic lunch and round-trip hotel transport by minibus.

Highlights

  • Full-day opium trail tour from Chiang Mai
  • Drive to the Hmong village of Doi Pui
  • View Phra That Doi Suthep Temple with a private local guide
  • Embark on a 4-hour trek through Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
  • Visit Ban Mae Sa Mai, Northern Thailand’s largest Hmong community
  • Thai picnic lunch and FORRU project donation included
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off by private vehicle

What You Can Expect

Opium Trail Trek Including Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Hmong Village Tour

Old Opium Trail Trekking Tour from Chiang Mai

Meet your guide during hotel pickup in Chiang Mai and get comfortable in your private minibus for the drive to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Your first stop is Phra That Doi Suthep Temple, a 14th-century Buddhist monastery that houses an Emerald Buddha replica. Arrive before the crowds for a look at the ornate murals and classic Thai design, and climb the 300 steps for a panoramic view over Chiang Mai.

Hear about the complicated history of the local Hmong community en route to Doi Pui village, where you’ll meet up with a Hmong guide to accompany you on a hike to Ban Mae Sa Mai village, the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand.

The 4-hour trek to the Mae Sa Valley follows a leisurely pace along a nature trail, taking you through dense forest past wild banana trees and water features, and includes photo stops. Learn some plant and tree identification, and hear about the opium cultivation once prevalent in the region, which now supports fruit trees and other agricultural projects. Eat a Thai picnic lunch at a scenic spot and get a glimpse of an alleged footprint of the Buddha.

Upon reaching Ban Mae Sa Mai, you’ll find few visitors in marked contrast with Doi Pui. Learn about the forest restoration project of Chiang Mai University called FORRU, which your included donation fee supports. Visit the FORRU tree nursery and a small Hmong museum before your private vehicle transports you back to Chiang Mai.

Customer Reviews

Jos T Australia

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

This trek was just the sort of one day trek we were after, a break from the city and a look at the local villages. The best part was the trek itself and the lovely guide chai.. We didn't see as much of the villagers themselves as much as we had liked, but a good day out.

Lorraine E

4 star rating: Recommended March 2015

It started out late but it was an excellent trip. Both guides were very informative about plant life. Not sure if this was because I'm a doctor but it was great.

From USD $ 48.99

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