Northern Thailand tour
An exciting and varied tour by road, rail and river through some of the most picturesque, yet remote and rarely visited parts of far northern Thailand
Bangkok – Local Markets and Streetlife Chinatown Walk World Heritage Sukhothai Local Train Ride Lampang Elephant Hospital Phayao Phu Chee Fah Chiang Saen Ancient City Mae Salong Golden Triangle Chiang Rai Kok River Boat Cruise Hill-tribe Villages
US $1965ToUS $2050excluding flights
Description of Northern Thailand tour
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur Hidden Thailand tour is a small group, low impact guided tour of off the beaten track regions of northern Thailand. We limit the number of participants to a maximum of 12 persons accompanied by a licensed Thai tour-leader well-versed in sustainable tourism practices along with, where applicable, local guides sourced at the destinations.
We believe such small-sized groups create less impact both on the environment and on the local communities visited during the tour as well as giving a higher staff-guest ratio which facilitates the imparting of relevant information. This includes environmental guidelines as well as cultural dos and don’ts while creating the potential for more genuine interaction with said communities and residents encountered along the way.
In emphasizing the lesser-known destinations as well as the famous ones the tour helps to spread the financial benefits of tourism to areas that don’t usually receive tourist groups, thus stimulating employment in such areas as well as relieving pressure on the more popular sites.
Limited numbers also permit us to dispense with hired (bus) transport as much as possible and so we employ public transport – local buses and taxis – for shorter journeys while the longest transfer involved – Bangkok to Sukhothai –is done by train. Our Bangkok day tour is conducted using entirely public transport.
Entrance fees to historical sites – including ones not normally on standard tourist itineraries – contribute towards site management and protection as well as staff salaries. These include Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai, Wat Chalerm Phrakiet (Lampang), Chiang Saen Historical Park and Mae Fah Luang Botanical Gardens.
We also include visits to national parks and protected areas such as Phu Chee Fah Forest Park, Phayao Lake and Phu Sang and Lam Nam Kok national parks.
We’ve now introduced large drinking water containers on all transport so guests can refill personal flasks instead of single-use plastic bottles.
PeopleSmall group sizes allow us to use correspondingly smaller accommodation options and we endeavour to select locally-owned, run and staffed family-style hotels employing genuine responsible tourism practices. It also allows us to use small cafes, street food and markets for meals and drinks breaks – off limits to larger groups – which is of direct benefit to local communities as well as providing a far more authentic eating experience and interaction for our guests.
All staff are fully-licensed Thai nationals and accommodation used is small scale and locally owned and staffed. Drivers and local guides are fully briefed on sustainable and responsible tourism practices.
Off the beaten track destinations on this itinerary include Lampang, Phayao, Phu Chee Fah, Chiang Saen and Mae Salong. In the latter we also include a visit to a community-based tourism scheme in a village of the Akha minority while in the former we visit and donate to the Lampang Elephant Hospital.
A specific project relating to this tour is our own support for a kindergarten and day-care scheme in a border village near Mae Salong. The project is entirely organised and managed by our All Points East Thailand office with donations from guests and involves providing financial and material assistance to a nursery school providing day care and basic education for nursery and pre-nursery age kids thus allowing both parents to take up full time employment. Materials include educational items as well as blankets, mattresses and mosquito nets etc. Children are from underprivileged minority – mainly Akha and Lisu - and Shan refugee families from Myanmar. The village is very remote so, although it isn’t practical to include on our itinerary, we organize a non-profit annual visit for anyone wishing to join. (More details and photos of this scheme can be found on our website.)