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Chiang Mai Thailand - All About Chiangmai Thailand


WEATHER-CHIANGMAI

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TREKKING

 

SOME USEFUL INFORMATION AND ADVICES OF TREKKING

Over eighty percent of individual foreign tourists visiting Chiang Mai make enquiries about hilltribe trekking. Of particular interest to most are the six major hilltribes which inhabit the Northern Highlands. The largest group is Karen, followed by the Meo, Lahu, Yao, Akha and Lisu. Each tribe has its own distinctive language, costume, religious and historical background. The Karen have moved eastward from Myanmar into Thailand over the last two hundred years because of political conflict, while the others, originating in south-west and south-central China, moved first into Laos and Myanmar, and then into Thailand within this century. It is estimated that the total hilltribe population scattered over twenty-one provinces, is about five hundred and fifty thousand.

Exploring and staying in hilltribe villages is an experience which visitors can also fully enjoy the splendor of northern landscape: the jungles, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and caves, while using a wide range of transport including longtail boats, raft, jeeps, horses and elephants. And of course it wouldn't be called trekking if it were not done on foot.

A great many of the tourists visiting Chiang Mai make enquiries about hilltribe trekking. They come looking for adventure and a learning experience that will last a life time. The experience of a trek around the Chiang Mai area usually includes beautiful mountain terrain, wild and steamy jungles, clean rivers, photogenic waterfalls and unusually shaped caves. Visitors can journey to these places by foot, by horseback or on the back of an elephants. Traveling by longtail boats and jeeps are becoming more and more popular as tour agencies expand their approach to trekking.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT.) wants to help visitors seeking information about trekking and trekking agencies. Here is a list of some guidelines for potential trekkers to follow.

1. The Main Trekking Areas Over the past twenty years, three main trekking areas, in which there are many different routes, have become most favoured by tourists. Those are as follows.

A. A.Chiang Mai - Mae Tang Route usually includes a raft trip down the Mae Tang River.

B. A. Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son Route take adventurers through spectacular mountain scenery where some roads are virtually impassable except in dry season.

C. A. Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Route if one chooses, he can take an extremely pleasant, but potentially with exciting longtail boat ride on the Kok River, all the way from Thaton to Chiang Rai.

The other major trekking areas in the North are Chiang Dao, Pai, Mae Chaem, Mae Chan, Ngao, Phrao, Wiang Pa Pao and Lampang.

2. Before going on a trek its a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different hilltribes and their culture. A good place to start is to visit the Tribal Research Institute Museum located in the Rama 9 Park on Chotana Road,. The museum has a very informative about each of the hilltribes. The exhibition include costumes worn by the different tribes, maps and charts telling about hilltribe festivals and each tribes farming cycle. There is also very informative library containing up-to date books about each hilltribe group. The Tribal Research Institute is open weekdays from 8:30 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 16:00.

3. TAT. Chiang Mai does not have any organized trekking tours but will gladly had out an information with a list of the licensed private companies specializing in trekking tours. Read this sheet and then do some shopping around.

4. Some of the better companies specializing in trekking tours are members of NORTHERN THAILAND JUNGLE TOUR CLUB. The guide are usually licensed and have studied at a school which offers training in the tourist industry. It is recommended that you take advantage of their expertise. They know the trekking areas very well and often can speak the hilltribe dialects. Their English is quite good as well as their knowledge of hilltribe culture. It is always a good idea to speak with your guide before hand to check their language skill.

5. All treks must be registered with the Tourist Police before departure. This is done for your protection. Companies  which don't adhere to this are breaking the law and offering a potentially dangerous situation. You should avoid these companies.

6. Recently, some trekking companies and guides have used narcotics to lure tourists. Some have even asked hilltribes to demonstrate the use of narcotics. These tactics when used are detrimental and can get you in trouble. Remember that in Thailand there are laws with stiff penalties concerning the use of narcotics. Visitors are welcome to make enquiries with the Tourist Police to fine out which companies have a bad reputation with the police department.

To date
there are more than 43 Travel Agents and Guides listed as member of the Northern Jungle Tour Club in Chiangmai, Lampang and Mae Hong Soon. Click to this links to find their details :  Listed Travel Agents & Guides - Northern Jungle Tour Club Member

7. Keep your valuables, in a safe at the hotel or guest house you are staying at when trekking up country.

8. Protect yourself against the nasty little mosquitoes of Northern Thailand. Donut rely only on the use of prophylactic drugs. In Thailand the many different strains of malaria parasites are resistant to many of the drugs on the market. You should also protect yourself by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, thick socks and a scarf around your neck. Also use at when trekking strong brand of mosquito repellent. At night you should sleep under a mosquito net and avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when the little pests are a nuisance. For additional information about malaria you can call (053) 221529 and talk to someone at the Malaria Centre of Chiang Mai. This office is located on Boonruengrit Road inside the Suan Dok Medical compound just west of the moat in Chiang Mai.

9. TAT. Northern Office : Region 1 has long realized the importance of the varies hilltribes in Thailand and has tried to help preserve and promote the hilltribes culture and tradition. Information about the culture and way of life of each tribe is shared among government agencies, trekking tour companies, guesthouse owners, the media and tourists themselves. As a visitor you should remember.

9.1 to respect their beliefs and religious symbols and structures. Be careful about what you touch. It is better to ask your guide about some do's and don't before entering a hilltribe village.

9.2 to dress appropriately. Hilltribe people are generally modest and it may offend them if you stroll around flashing your skin.

9.3 to ask before you take a photograph of someone. Some villages do not even permit being photographed.

9.4 to avoid trading western medicines and articles of clothing. Many of the hilltribe people are not familiar with the use of western medicines. And by trading clothing you may be adding a new element of dressing and grooming contribute to their welfare, (pens, paper, needles, thread, cloth and material used of vinous hilltribe handicrafts.)

10. Prices of treks are determined by the duration of the trek and the transportation used. The kind of meals

available and the size of the trekking group will also effect the price. The average size of a trekking group is about 4-10 trekkers. The cost breakdown may look something like this.

 AVERAGE COST OF TREKKING (Group of 4-6 Paxs)

2 days and 1 Night   1,600 Baht/Per head

3 days and 2 nights 1,800 Baht/Per head

4 days and 3 nights 2,200 Baht/Per head

Includes :

Transport/Guide /Full board-meals / Accommodation / Elephant ride and Raft or Boat ride.

11. Some trekking companies offer a low trekking rate to attract tourists. Make sure that you will receive the standard services. Paying a low price does not always mean that you will get the quality standard services.

 

 

REGISTRATION OFFICE NORTHERN PROVINCES TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND
414/6
CHIANGMAl LAND, CHANGKLAN RD.,
A.MUANG.CHIANG MAI 50100
TEL & FAX : (053) 204602, 204485

   

TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND NORTHERN OFFICE : REGION 1
105/1 CHIANGMAl -
LAMPHUN RD., A.MUANG, CHIANGMAl 50000
TEL. (053)248604,248607 FAX :(053) 248605

   

TOURIST POLICE (MAE HONG SON)
1 RAJTHAMMAPITAK A.MUANG, MAE HONG SON 58000
TEL. (053) 612812 FAX. (053)611813

   

TOURIST POLICE (CHIANGMAl)
75 CHIANGMAl - LAMPHUN RD., A.MUANG, CHIANGMAl 50000
TEL. (053)248130 FAX. (053) 248974

   

TOURIST SERVICE LINE
1155
This information is from
TAT Northern Office Region 1 -
List Of Registered Travel Agents In Chiangmai, Thailand. leaflet.

The contents of these information are subject to change without notice

 

 

 
 
   

This site was last updated: 25 January 2007

   
 

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TAT Northern Office Region 1- ChiangmaiTAT LogoFor further information and enquiry on Chiang Mai Thailand, kindly contact:
TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND (TAT) Northern Office: Region One
105/1 Chiangmai - Lamphun Road, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai 50000
Tel: (66 53) 248 604, 248 607 and 241 466. Fax: (66 53) 248 605
Email: tatcnx@samart.co.th  Website: www.tat.or.th : www.tourismthailand.org
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