Chiang Mai ------------ Chiang Dao Trek & Relax on TMT.1
This ‘Trek & Relax’ trip is designed to guarantee the best conditions for trekking and after trekking. It includes 4 days of hiking and one resting day in two different locations: 2 ½ days in Chiang Mai and 2 ½ days in Chiang Dao. We will trek around 7 hours a day and we will be back to our hotel in the afternoon to relax in very good conditions.
This trip will lead us to the highest mountains of Chiang Mai and Chiang Dao on the first and last parts of TGR1, the first Thai Great Route and long footpath of the country. At the doorsteps of Chiang Mai and in the highest mountain range of Thailand, we will live two different atmospheres and discover a unique Thailand on wild trails.
Characteristics of the Trip
15,450 THBAll-inclusive price
At the doorsteps of the city we start the 1st day by taking a pilgrim trail through the jungle. It leads us to Wat Palad a beautiful temple crossed by a waterfall above the valley of Chiang Mai. Then the route is steeper. We arrive in Wat Doi Suthep, one of the most sacred temples in Thailand, in the morning before all the tourists. We can enjoy peacefully the atmosphere of the temple and the view over Chiang Mai.
Just behind the temple, we take a hidden path that plunges headlong into the jungle. This route was created in the beginning of the last century after some Hmong people coming from Laos decided to settle in this mountain and grow poppy crops. Trekking there under a thick canopy of trees and climbing plants, in a green shade, intensifies physical sensations. It’s an experience like no other.
After 3 kilometers flat in a wonderful atmosphere, we start going down. The trail is wilder and more difficult, punctuated by fallen branches and tree trunks which we have to step over. Suddenly appears in the middle of the jungle an enchanting 25-meter high waterfall. It’s a perfect setting and we could believe this has been created on purpose like in a botanic garden. After a last hour hiking alongside the river we finally reach another beautiful waterfall where we will have a break before going back to Chiang Mai by taxi.
Just behind the temple, wet take a hidden path and plunge headlong into a first stretch of jungle. The undulating paths are almost free of obstacles but in many places they are punctuated by fallen branches and tree trunks which we have to step over. The atmosphere is impressive in these long green tunnels of vegetation. We will carry water and food as we will hike almost 10k in tropical forests until the 1st Hmong village.
As soon as we hike up, the forest is clearing out and pine trees are replacing banana trees. When we arrive in the village close to the summit, it’s a complete change of atmosphere and climate. It’s less humid, colder and we can start seeing the next mountains. It’s good place to make a break and have a cup of coffee made from a local Arabica grown here by the Hmong tribes.
We continue our trip by hiking up a beautiful ridge surrounded by pine trees. The view overlooking the fields and the valleys is steep and wild. After a last effort, finally we plunge again into the jungle. The atmosphere becomes wilder but the trail is good and comfortable. We can enjoy a nice route slightly down until the last Hmong village. We will stop in Ban Doi Pui for a deserved meal before going back to Chiang Mai by taxi.
Free time in Chiang Mai in the morning. Transfer to Chiang Dao in the afternoon (1 hour 30). Night in Chiang Dao.
After driving one hour and a half, we enter the National Park of Chiang Dao. From the road, we can already observe the spectacular mountain range that overlooks us 2000m higher. As we come closer, we are pleased by the high cliffs and various peaks that make this mountain so special. It’s a unique opportunity to go trekking there.
The beginning of the route is steep and technical until we reach a pass. This is the unique way to go inside the mountain range. Crossing the pass, the trail flows on a plateau inside a beautiful tropical forest. When we turn on the left, we can see in the distance the summit of Chiang Dao that that stands up majestically. Until the top, it is a gain of 1000-metre elevation to negotiate inside the massif in a majestic alpine décor.
At the summit the scenery is wonderful. It’s a long view on a series of steep peaks and high hills all round. It looks like we are at the center of Thailand and we can observe the whole country. After a long break to enjoy this moment, we go down to settle for the night at the foothills of the summit.
At 2000m even in Thailand, the nights can be cold. Hopefully our porters have planned everything to allow us to sleep comfortably. We decide to wake up before sunrise and hike up again to the summit to enjoy a unique setting. Lights and shadows play hide and seek with the peaks; the luminosity of the sunrise floods irresistibly inside the whole massif.
Finally we have to go down on the same route back to our starting point. It will give the opportunity to enjoy the view from another side in a more comfortable way than on the way up. The last descent will be the only difficult part of the day. It’s steep and slippery. We will be careful about our foot steps to avoid falling. Happy (much) and tired (a little bit) we arrive to our taxi that drive us back to Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Gate Hotel is situated in the prime location of Chiang Mai – the Wua Lai Community, an old silverware manufacturing community where the fascinating lifestyle and activities of the locals can be discovered and experienced. It is conveniently located on Suriyarong Road, only about 200 meters from Chiang Mai Gate and the heart of the old city. Chiang Mai Gate Hotel provides nicely decorated rooms in the traditional Lanna Thai style. Clean and comfortable all air-conditioned rooms with full facilities.
Chiang Dao Nest enjoys an idyllic setting, in a peaceful, mountainous valley. It is situated on a dead-end road and on the fringe of a National Park, Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary. On the site of the resort itself, and the immediate surrounds, nature is abundant. Nest is also home to some spectacularly tall and elegant dipterocarp trees, and also some gigantic bamboo. Chiang Dao Nest consists of 14 bungalows. Each bungalow has a private, ensuite toilet / shower room. The walls of all the cabins are constructed from double layers of bamboo. This gives them a really cosy, natural feel. An outdoor swimming pool is also available for customers.