which area best for hill tribes

Jul 20th, 2006, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 39
which area best for hill tribes

I'd like to see the hill tribes, but don't want to go to an area set up for tourists. Which would be the best area: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chiang Doa, or Mae Hong Son? We can hike for 3-4 hours a day, but can't do the extended 2-3 day treks, hiking from tribe to tribe. We would like to stay overnight in a village for a couple of nights if possible. Any suggestions would be greatly apprecaited. Thanks.
bettyfox is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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There are many tours, both private and group, that visit hill tribes. The villages with easiest access are also the most touristed. There are also many different hill tribes, so you might want to do some research and see which ones interest you most. Chiang Mai perhaps has the most agents selling treks.

I'm confused when you say you can't do the 2 - 3 day treks but do want to stay in a village. A stay in a village is part of the treks that are set up for tourists. When you say you don't want to go to an area set up for tourists, does that also mean you are prepared stay in accommodation that is not a hotel, but more likely a bedroll and a mosquito net in a shared room with common toilet facilities?

You might want to hire a guide for a private trek/tour to hill tribes, but don't expect to the first and only tourists to see a village. It would be easy enough, I'd think, to customize a tour for just your private group. Sergeant Kai is liked by others here. http://www.chiangmaitours.com/about.html

Another place to consider is Chiang Dao Nest. http://nest.chiangdao.com/ They are supposed to be very good.

There are so many tours and guides and treks and homestays that I think you've just got to take a chunk of time and do some google or yahoo searches and see what seems suitable for you.
KimJapan is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 11:38 AM
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I have done some research but wanted some feedback from folks who might have already visited the hill tribes. What I mean by not being able to do a 3 day trek is that I don't think my husband (70) and myself (56) could trek for 5-6 hours for 3 days in a row, but we could walk 4-5 hours in a day. I have already looked at Chiang Doa Nest and that is definitely in the running. sounds a little less crowded than areas around Chiang Mai. Was wondering if anyone had experience going to Akka Hill House outside of Chiang Rai? Here they drive you to the village and then you can stay in the village and do day trips to other tribes from there if you want to or you can just hang out in the village. I know that accommodations in the villages are very basic and that's fine with us.
bettyfox is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 02:08 PM
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This person took a trip to an Akha village near Chiang Rai.
KimJapan is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 01:52 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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We have just returned from a month in Thailand and spent 2 nights / 3 days at the Maekok River Village Resort in Ban Thaton which is 1.5 hours from Chiang Rai. This resort is also the base for the Track of The Tiger Tours. We travelled with our 2 children who are 10 &8.


During our stay here we had our own guide for two days. The first day we did the "touristy" villages mainly because this was the only way to see the Karen long neck tribe and the second day we went on a 4 hour walk thru the hills to various hill tribes. Very few tourists go on this walk and it was definately "non touristy". We did not interact with the villagers much as they were out working in the rice paddies. It was FANTASTIC! We were then collected by a songthew at the other end.

Ban Thaton is in the middle of hill-tribe country - I would highly recommend it as a base.

We then had a driver take us to Chiang Mai via the Chiang Dao caves. This was a great way to see the countryside.

If you want more information I will be happy to help.


nzers is offline  
Aug 7th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for your reply nzers. Did you use Track of the tiger tour company or did Maekok River village arrange your trek? Did you go to Chiang Rai and if so how was the experience? Would you definitely put the Chiang Dao caves on your list of things to see? any other comments on what you did or where you stayed would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
bettyfox is offline  

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