An active adventure tour through Thailand's Chiang Mai region

Travel to Thailand and experience an intoxicating blend of ancient temples, steamy rainforest trails and raucous markets in Chiang Mai. This is a full-throttle short break that features the best Thailand’s northern region has to offer. Tackle the world-famous Mae Taeng River rapids on a rafting excursion, hike through local villages and temperate rainforests, cycle through the fruit orchards and temple ruins dotted around the countryside and climb the ancient staircase to the hilltop of Doi Suthep in time for sunset. Combine this with shopping expeditions through Chiang Mai’s famous Night Bazaar, encountering friendly faces around every corner and feasting on superb Thai cuisine. A perfect blend of energetic pursuits and enchanting sights , this trip is bound to leave you breathless!

Please note for all departures in May and June in 2016 there is an amended itinerary on day 3 due to the severe drought Thailand is experiencing. Please see 'Climate and Seasonal Information" section of the trip notes for further information.

Start
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Finish
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Countries
Thailand
Themes
Cycling, Short Breaks, Walking & Trekking
Code
TTAV
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 12
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
81kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Get the heart pumping on an active adventure tour from Chiang Mai
  • Climb to the summit of Doi Suthep temple and enjoy the hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city
  • Uncover Thailand’s rural charm as you hike and bike thought scenic hilltribe areas
  • Cycle off the main streets and into the heart and soul of Chaing Mai with a backstreets, Ping River countryside bike tour
  • Discover the ancient lost capital of the Lanna Kingdom and the incredible remains of Wiang Kum Kam
  • Ride a raft over the rugged white water rapids of the Mae Taeng River

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There will be a 'welcome letter' waiting for you at the hotel reception with further information about your trip. Please ask for this welcome letter upon check in at the hotel. You are free for the remainder of the day to explore charming Chiang Mai or just laze by the pool. The friendliness of the people, the vibrant Night Bazaar, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food tonight. The signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.

Notes: If you do not receive a welcome letter upon check in, please call Intrepid's local office on +66 (0) 89 9521000.
After breakfast, head off to explore the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep. Pick up time is between 8.30-9am. A short drive (approximately 45 minutes) along a scenic and winding mountain road brings you to an impressive 300-step Naga-guarded stairway. The rewards justify the ascent to the top, with one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand on display, not to mention the fantastic panoramic views of the city! You’ll then return to your hotel at around 11am for a short break. At about 1.30pm, after a safety briefing and bicycle fitting, saddle up for a cycling adventure into the streets of Chiang Mai and beyond. Journey south through pleasant green fields, following the Ping River downstream. Make a stop at a former leper colony turned rehabilitation centre, where you’ll get to know some of the daily life of the missionaries who worked here over a hundred years ago. The trip continues along various fruit orchards, and cycling down small country roads, meandering around the villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, where you’ll encounter the Thai way of life and the real rural Thailand. Explore the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, the former capital of Lanna, before you cycle back to Chiang Mai. Perhaps reward yourself with an authentic Thai massage tonight.

Notes: The cycling distance is around 25-30km along flat ground, with 1.5km along unsealed road. The cycling time will be approximately 4.5 hours with frequent stops. Helmets and comfort bicycles (adapted mountain bike), with 24 gears and front suspension, are provided.
Get set for an action packed day exploring the hill tribe areas north of the city. After breakfast, around 8am, drive north to the Mae Tang area where your adventure begins. Get on two wheels again to mountain bike through scenic landscapes along local roads (approximately 8 kilometres) to the starting point of a trek to a waterfall (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Make your way through the forest scenery on a hike to Huay Sathan Waterfall, where you can relax, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and dip into the cooling waters. After completing the trekking loop, drive up to the river camp. In the afternoon, prepare for a thrilling whitewater rafting session. Get outfitted with helmets and life jackets, and take a safety brief to get acquainted with the paddling commands, the correct way to sit in the raft, and the necessary precautions on river safety. Then, the rapid Mae Taeng River and its 14 gorges along a 10 kilometre stretch await. The difficulty level on the Mae Taeng River ranges from grade 3 to 5. It has been praised by travellers as some of the best whitewater rafting in Asia. This awesome rafting trip takes approximately 2 hours and finishes at the downstream camp, where you can rest and change into dry clothes. Enjoy some hot and cold drinks or fresh fruits before returning to your Chiang Mai accommodation. On your last night, soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant night markets once more.

There are no activities planned for today and you are free to depart at any time. Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. A departure airport transfer is included to Chiang Mai airport.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
3 breakfasts, 1 lunch
Transport
Bicycle, Minibus, Raft
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Guided bike ride
  • White water rafting
  • Complimentary Arrival/Departure Transfer

Dates

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Important notes

Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.

Amended itinerary for all May and June departures in 2016 for day 3 of this trip, due to the severe drought that Thailand is experiencing. Please see the "Climate and Seasonal information" in the trip notes for more information.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes