11 Day Tuk Tuk Tour of Northern Thailand
What do you get?
From £1395 Per Person
(reserve your place with a deposit of just £50 pp)
Where you'll go
Day 1: Tuk Tuk Introductions And Temple Blessing
We’ll pick you up at 10:00am from the Chiang Mai Gate Hotel in Chiang Mai City and transfer you to our basecamp to prepare for the adventure ahead.
On arrival in Mae Wang at around 11:30am we’ll check you in to your accommodation (in our opinion, it’s the coolest hotel in the area) and have some lunch together. Then jump into the back of your Tuk Tuk and head off to explore winding rural lanes, rarely visited villages and off the beaten tourist track Temples with stunning views of the country. At one of the Temples we’ll receive a blessing for the adventures ahead and get a real insight into how local communities and their relationship with their temple and the monks who live there.
You’ll arrive back at basecamp in the late afternoon in time to freshen up and head out for a night a local ‘country–pub’. Think proper Thai food, a few drinks and live music… it’s a very special place to us, and a great place to kick off your adventure.
Day 2: Tuk Tuks And Elephants
After breakfast you’re back into your Tuk Tuk and you’ll head North up the valley to the remote region of Mae Sapok.
Think ‘classic Thailand’ – rice terraces, water buffalo, the odd elephant hanging out by the river and small wooden houses surrounded by vegetable gardens. You’ll hike through the forest to a lovely waterfall (wild swimming optional) and then head off to a local Karen village.
Then it’s time to drive out through small country roads to a fantastic elephant home that’s leading the way in taking elephants away from a life of trekking and instead creating an environment where people can learn about and spend time with elephants on their terms, not ours!
At the elephant home you’ll learn about the history of the elephants, what the team at the elephant home are doing and then, after a great lunch it’s time to enjoy the company of these wonderful animals. You’ll be able to feed them, get to know them and then walk with them to the local river where you’ll bathe with them.
In the late afternoon we’ll have a change of pace as you float gently downstream on bamboo rafts before there’s time for more driving practice as we head back to the base camp for dinner and getting ready for an adventurous day tomorrow.
Day 3: The Road To Doi Inthanon
After an early breakfast we’re hitting the road and heading along small country roads towards Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. The first 20-30km of the route is simple with gentle curving roads but we soon hit stunning switch back bends, incredible scenery and tiny Karen hill tribe villages as we make our way towards the National Park.
Enjoy the look of complete surprise from everyone as they see Tuk Tuks this far up in the mountains – trust us, novelty doesn’t not even begin to cover it – and we’ll stop frequently to have a look at different villages / views and of course to sample some of the great coffee and snacks in small villages. You’ll get a true taste of Northern Thai style cuisine with lunch at a roadside snack bar.
We arrive at our accommodation mid-afternoon before jumping in another classic Thai mode of transport – a ‘Songtaew’ – a shared taxi adapted from a pick up truck, which drives us to the summit of the mountain.
Day 4: Jungle Trekking
We’re giving the Tuk Tuks a well deserved rest today and exploring the National Park on foot. Accompanied by an expert trekking guide we’ll explore the stunning forest around the area on a trek of around 6km which takes in great views and a stunning waterfall.
Lunch is provided on the trek and your trekking guide is a mine of information on both the people and wildlife of the surrounding areas. The more questions you have, they happier they’ll be!.
We’ll arrive back at the accommodation around mid – late afternoon, just in time to rest up, relax and then enjoy a great countryside Thai feast.
Day 5: On The Road Again
Time to get back on the road and today we head out of Doi Inthanon National Park towards our destination of Mae Sariang, close to the Burmese border.
Our route winds through incredible scenery and some very quiet roads for the first section of the day and we then join the main road for the last hour or two into Mae Sariang. Towering trees, steep hills and more than a few sharp curves are the order of the day and we’ll, as always, take frequent stops to enjoy the area, let the Tuk Tuk cool down and to allow traffic to pass.
We’ll arrive in Mae Sariang around mid-late afternoon and check into our superb riverside accommodation for the night.
Mae Sariang is well worth exploring with friendly people, a fascinating mix of Thai and Burmese culture (Mae Sariang is home to many Burmese Muslims) and some interesting temples. Alternatively, cool off in the pool, have a cold beer on the terrace over the river watching the sun go down, or all of the aboveT
Day 6: More Bends and Mountains
Mae Hong Son is our destination today and we’ll head up, over and around the mountains on one of Thailand’s most stunning roads to reach our accommodation. With plenty of stops to take in the scenery and chat to all and sundry wondering how on earth you’re driving a Tuk Tuk… this is most definitely a day to keep you camera handy and dust off the go-pro!
We’ll arrive at your accommodation around mid-afternoon giving you enough time to check in, have a quick swim in the resort’s lovely pool and settle into the amazing sunset bar nestled right amongst the rice fields. An ice cold Singha beer has never tasted so good!
Day 7: Explore Mae Song
A day off for your Tuk Tuks and some time to do as you please. There’s a fantastic 8km trek through the forest right from the resort grounds, a swimming pool to hang out by or you can head into Mae Hong Son town to explore (around 10-15 mins by minivan)
Day 8: Over The Mountains To Pai
Pai, one of the most famous of all mountain towns in Thailand, is our destination today but before we get there we need to negotiate several hundred bends and some of the steepest roads on the trip. With great forest and incredible views this is a great day and towards mid / late afternoon we’ll drop down into the valley where Pai sits.
Your accommodation is 5km outside the town sitting amongst rice fields and great views wherever you look. There’s also a lovely swimming pool to relax, enjoy the stunning scenery and reflect on the incredible journey so far.
Day 9: Explore Pai
Another day to let the Tuk Tuks rest and give you the opportunity to do some exploring on your own. From hot springs and temples to hanging out by the pool or exploring the local villages, our guides are on hand to help arrange all sorts of activities. Or you can just kick back and take in the stunning views from your stylish boutique resort.
Day 10: The Last Leg
Setting off in the early morning we negotiate the final few hundred bends as we drop back down towards Chiang Mai and then to our base camp at Mae Wang. You’ll notice a huge change in the villages, people and temperature as we head lower and lower.
We take today pretty easy and you’ll have lots of opportunities to stop and explore and will arrive back in Mae Wang late afternoon/early evening. Then it’s time to freshen up before we have a final night feast and share travel stories from the last 10 days.
Day 11: A Fond Farewell
After a lie in – it will have been a late night last night! – we’ll transfer back to Chiang Mai Gate Hotel arriving around 12:30pm. You are now a fully-fledged member of The Tuk Tuk Club!