Trekking in is a must for any adventure in Northern Thailand, or indeed for any ‘holiday’ in the region. Whilst ‘trekking’ can conjure up thoughts of hard-core expeditions, tramping for miles through impenetrable jungle and sleeping under canvas (all great fun but not necessarily for everyone), that’s not necessarily what it means in Thailand. The vast majority of ‘treks’ are more akin to pleasant walks through stunning forests and hill communities, stopping off at waterfalls and rivers to cool down. Something that pretty much everyone can and should do on any holiday in Thailand, and Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son are the perfect provinces for all sorts of treks – from half day to multi day adventures.

Why should you ‘trek’?

There’s much more to Thailand than islands and beaches, Tom Yam Khung and Pad Thai. Head to the North of the country and experience stunning forests, beautiful waterfalls and spend time in fascinating small communities. All this whilst getting some exercise and building up and appetite for a well-deserved cold beer and Northern Thai feast at the end of the day. If you haven’t done at least a half day trek then you’ve not really had the full Thai experience and let your senses see why the North of Thailand remains on all sensible travellers bucket lists.

What sort of trek should you do?

Clearly this is up to you! How fit are you? How much do you enjoy walking? Do you want to spend a night or two in a remote rural community? Are you just looking for a little insight into Northern Thailand’s beautiful countryside or a more full on adventure experience? The good news is that pretty much whatever you are looking for, there are great companies in Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son who can deliver what you’re looking for. However, do your homework, find out how many other people are going to be ‘trekking’ with you – it’s generally not as enjoyable when you’re with 30+ other people! – and try to get as much of an idea as possible about the route. And remember, cheapest isn’t always best!

Where is the best place to trek?

As a rule, the further from a busy tourist town you are, the more interesting and enjoyable your trek will be. If you’ve only got a day and you’re in Chiang Mai then obviously your options are limited, but don’t worry, the scenery can still be spectacular, but if you’ve got more time on your hands then consider heading somewhere like Mae Hong Son town and arranging your trek from there. With hundreds of miles or trails and treks you can be pretty sure you’re going to get a ‘real’ experience and the countryside is that bit ‘wilder’.

Can I trek without a guide?

Although it’s discouraged, and in some areas against local regulations, you can trek without a guide and there are some incredible stories of travellers completing some stunning 7 day and longer treks in very remote parts of Thailand. But, unless you’re very experienced and know what you’re doing, heading off deep into mountainous forests isn’t the most sensible thing to do, particularly if you don’t speak the local language and don’t know the local flora and fauna. And don’t forget, a good guide is worth their weight in gold with their knowledge and passion for the area and will add hugely to your enjoyment (and keep you safe!)

Fancy some trekking as part of the best adventure in Northern Thailand? Well come and join us and travel with The Tuk Tuk Club. There are two great opportunities for trekking – one exploring Doi Inthanon and it’s fascinating small mountain communities, the other an awesome walk in Mae Hong Son skirting through National Parks and rivers. In both cases you’ll be accompanied but our passionate and hugely knowledgeable team.

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