There are so many reasons to head off into the wilder, less well-trodden regions of Northern Thailand. Here are just a few…
The culture of the North is largely untouched by the sometimes excessive tourist and commercial development of Bangkok and the islands of the south. You won’t see any Burger Kings or McDonalds where we’re going. And the coffee you drink will be brewed from local beans from local plantations in the local style. In fact, in some places you’re unlikely to see another traveller let alone Western brands!
The moment you set foot outside of Chiang Mai City, you enter regions inhabited by diverse and distinct ethnic groups. Just 45 minutes outside the city there are Hmong tribes who rarely speak Thai, let alone English. On top of that there are the Karen, The Akha, the Lahu, the Mien and the Dara Ang. Each tribe, and each region, have their own unique cultures, languages and foods. And when you travel with us you get the time and opportunity to meet some of these people on their own terms, and get know them as friends as yet unmet, rather than attractions on a whistle stop tour.
A truer connection
We’ve all been to those paces in Thailand where the locals have had enough of the tourists hordes, and the famous Thai hospitality has been tested to the limit. This just isn’t the case in the places we visit. Very few travellers head where we head, and even fewer minivan tours! And because we support local business and are respectful of the culture and the country, we’re welcomed into the area with open arms, warm smiles and the kind of hospitality that drew people to Thailand in the first place. Add that the fact that the locals love seeing foreigners travelling about in Tuk Tuks, and you’ll see how our trips give you the chance to see people at their best and most natural, and make a truer connection with the country and its people.
Forget limp fried rice on Khao San, generic fish curries out on the islands and rubbery fishcakes with dipping sauce straight from a supermarket. The places we go, and the restaurants and hotels we visit, will give you a newfound love of true northern Thai food. Think camp cooking out in the jungle, local restaurants where your guide will have to help you choose because there isn’t a word of English spoken, lunchtime tables laden with dishes you’ll never find back home, and getting stuck into a proper ‘moo gratha’ (Thai style BBQ) with greasy fingers, a cold beer or two and a huge smile on your face. This is what Thai food is all about, and we guarantee you’ll remember it forever.