This trip brings you in the beautiful westerner mountainous and wooded part of Lanna. On your way to Mae Sariang you discover where the Mae Chaem River created Op Luang, a big but narrow canyon. Then you zigzag your way between mountains; landscape and vegetation modifies as you go ahead until you reach Mae Hong Son. You visit the very nice Shan temples that are mirroring in the lake. A beautiful view by day and by night. You climb to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu and admire its typical Shan architecture. The place offers a magnificent view on the city and the surrounding mountains.
Afterwards, an unforgettable boat trip on the Pai River brings you to the Padaung long neck women wearing a stack of copper necklaces around their neck. Your journey will take you further to Pai, a picturesque town on the homonymous river at the foot of the mountains. Your trip is full of discoveries: Tham Pla, the “Fish cave”, a pool at the foot of a limestone rock where you can feed huge blind blue carps. Then you visit the Tham Lod caves which rooms, crossed by the river, are the largest in Thailand. A visit on a bamboo raft pushed and pulled by local tribes’ people. Along the way to Chiang Mai you enjoy the beautiful landscape, traditional villages and small hill tribe markets. You visit centers of local crafts, the hallmark of the region. All in all a marvelous discovery of the authentic Lanna!
After your breakfast you continue your exploration of the North of Thailand and use a scenic route to Mae Sariang, a small city in the heart of the mountains, situated very close to the border with Myanmar. A nature trail, which winds and climbs to there. Along the way, you will walk in the Ob Luang gorge carved by the river Mae Chaem, within the national park of the same name. You stay 1 night in Mae Sariang.
From Mae Sariang the road winds up to Mae Hong Son through narrow valleys and through low-lying passes and runs along a mountain range. You will make a stop at the Pha Bong viewpoint before arriving in Mae Hong Son, a city surrounded by heavily forested mountains. In the center of town, you will visit the Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang temples, the oldest of Mae Hong Son, situated at a lake. Wat Jong Kham was built there nearly 200 years ago by the Thai Yai (Shan), who represent about half of the population of the province of Mae Hong Son. Wat Jong Klang houses centuries-old glass paintings depicting scenes from the Jakata, describing the previous lives of the Buddha, and a small museum with wooden dolls of Mandalay, aged 150 years, representing some of the most horrific aspects of the wheel of life. Women are denied access in some parts of Wat Jong Klang which is not unusual in Burma’s Shan Buddhist temples. You will stay 2 nights in Mae Hong Son.
This morning, you first climb to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, which offers a spectacular view of the valley in which Mae Hong Son is located. The temple itself is notable for its two large white chedi and its typical Shan architecture. Afterwards, you make an unforgettable boat trip on the Pai River to visit the village of Padaung long neck women. Women in this ethnic minority, native of northeastern Myanmar, are doomed from childhood to wear a stack of copper necklaces around their neck. After this memorable encounter you return to Mae Hong Son for your lunch. In the afternoon you discover the waterfall of Pha Sua. In the rainy season, the water flows along its cliff like a carpet, which gave its name to the waterfall. In the dry season, you can see beautiful stones. You will then head to the village of Napapak, inhabited by Shan and Hmong ethnic groups. No colored clothes, no gaudy hairstyles but a village where you can observe the daily life of its inhabitants. You then return to your hotel.
Today you travel a beautiful road in the foothills of the mountains and visit Tham Pla, the “Fish cave”, a pool at the foot of a limestone rock, in the natural park of Tham Pla – Pha Suea. You can feed huge blind blue carps. Before you arrive at Pai you use a small winding road through the forest to access the Tham Lod caves. They are interesting in more than one way. Not only for their rooms that are the largest in Thailand, but also for being crossed by a river. Thus this visit is partially done with bamboo rafts which are pushed and pulled by men of the local tribes. The visit of the rooms is accompanied by a local guide with a kerosene lamp. This gives a special atmosphere to the fantastic tour of this cave with beautiful concretions. You stay 1 night in Pai, a charming and picturesque town, located at the foot of the mountains in a valley with many rice fields.
Early this morning you descend to the plateau of Chiang Mai. Along the way you will enjoy the beautiful landscape, traditional villages and small hill tribe markets. At the approach of Chiang Mai, you will visit different centers of local crafts that are the hallmark of the region. A good opportunity to enjoy the artistic talents of artisans from Chiang Mai and to do some souvenir shopping!
Private English speaking guide (Note: other languages available with supplement)
Accommodation in selected hotels, in air-conditioned room with bath/shower
Overnight with breakfast in all mentioned hotels
Transport: Luxury air-conditioned minivan, with private driver
Meals as indicated in itinerary: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D)
All excursions as described in itinerary
Admission fees to the mentioned sites
Insurance covering our responsibilities
One bottle of water per person and per day
International and domestic airline tickets and airport taxes
Other meals and services than mentioned in the itinerary
Expenditures of a personal nature
Gratitude/Tips to local guides, drivers and porters
Insurance (personal and travel)
Early check-in or late check-out
All other services not mentioned in our itinerary
Mae Hong Son
Imperial Mae Hong Son
Phu Pai Art Resort
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