Hill Tribe Treks in Thailand

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For most Gap Medics students venturing on a Thailand placement, one of the most exciting highlights of their trip is the opportunity to go on the amazing and unique hill tribe treks. While the itineraries of different tour groups may differ in the details, most of these treks involve trekking out in the lush jungles of Northern Thailand, elephant riding, white water rafting and the chance to get to interact and know more about the hill tribe communities.

Here’s what you can look forward to on a three day hill tribe trek:


Elephant trekking!First Day 

You will get collected from your residence in Chiang Mai and head straight to the Mae Tung area where you will get to ride for about an hour through the scenic forested trails on elephant back. After a freshly cooked lunch, which you indulge in right at the vicinity of the elephant camp itself, you start out on a 3 hour hike up challenging trails to Lahu village, where you will spend the night. Lahu is a picturesque village located right at the top of the mountain. After spending the evening rambling around this charming village observing and interacting with the friendly residents, it’s back to the camp for dinner.

Second Day  

After an early morning breakfast set amidst a scenic locale in Lahu, you will gear up for your second day of trekking. Day 2 takes you to a waterfall after a one and a half hour trek. The warm waters are inviting and you can enjoy a leisurely swim before lunch. Post lunch you continue with the trek, this time through farmland, jungle and foothills of areas inhabited by hill tribes. The trek ends at the jungle camp where you will spend the second night right in the middle of the jungle. 

Student Kelsey enjoying elephant riding near Chiang Mai, Thailand

Third Day

On day 3, you wake up to a sumptuous breakfast served at the bamboo camp before embarking on a morning trek to the river. After another delicious meal served in scenic surroundings, you get prepped by the tour guide for an adventurous 5km white water rafting trip downriver. While the rafting here is exciting any time of the year, if you happen to be doing your Chiang Mai placement between May and November you’re in for a real treat as the rapids are the biggest and best at this time. When you reach the calmer waters in the lower stretches, you change over to bamboo rafts. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as you glide gently and slowly down the calm waters – or you can try your hand at piloting the raft with a pole.

At the end of day 3 you board the transport for the drive back to Chiang Mai.

In Chiang Mai, Gap Medics has teamed up with an established local tour operator and together we’ve designed a 3-day 2-night weekend hill tribe trek that promises several memorable moments at a discounted rate of £195 (US$325).

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