Sergeant Kai

Jul 31st, 2006, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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Sergeant Kai

So I think we're going to go with them for our 2 day tour of the countryside outside of Chiang Mai.

Would love it if you guys could take a look at the itinerary and maybe let me know if there's something we're missing (we're doing Chiang Mai proper another day, so this is just for the purposes of covering the areas outside for the other 2 days we're there.)

Here's our proposed itinerary from them:

Day 1 (Private service)
Leave hotel at 8.00 am for the journey south to the Doi Inthanon National Park, Thailand's highest mountain. Travel through the luscious forest on the way up the mountain to visit a beautiful Wachiratarn waterfall. After that we will head further up to visit a Hmong Tribal village, a Karen Tribal village, Twin stupas at the highest peak of 2565 meters above the sea-level before start hiking along a trail that normally there is no tourist. We'll enjoy the beautiful scenery and spectacular waterfalls for approximately 2 hours. At the end of the trail there is another Karen village that will give you more experience of the tribal lifestyles.

Day 2 (Join with a group of 7-10 persons)
Leave from your hotel at 9.30 am to meet at Mae Ma Lay market. After that you will head to the elephant camp to ride the elephants for app 45 minutes along a trail before start hiking for app 1.30 hours to visit a waterfall. Then make another 1 hour to the rafting site to take an exciting White water rafting for app 20 minutes. After that you will take a bamboo rafting along the river for another 40 minutes to the truck head back to your hotel in the afternoon.


Also, one more question: you'll notice the 2nd day is not private, which is kind of a turn off since we're on our honeymoon and thought it'd be really nice to keep the whole thing private. Anyone done that? Ideas/suggestion?

A million thanks again!

-Bill
filmwill is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:14 PM
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I wouldn't join the group tour the second day. The same itinerary is available for private tour from just about every hotel and agency in Chiang Mai...for both days actually. Nothing extra special is being offered to you. I'd say if you are going to the trouble and expense of hiring a private guide, then you should make your own itinerary with exactly what you want to do. And it should be private. There is no shortage of guides and drivers and tour companies...you could easily wait until you are in Chiang Mai to arrange this with a driver or a guide/driver.
KimJapan is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 04:41 AM
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I agree w/Kim. We booked through Sargeant Kai and didn't have such a great experience. We had a private driver/guide the first day who was a very sweet young man who took us to Doi Inthanon and then on an elephant ride/rafting trip. The latter was very, very sketchy..an unmarked bit of land near the water for the elephants, we were kept waiting for almost an hour..then straight to the rafting which was fun but not as scenic as I think it should have been. I was not impressed at all with the operation. I would also be very skeptical of any tour operator who claims that you will be taken to a place with no tourists!
FromDC is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 05:04 AM
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good point DC
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 07:50 AM
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I agree that you should ask for a private tour the second day. While I am suspicious of any tour operator who says they can take me somewhere where there are no toursits, a number of Fodorites have gone on a day trek like day 1 with Sargeant Kai and have reported there were no other tourists there.

Frankly, day 2 sounds rather boring to me. If you want to visit elephants, take a day tour to Lamphong (do I have that name right?) or one of the other elephant camps - hire a driver to take you.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I want on the hike with Sergeant Kai which ended up in the Karon Village. There were really no other tourists on the hike or in the village. It was not at all sketchy or weird in any way. The hike was amazing with beautiful scenary. The village was also great. Although there were no other tourists the people in the village welcomed us, made us coffee and spoke with us. It was a wonderful experience.
JennPBD is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 10:39 AM
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I would definitely not go with the group on the second day. If you want to see elephants I would go to the Elephant Conservation Center or the Elephant Nature Park (think I have the name right). They are the two where you know the animals are being well treated and aren't being used for commercial gain -- they are both non profit. You can go to either with a driver. You also won't see the thousands of tour buses there although there are, of course, tourists.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 1st, 2006, 12:28 PM
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I went on a hike with Sargeant Kai in Doi Inthanon. It was awesome. He had a plan for us, but we said we really wanted to hike, so he adjusted the itinerary to fit our desire, which was to hike.

We first went to some easy to reach falls. Fairly touristy, but not a bad intro. Then we picked a guy from the Karen tribe, drove way up the mountain and went on a cloud forest hike. It was incredible. We entered in a tropical setting and exited above the cloud line. Magical.

Then we had lunch. From lunch we left the car and walked on a waterfall trail with Kai and the tribe member. This was not a trail that is on the maps. it was so much fun. The trail ends back in the tribe member's village, where the coffee is.

One of our best days.
alibi13 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 04:28 AM
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I should add that our so-so experience was with a guide hired by Sergeant Kai. Kai was not with us (is there such a person?). Perhaps that explains the difference. The car we were driven in could barely make it up the roads to Doi Inthanon, the elephant "camp" was an unmarked clearing, this was the REALLY sketchy part. We had asked for a hill tribe experience but didn't get one. So maybe if you insist on going with Kai you will get a better result than we did.
FromDC is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 05:26 AM
  #10  
 
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i think your point is really well taken however....you contracted with him and expected that the services you asked for would be of a quality you would expect from him
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 12:48 PM
  #11  
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The more I read these posts, the more apt I am NOT to use Sergeant Kai. Is it me or is the price they're quoting us outrageous? I'm being told 4750 Baht per person for the above-described itinerary, which seem ludicrous compared to what I've heard others pay who got far more.

Does anyone have any alternate guide suggestions? Our hotel has only offered one that doesn't speak English, which really won't work for us.
filmwill is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 08:07 AM
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When we are in CM, we use Dtaw from Third Eye Travel. You can reach him at [email protected] and the website is http://www.3rdeyetravel.com/. You can do custom tours or I just hire them for a driver. Dtaw is Thai and his wife is American, so English is pretty good. Tell him that I referred you-Gale Carson
stitchintime is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 03:24 PM
  #13  
 
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I`ve contact with Sergeant Kai about 3 days tours in Chiang Mai for me and my wife.
One to the Golden Triangle, another to Doi Inthanon and the last to a Elephant Riding and San Kam Phang street.
I was totally surprised because he is VERY VERY VERY OVERPRICED !!!!!
He charged us 10965 Baht / person.
I think he lost his sense !!!
ferlui is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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i think that is not a correct price....ask him again
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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maybe that is correct....that is less than $100 per day....depends on what he was doing for you
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 5th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Yeah but if you consider we are a couple it will be almost U$600 that I would pay for 3 tours.
I think its too much !!
ferlui is offline  
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