Chiang Mai Trekking
Chiang Mai and trekking go hand-in-hand for a reason. Far up North, you’ll find high-pitched mountains, dense jungle, remote villages, lush rice fields, colourful hill tribes and endless views over the green landscape below. This natural and cultural beauty also means that unfortunately, many Chiang Mai trekking tours are overcrowded.
…but fear not! Though there are many busy jungle treks, Chiang Mai trekking also offers plenty of unexploited routes, and at Go Beyond Asia, we pride ourselves in cherry-picking the areas least visited and the unspoiled villages. We take extra care to find the more passionate and eager guides, plus the most interesting routes through jungle and local farming areas.
Go Beyond Asia gathered some of your most frequently-asked-questions below, along with some great tips, helping you to find the perfect trekking adventure for you.
Is trekking in Chiang Mai for you?
Chiang Mai trekking is a magical experience that allows you to see places which are normally not accessible. With access to remote villages, rolling green hills, dense jungles and remote rural villages, you are sure to collect the memories of a lifetime. For most of our guests, their trekking experience is a string of their most cherished moments throughout their stay in the Thai Kingdom.
Chiang Mai trekking offers an unusual diversity: From a few hours to multiple days of trekking, anything is possible. Sometimes a trek is merely a hike, while others can be challenging and on the tougher side of the spectrum. Which is why we always recommend an honest assessment of your own fitness level, capabilities, and expectations of a trek.
Also, give your accommodation some thought. Most overnight trekking trips will be based on basic hospitality; expect homestays, tents or a hammock. If this is not for you, then a 1-day trek might be better option for you?
With a normal fitness level and a go-get attitude, we do recommend going for at least a 3-day tour, as this will allow you to get embedded in the experience, into nature, and into local life and customs. If you have any doubts or questions, or you have some special requirements to discuss, simply get in touch with our travel advisors.
Chiang Mai trekking and sustainability
When you go trekking in Chiang Mai, you may experience things that will make you question your role as a traveller and how your stay affects nature and culture. As a tour operator, we have similar concerns and we are conscious about the role our organisations and its travellers play. Because we embrace sustainability and do not support animal cruelty, we distance ourselves from elephant riding and tiger temples. Similarly, we also do not support tours to the “longneck villages” in- and around Chiang Mai.
If you would like to read more about our company policies, what we do, and what we do not recommend, and how we actively seek to minimize our impact, please read more here http://gobeyond.asia/about-us/sustainability.
Chiang Mai Trekking Tours
Chiang MaiFrom THB 10,500.00
When should you go trekking in Chiang Mai?
You can go trekking in Chiang Mai all year round, but some seasons are simply better suited than others:
- The “winter” or “cold” season runs from November to February and is often perceived as the best time for Chiang Mai trekking. At this time of year, it is dry and temperatures are at their lowest, around 25 degrees at daytime, though the night and early mornings can be as low as 10 degree Celsius. This is also the time of year, where most people will travel, so expect to share your experience with others.
- The “summer” or “hot” seasons runs from March to May where the temperature can rise up to 40 degrees during daytime. Expect the humidity to be fairly high. Many Thai will travel for long weekends during this period, but generally speaking, there are fewer international travellers.
- The “wet” or “rainy” season runs from June to October, and can bring heavy and regular rainfall. However, this is also when nature is at its greenest, and rivers and waterfalls are alive and beautiful. Expect the trekking to be harder though, and carefully consider whether your cardio is up for the challenge.
In general, remember that it can be quite cold during night-time (below 10 degrees.
Chiang Mai trekking areas – which to choose?
Mae Taeng Valley
Just a 1-hour drive North of Chiang Mai you will find the Mae Taeng Valley. Its mountain range spans to the Myanmar border, and is the source of both the Maetang River and the Ping River. Due to its easy accessibility from Chiang Mai it is also the most heavily visited trekking area, and area used for recreational activities in general.
About 1,5 hour of driving Northwest of Chiang Mai will take you to Chiang Dao, a peaceful village with stunning scenery, dense woods, jungle, hill tribes and local village life. Less known for its trekking area, it offers some excellent accommodation. Chiang Dao is a particular good option for families, allowing you to explore the area during the day.
Doi Inthanon is situated Southwest of Chiang Mai and is Thailand’s highest mountain with its peak reaching 2.225m above sea level. The mountain and surroundings are part of the Doi Inthanon National Park and is home to numerous waterfalls and jungle trails. It’s one of Thailand’s most visited national parks.
Not really a trekking area, Doi Suthep is mostly known as a temple mountain just beyond Chiang Mai and good for a 1-day hike to the top. Though you’ll won’t be alone, the view alone is worth the effort. You can also visit Doi Suthep as part of a day tour (by van) if your legs are not up for the challenge.
An hour Southwest of Chiang Mai, this area is close to the Doi Inthanon National Park, yet, far less touristy than most trekking areas in Chiang Mai. You’ll find high mountains, valley streams and untouched hill tribe villages. The locals here know a thing or two about jungle life, where bamboo is your most important friend, and a sling shot can bring you dinner. Explore this area with our Chiang Mai Jungle Trekking & Urban Biking.
Between Chiang Mai and Bangkok – beat the crowd in Umphang!
If you are up for a truly remote jungle experience, jump on a bus from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot, and head towards the UNESCO-certified and protected Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, located at the Western national border between Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. The dense wall of mountains, jungle and rainforest cuts Umphang off from the rest of Thailand, and thereby gives you perfect conditions for unspoilt trekking and explorations.
Go Beyond Asia has operated Umphang trekking trips since 1991, and are still one of the only operators in the area. Read more about the Umphang Jungle or find your Umphang Jungle Trekking trip that connects you from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
What to bring for your Chiang Mai trekking?
trekking tour? Do I need trekking boots? What about medicine?
We have a general list of “ know before you go”, when travelling in Thailand. This should get you started. But we know questions may be plentiful, and you are always welcome to contact us with any question you may have.
Chiang Mai Trekking Tours
Chiang MaiFrom THB 10,500.00
You can read more about travelling in Thailand and what to expect here, Know Before you Go - Thailand.
If you still have questions, or would like to know more about trekking in Chiang Mai, please contact us on the form below. We will be happy to empty our backpack of knowledge into yours.
We wish you a great trip to this remote and beautiful national park.
Safe onwards travels.