This 5-day trek takes you far off the beaten track and into the beautiful hills of Northern Thailand in the Mae Hong Son area. Passing through remote Karen tribal villages and staying in local accommodation each night will give you an authentic insight into the lifestyle of the ethnic minority people who live in the area.
The WVS Project
In 2015 WVS were made aware that a dog shelter they supported in Chiang Mai, Thailand was facing closure and the future of the dogs there were in severe jeopardy. WVS took over the running of the shelter and set up a dedicated International Training Centre (ITC) to help treat the animals of Chiang Mai as well as providing free veterinary training to Thai vets. You will have the unique opportunity to visit this shelter and learn more about the work of WVS in Thailand.
Day 1 (Saturday 27 October): London - Bangkok
Depart London on an overnight flight to Bangkok.
Day 2 (Sunday 28 October): Bangkok
Upon arrival in Bangkok you will transfer to your central hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening. Depending on flight times there may be some time to explore this bustling and exciting city.
Day 3 (Monday 29 October): Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son
This morning we transfer to the airport with our guide for the short flight to Chiang Mai. On arrival we will transfer by road to our hotel in Mae Hong Son (approx. 6 hours), stopping for lunch en-route. This afternoon is at leisure before gathering together for a trek briefing.
Day 4 (Tuesday 30 October): Trek day 1: Mae Hong Son - Huai Hee
After breakfast we set off for our first day's trek. To reach the trail there is a short drive (approx. 1.5 hours) in 4WD's from where we begin hiking through the Ban Ham Hoo Valley up to 1,650m to enjoy the beautiful scenery and views. Some parts of the trail are quite steep and narrow as we trek through different types of forest. Along the way we learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Karen people and look out for wild orchids. This afternoon we reach the Karen village of Huai Hee where we meet our hosts for the next 2 nights. The people of Huai Hee are known for their conservation of wild orchids, protection of the forest and producing handmade, naturally dyed weaving. Trekking: approx. 5 hours / 8 km.
Day 5 (Wednesday 31 October): Trek day 2: Huai Hee - Doi Pui - Huai Hee
Huai Hee village lies at the base at the Doi Pui Mountain, the highest peak in Mae Shong Son Province at 1,685m. Today's goal is the summit. This trek passes waterfalls and some beautiful viewpoints, and your guides will help you gain a deeper insight into the conservation efforts of the Karen people and their careful use of natural resources. After reaching the summit we stop for our traditional packed lunch before returning to the village where there may be an opportunity to see how the Karen cook rice, before enjoying a meal and spending time with your host families. Trekking: approx. 6 hours / 10 km.
Day 6 (Thursday 1 November): Trek day 3: Huai Hee - Huai Tong Kor
Today we pack our rucksacks, enjoy breakfast and say farewell. Our trek starts along a road from the village before joining the trail back into the lush mountainous area of Huai Tong Kor, where we will stay tonight. This village is home to blacksmiths, herbal medicine gurus, spiritual leaders, singers and sword dancers. There is a huge waterfall over 150m high close to the village and you can learn about the traditional water management methods to irrigate the paddy fields. This evening we have the opportunity to see traditional sword dancing before staying with your hosts for the evening in their traditional homes. Trekking: approx. 8 hours / 11 km
Day 7 (Friday 2 November): Trek day 4: Huai Tong Kor - Huai Kung
After breakfast we set off into the Mae Samad River Valley, stopping to visit a large waterfall on the way. There are some stream and river crossings today so be prepared take your boots off for a refreshing wade across. We arrive at the small Buddhist village of Huai Kung this afternoon, which will be our home for the night. The village is located on the river and is a wonderful place for swimming. The villagers rely on the river for fishing in addition to hunting game and rice farming. You will enjoy a traditional meal together this evening before relaxing and getting to know your village hosts. Trekking: approx. 6-7 hours / 11 km
Day 8 (Saturday 3 November): Trek day 5: Huai Kung - Mae Hong Son
This morning we depart the village for our final day of trekking. We continue through the Mae Samad River Valley with further river crossings before reaching some beautiful and diverse landscapes, including teak, bamboo and red wood forest before arriving at Pabong Village where we say farewell to our trek support team. From here we transfer to Mae Hong Son (approx. 1 hour drive) and check into your hotel. Trekking: approx. 6 hours / 10 km
Day 9 (Sunday 4 November): Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning before returning back to Chiang Mai (approx. 6 hours' drive), stopping for lunch en-route. Upon arrival in Chiang Mai you will check into your hotel and have time to relax for the rest of the day before dinner.
Days 10-11 (Monday 5 - Tuesday 6 November): WVS projects, Chiang Mai
The next 2 days you will enjoy visits to WVS projects including the International Training Centre (ITC) and dog shelter where you will learn all about the important work WVS does in the area. On the Tuesday evening there will be a celebratory farewell dinner with traditional dancing and musical performances.
Day 12-13 (Wednesday 7- Thursday 8 November): Chiang Mai - Bangkok - London
Depending on flight times you will have some free time after breakfast before transferring to the airport for the flight home, via Bangkok, arriving Thursday morning.
N.B. This itinerary is complex and details may change due to unusual weather patterns, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group. Adventure travel is often unpredictable so flexibility and an open mind is recommended.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK
- Airport taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in Thailand
- Hotels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, homestay on trek
- English-speaking local guides
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
- Conservation and entry fees
- Trek permits
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Travel insurance
- Spending money (tips, drinks, souvenirs)
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Personal trek kit
27 October - 7 November 2018
Registration Fee: £275
This trip is graded as Challenging