Tour of North Thailand and Mekong with farm stay experience
A tour of Thailand dedicated to those who want to get in touch with the local culture experiencing daily life with a Thai family, staying overnight in a farm in the province of Chiang Rai: a unique way to feel at home while not being at home.Read more
A tour of Thailand dedicated to those who want to get in touch with the local culture experiencing daily life with a Thai family, staying overnight in a farm in the province of Chiang Rai: a unique way to feel at home while not being at home.
Departure every Tuesday from Chiang Rai.
The tour is guaranteed with a minimum of 2 participants up to a maximum of 8 participants.
All activities in the farm stay will be carried out by local people who live inside it and speak English.
Arrival in Chiang Rai by air. Transfer at approximately 11:00 (to coincide with Thai Smile flight BKK-CEI WE130 09: 05-10: 25) and around 4pm (to coincide with Bangkok Airways flight BKK-CEI PG233 14: 00- 15:30). Transfer to the farmstay with driver only. Accommodation in the rooms (officially available from 14:00). Free time. Dinner and overnight stay in farm stay (Ahsa farmstay).
After breakfast departure for a visit to a village not far from the farm stay. Here you can also visit the local market with a person from the farm stay and we can buy the necessary products for the sustenance of his family. Upon returning, together with the hostess we will do a real course of Thai cooking, to prepare lunch that will then be consumed together. In the afternoon (about 13:30) we will head towards the Burmese border, pushing us into the territories once the theater of opium cultivation.
Along an impervious mountain road we will reach the state border, where the Thai military have the operational base of surveillance, and from where you can see the territories of Myanmar that extend as far as the eye can see, giving a breathtaking view. Now that illegal traffic is less intense, the military has had time to engage in other activities. Some of them have become excellent baristas, so much so that inside the base they have opened a small cafeteria where they serve the fragrant mixtures of arabica that are grown on these mountains.
Then we will overcome the 1000 meters of altitude, where the cultivations of Oulong tea will begin to appear clinging along the slopes. The small plants of intense green color are in compact rows that belay the mountains to draw a thick network of natural isoipse that mark the rise of every single meter of altitude. And where there is tea, there are Chinese communities, which do not betray their stereotype here.
Affable and brilliant, in the teahouses placed in panoramic spots on the vertiginous geometries of their crops, they offer us with great skill their products of excellent quality, flaunting all their knowledge and the richness of their traditions. The refined aroma of the tastings of the various blends will not betray the expectations and will satisfy the palates of the most demanding tea lovers of quality. Return to farm stay for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will be able to further familiarize with the locals, who will take us around the property throughout the morning to show us everything they produce and how they support themselves. You will learn how rice is grown, how rubber is extracted from trees, how soap is made and how natural oils are extracted. Check out before 11:00 and family lunch. Afterwards we will know the guide that will accompany us in the following days in the Mekong area, on the border with Laos.
Departure in the early afternoon and stop in a Thai-Leu ethnic village, where elderly women are still dedicated to the ancient and traditional weaving art, which they practice with large and rudimentary wooden frames. Thai-Leu embroidery is considered one of the most precious as well as one of the most difficult to achieve, requiring a very long weaving time. The majority of women work independently in their own homes but for the poorest and most needy, a sort of local consortium makes available to them the looms belonging to the community and which are located in the local weaving center. Here, with a little luck, you can admire them in large numbers at the same time as they work.
For their productions, Thai-Leu women grow their own cotton! The plantations are located behind the village and cotton is harvested in November. The next stop will be at the port of embarkation from which to board a motor boat that will lead to the exploration of the river.
The navigation will extend for about 15 km (about 45min, depending on the strength of the current and water regime) until you reach the city of Chiang Khong, known for the border with Laos and located in front of the Laotian city of Huey Xay. Accommodation in local resort and free dinner. Free dinner and overnight in Chiang Khong (Chiangkhong Teak Garden Riverfront).
Brakfast and lunch included.
From Chiang Khong we travel south by road along the border with Laos. Two mountain chains run parallel to each other, delimiting between them a narrow plateau at about 600 m above sea level where many tribal ethnic groups have found refuge.
Among them there are Thai Leu but also the Yao. Passing through their villages you will descend until you reach a landscape of great interest where the mountains rise up forming peaks with bizarre conformations. One in particular has become very popular with locals. Its pointed shape reminds a finger pointing to the sky, which in Thai is translated with "Phu Chi Fah", which reaches 1600 m altitude.
You can reach the summit to admire a wide view of Laos along an easy path of about 800 m. The mountains then stop abruptly to leave space for a vast rice-grown plain. The Burmese of Pagan founded an important city here to demarcate what in the 12th century constituted the eastern border of their empire. In the seventeenth century we find this center in the chronicles of the kingdom of Lanna, where it is listed as an important node along the trade routes of the northern principalities.
These were the times during which the Lanna Kings deported the Thai Leu communities to this place, forcing their migration from Yunnan. Today this center is known as Chiang Kham and the importance of the ancient city is noted in the presence of a long series of ancient Lanna-style temples of which one built entirely of wood and unique in its kind. Chiang Kham then offers a rustic and exotic settlement consisting of ancient wooden houses, among which those of the Thai Leu community are distinguished by beauty, so that some of them have become houses-museum. Continue to Phayao and hotel accommodation. Free dinner and overnight in Phayao.
Breakfast and check out. Transfer to Chiang Mai, the third Thai city. On the way stop for a visit from a local tribe and one of its villages; lunch in contact with the locals and to follow we will head towards Chiang Mai, where we will arrive in the afternoon. Visit the city market that takes place on Saturday and characterized by many silver stalls.
Then transfer to the city's most famous temple, the Doi Suthep. The legend tells that the place of its construction was indicated by the herring of a mythological white elephant carrying on its back a sacred relic of the Buddha. The relic was buried where today stands the imposing golden Chedi at the center of the sanctuary, one of the most recurrent religious images of Thailand. In the late afternoon the monastic community present at the temple recites the Dharma, strictly in Pali language respecting the Theravada traditions. Free dinner. Overnight in Chiang Mai (De Lanna Boutique Hotel o similare).
Breakfast and lunch included.
Checkout before 12:00. Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport (CNX) for any operating departures on the day.