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19 Places for Trekking in Thailand

 
  • 01Chiang Rai

    Chiang Rai, The northernmost of Thailand is located about 785 kilometers From Bangkok. Chiang Rai, has a large number of Hill tribes scattered in the high mountains that cover the region. Now, Chiang Rai is a traveler’s paradise endowed with abundant tourist attractions natural and antiquities

    Highlights: The province is the self- evidence of ancient, civilizations. Attractions range from magnificent mountain scenery, ruins of ancient settlements, historical remains, Buddhists shrines to ethnic villages, The province is also home to several hill tribes who maintain fascinating lifestyles for those who are interested in the natural side, of Chiang Rai, Jungle trekking is recommended with, long meandering trails.

     


    Location: Mueang Chiang Rai District

    Things to Keep in Mind:  Chiang Rai treks are usually through jungles and high mountainous regions keep in mind to pack light, wear comfortable shoes, don’t carry objects that could harm the environment in any way, carry a water bottle and wear warm clothes as temperatures can dip at high altitudes. 

  • 02 Trekking in Umphang

    Unlike treks further north around Chiang Mai, treks around Umphang are more about wilderness than hill-tribe villages and are far more popular with Thai tourists than farangs. The big highlight is the three-tiered, 200m-high Tee Lor Su Waterfall (Nam Tok Thilawsu), star feature of the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary (entry B200), which, unusually for Thailand, flows all year round.

    Highlights: The Umphang trek includes extensive sightseeing, you come across numerous varieties of orchid, and plenty of commonly encountered monkeys and hornbills, plus an elusive band of wild elephants. You can also partake in rafting near the falls.

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    Best Time to Visit: The best season for trekking is November through February, even if the nights get pretty chilly. From December to April (the dry season), it’s usually possible to climb to one of the waterfall’s upper tiers.

    Things to Keep in mind: Trekkers are advised to wear rubber boots to wade through middy landscapes and avoid slipping and falling. These are hard to find in Umphang. 

  • 03Trekking in Mae Sariang

    The small district town of Mae Sariang sits in a picturesque location on a largely undeveloped riverside, surrounded by forested hills and paddy-filled valleys. If you're doing the famous Mae Hong Son loop by motorbike (or some other means), Mae Sariang is about as far south as you get. Mae Sariang’s location close to the Burmese border makes it an ideal base for exploring some lesser-travelled areas. The centrally located Northwest Guest House organizes local tours, such as boat trips on the Salween River and three-day treks into the wild countryside along the Burmese border near Mae Sam Laeb

     


    Highlights:  Hire a bicycle and explore the surrounding countryside, plus there are organized treks to be had. If you can ride a motorbike (and find one to rent), a couple of longer trips are well worth doing such as Mae Sam Laep and Salween National Park.

    Things to Keep in Mind: Keep in mind that Mae Sairang is quite isolated and if you don’t carry basic necessities it can be hard to come across so pack smartly. 

  • 04Trekking in Phu Lang Ka

    The spectacular Phu Lang Ka is perched on the side of a mountain that looks down into a valley with a couple of limestone outcrops of the same type that grace destinations like Krabi, Vang Vieng and Ha Long Bay. You have to be ready for a rough and unsteady trekking experience and If you're looking to really get off the beaten track, you're in the right locale. You might not get action packed adventure but for stunning vistas this is the place to be.

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    Highlights:  A river and waterfall, several temples, stunning limestone karsts and further afield even a national park await exploration, not too far from the resort. The landscape in the area is unspoilt and beautiful, and flowers unseen elsewhere in warmer parts of Thailand are abundant here.

    Things to Keep in mind:  This pristine destination is practically in the middle of nowhere and hence expect no phone signal or any way to procure basic necessities so pack smartly.

  • 05 Trekking in Chiang Dao

    A district of Chiang Mai province, Chiang Dao refers to the main regional town, the huge limestone massif that overlooks it and the neighboring wildlife sanctuary as well. The hiking possibilities, including the ascent of Doi Chiang Dao itself, some interesting day trips and one of the most diverse hilltribe populations of any region in Thailand. This adventurous and strenuous mountain will take participants across the mountain range, down to the Maetang River valley on trails that are regularly used by villagers. Trekkers will enjoy scenic views from the mountain as a long part of the hike is on the mountain ridges.


    Highlights:  Doi Luang Chiang Dao at 2,225 m, this is the highest peak in the area (and the third-highest in all of Thailand after Doi Inthanon and Doi Pha Hom Pok) and doable as a two-day trip. The peak is cool and windy. It is full of rare highland flowers, birds, and butterflies.

  • 06Soppong

    Soppong is know for some of the most spectacular mountain scenery to be found in Northern Thailand. There’s the fantastic Tham Lod underground river and cave system, plus a plethora of lesser-known sites (and indeed new caves still being discovered); rafting and trekking; many Lisu, Lahu, Karen and Shan villages that can be visited on your own, and motorbike touring along minor mountain roads, which are being upgraded.

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    Highlights: You can partake in one of a kind cave exploration. The area around Soppong is sprinkled with countless caverns, many of which contain complete or partial “Log Coffins” visit places that most tourists will never have an opportunity to experience.

    Things to keep in Mind:  Soppong is at a slight elevation (around 700 metres), so evenings can get a bit chilly in the cool season from November to February. Taking some warm clothing is a good idea.

  • 07 Trekking in Mae Salong

    There are hiking opportunities around Mae Salong, but bear in mind that most of the surrounding landscape is plantations and orchards, not wild jungle. All nearby villages – mostly Akha and Lahu – are connected by sealed roads and municipal electric cables, so don’t expect anything too traditional. Finally, since Mae Salong lies atop a steep ridge any where you go involves arduous climbs and descents. The total distance is around 13 kilometres. This can also be done by motorbike and is also the usual route for the horse treks you may see advertised.


    Highlights: These days cherry orchards, oranges and above all tea plantations have replaced the poppy fields and Mae Salong is famous for its oolong — another Taiwanese connection. A tea-tasting session in one of the high street’s tea shops is now an essential part of any visit. This does mean quite a bit of the surrounding hills’ forest cover was cleared, but some spectacular landscapes can still be seen and the town’s location along the ridge-top of Doi Mae Salong allows great views in every direction.

  • 08 Trekking in Kamphaeng Phet

    A city of historical strategic importance, Kamphaeng Phet is now a charming, quiet province with many interesting natural and cultural attractions. To the east of Kamphaeng Phet are flatlands, while in the west there are a number of national parks with high rising mountains and lush, fertile forests. In the areas along the Ping River near the provincial capital of Kamphaeng Phet there were once a number of ancient and exploring these ruins can be quite an experience.

    Highlights: Not too far from town are the beautiful Phra Ruang Hot Springs, a set of natural hot pools that reputedly have therapeutic benefits for those who take the plunge into their steaming waters! For the active and adventurous type, Khlong Lan and Mae Wong National Parks are a short drive away. Famous for their trekking opportunities and beautiful waterfalls, these make for a great day out to be at one with nature.

    Things to Keep in Mind: This destination is a very religious town; hence make sure not to degrade an Buddha statue by climbing it or using it as a prop for any antics.

     

  • 09Trekking in Sangkhlaburi

    Amphoe Sangkhlaburi is located on Thailand – Myanmar border. There are many activities in this lush jungle environment including elephant treks and rafting down the rivers on bamboo rafts. Most of the elephant treks start in the Karen village of Kong Mong Tha. This village is twenty-five kilometers from Sangkhla buri on the western side of the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary.

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    Highlights: From the town of Sangkhlaburi, you can take a long-tail boat to the Khao Laem Reservoir. From here, you can observe the Mon lifestyle and see the longest hand-made wooden bridge in Thailand. After which you can head towards the Ranti River and float for forty-five minutes to the Karen village of Liang Chang. This is where you will find your elephant porter. Your elephant will take you across the Ranti Canal where your rafting trip will begin. Most people find this rafting trip enjoyable because of the crystal clear water in the river.

  • 10Trekking in Doi Inthanon

    Highest mountain in Thailand, the 2565m Doi Inthanon, has three impressive waterfalls cascading down its slopes. For most of the year a mist hangs around the highest peak. Along the 47km road to the top are terraced rice fields, tremendous valleys and a few small Hmong and Karen hill-tribe villages. This is one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia for nature and animal lovers, the mist-shrouded upper slopes produce abundant orchids, lichens, mosses and epiphytes and are home to nearly 400 bird varieties, the mountain is also one of the last habitats of the Asiatic black bear, along with the Assamese macaque, Phayre’s leaf-monkey and a selection of other rare and not-so-rare monkeys and gibbons as well as the more common Indian civet, barking deer and giant flying squirrel – around 75 mammal species in all. 


    Highlights: While in Doi Inthanon you can explore the famous Doi Inthanon National Park, visit hill tribes, and explore the amazing lush green jungles surrounding Doi Inthanon.

  • 11Trekking in Mae Hong Son

    Trekking is a major attraction in Mae Hong Son, though to a lesser extent than in Pai or Soppong, and can be done as part of a day tour for a few hours or for a full day or longer. Longer treks will take you into the mountains towards the Burmese border, where you will visit Karen villages.


    Highlights: The trekking experience generally starts with a drive out of Mae Hong Son for an hour or two to your starting point. This is followed by several hours of walking into the mountains, broken up by visits to villages. There are three main trekking areas: Soppong, east of Mae Hong Son and west of Mae Hong Son. Other popular trekking routes concentrate on the Kayan villages west of Mae Hong Son towards the Salween river, taking in Karen and Hmong villages as well. The most interesting area is the relatively infrequently visited region to the south of Mae Hong Son, in and around Nam Tok Surin National Park.

     

  • 12Jungle Trekking at Khao Sok

    In the south of Thailand, Khao Sok National Park is one place that has always held everybody’s imagination in a tight grip. It is a trail that is well endowed with all the beauties of nature including stunning campsites, limestone caves, gushing rivers and a pristine lake. The day long jungle trek is something that you must try if you want to experience adventure at its best. On the way, you can see some spectacular flora and cheerful waterfalls. The trek is 11km long and passes through gradual slopes and upward climbs and provides awe inspiring vistas of the surroundings. You can also enjoy waterfall rappelling, climbing and camping while here.


    Highlights: Trekking through trail littered with diverse flora, fauna and waterfalls. Multiple opportunities to trek and indulge in rappelling and other adventure sports!

    Things to keep in mind: Leeches are a common sight on this trail; carry some salt with you to ward them off.

  • 13Khao Luang hiking trails

    The trail that leads to the Khao Luang National Park is also the path that will lead you to climb southern Thailand’s highest peak which lies 1,835m above sea water. You can embark on these trails with the help of local guides who know the area better than anyone else. The beginning of the trail is laid with concrete while the route ahead is littered with streams and forested paths. It is a trek that is rich in biodiversity as well some fauna. The way to the top can get steep at times and provides a stunning viewpoint of the surrounding valleys.

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    Highlights: Trek up one of Thailand’s highest mountains.

    Things to keep in mind: Try to combine the trek with a home stay. Only one group per day is allowed to go up the trekking trail and maximum size is 8 People, and will be provided with local guides.

  • 14Trekking Trails of the Chiang Mai Province

    Popular amongst the Thai population as well as amongst tourists all around the world, the trails of Chiang Mai province are an excellent option to explore if you are an amateur trekker. Maetang and Chiangdao regions are mainly popular due to excellent forest cover, valleys and a varied type of tribal villages with a number of ethnic minorities. The origin point of many rivers including the Maetang and Pin is in these ranges. The Doi Inthanon, tallest mountain of the country lies to the southwest.


    Highlights: Diverse and beautiful trekking trails encompassing the tallest mountains of Thailand including the Doi Inthanon and Chiangdao peak.

    Things to Keep in Mind: Pick up a trekking option from an operator with an adequate experience in the area as it is fairly large.

  • 15Trekking in Pai North Thailand

    Trekking trails in Pai Village in North Thailand as soon as you step out of the town. However, the countryside is a relatively open farmland. The best trail to embark on therefore is the one that leads to the Mae Yen Waterfall. Located at around 7km from the main Pai Town, it is home to a number of lushly foliaged gardens, waterfalls and streams and offers the avid trekker a number of opportunities to experience adventure and excitement. The trail crosses many beautiful landmarks such as an old World War 2 bridge, Pai Canyon, where you can spot a number of species of birds and wildlife. Another very famous destination is the Pang Maphaor WiangHaeng; both of these can be done in a day each.

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    Highlights: Beautiful, historic trails and tribal stories and settlements.

    Location: Mae Hong Son Province, North Thailand

  • 16Trekking in Khao Yai National Park

    Exceptional trekking trails await those who want to experience the adventure and adrenaline at the Khao Yai National Park. A UNESCO listed site, it offers some of the most exciting hikes and treks. Khao Yai trekking trails are especially beautiful as they are lacking in tourist infrastructure. On this trail, you can see astonishing variety of flora a network of hiking trails some of which lead to Heo Suwat waterfall. If you should decide spend more time here, there are also two picturesque campgrounds and Lam Takong and Pha Kluai Mai. The captivating Haew Narok fall is also located on the park grounds but is at teh far southern end of the island and quite inaccessible on foot.


    Highlights: Unventured trails and virgin forests that lead to stunning locations.

    Things to keep in Mind: It is advised that after 3:00 PM, you do not hike if you are unaccompanied by a guide. Certified private guides can be hired at the visitor centre for 500 baht per three hours.

     

  • 17Koh Tarutao

    Koh Tarutao is actually a group of 51 islands that is located in the Andaman Sea, close to the border of Malaysia. The park spreads over both land and sea and in total covers an area of approximately 1490 sq.km. of which 85% is covered by water and the rest is a mixture of rocky and hilly landscapes. 

    Ao Son, which is about 8km from the headquarters of the park, is a mixture of rocky beaches and sandy bays. Being a part of the national park, the treks are not very steep but caution must be exercised to stay safe from wildlife.

    Highlights: Cascading waterfalls with stunning views of the ocean and sunsets.

    Things to keep in mind: Tents are available within the forest premises and can be rented or bought. Take care not to leave wet piles of clothes or rubbish outside your tent as it might attract scorpions and snakes.

  • 18Hill Tribe Trek in Thailand

    Image Credit : mattmangum
    What’s the point of exploring a place when you can’t stick to its roots! You should not miss the opportunity of  trekking through the local tribal settlements across the misty hills. The Hill tribe Trek takes you to places which you have only dreamt of visiting. Get a wonderful chance to explore the sceptic lifestyle and culture of the local tribes and  transcend in the beauty of the hills.

    Image Credits : Venson Kuchipudi



    Location: The Hill Tribe Trek offers in various locations to explore the various tribes across Thailand. Some of the most popular locations are Lisu Tribe Trek which is located at Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Province, Karen Tribe Trek located near the Burma border and Shan Tribe Trek located near the North?West Thailand.

    Things to Keep in Mind:
    People availing the Hill Tribe trek should be careful and should 
    maintain the sanity of the local tribe and its culture.
  • 19Trekking in Nan

    The remote, mountainous countryside around Nan runs a close scenic second to the precipitous landscape of Mae Hong Son province. It’s remoteness is what makes this destination worth exploring where you may encounter the province’s ethnic minorities. Nan bills itself as an alternative trekking centre, in particular offering trips in which you can visit the Mlabri tribe -- a nomadic ethnic group only really found in Nan and Phrae provinces. Treks are also available to Mae Charim National Park which may include a rafting section.

    Highlights:  Be sure to visit the the temple at Nong Bua, with it superb murals, and beautiful Doi Phukha National Park. Outside the capital, the spectacular Doi Phukha National Park in the northeast of the province has stunning peaks reaching up to almost 2,000 m and, and, being just one of the six national parks in the province, demonstrates the potential of Nan.