Tours of northern Thailand are offered by Bangkok travel agencies, but it's best to book with one of the many reliable companies in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, which are likely to have a deeper local knowledge of the region. Mountain tours of one or two days, which pack in elephant riding, white-water rafting, jungle trekking, and visits or overnights in hill tribe villages, are popular. They are invariably led by guides with close knowledge of their region who speak acceptable English. If you're touring alone or as a couple, you can draw up your own itinerary (omitting, for instance, visits to "Long Neck" villages, a controversial issue in Thailand), but it's far more fun to join a group—and, of course, it's cheaper, starting at B1,000 a day. Tours are also arranged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (or TAT; www.tourismthailand.org), which has offices in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, and Nan.