Trekking in Thailand
ActiveThailand organizes trekking adventures in various areas of Northern and Central Thailand.
Recommended areas suitable for trekking are all over Northern Thailand, with Chiang Mai being a perfect starting point. Northern Thailand, with its mountainous landscape and lush jungles, is a popular tourist destination for adventure seekers.
Trekking is popular in the Maetang and Chiangdao region due to good forest, scenic landscapes and a wide array of hill tribe villages and ethnic minorities. North of Chiangmai city lies the Maetang valley with a mountain range expanding to the Myanmar border and with it’s peak, the Doi Chiangdao. Two major rivers are taking their source in this mountain range, the Maetang River and the Ping River. This is one of the most popular destinations as it is only an hour’s drive from Chiangmai. The impressive Doi Luang Chiangdao is the country’s third tallest mountain, with it’s peak reaching the altitude of 2225 meters above sea level.
South West of Chiangmai lies Doi Inthanon, the country’s tallest mountain, with numerous waterfalls and jungle trails. The mountain is also part of the Doi Inthanon National Park, one of the most visited National Park in north Thailand.
For an adventurous trek in the park, book our Doi Inthanon Explorer trekking tour
Halfway between Bangkok and Chiangmai, south of Mae Sot town, lies a remote valley called Umphang. The trek we propose in this area is definitely one of the wildest programs, through the Mae Nam Khlong and Umphang wildlife sanctuary. Usually wildlife is difficult to spot during treks or tours as most animals are nocturnal. The Tilosu waterfall is also said to be the most impressive in the country.
More information on this unique adventure: Umphang trekking expedition
Central Thailand has excellent trekking opportunities and wildlife observation in the Khao Yai National Park. Active Thailand also conducts treks in the Kanchanaburi area and all the way to the border in Sanklaburi.
All our trekking programs are fully inclusive and are conducted by experienced English speaking guides.
Active-Thailand’s trekking programs
We propose a wide range of well-organized trekking tours, with emphasize on the beautiful nature and physical effort, rather than simply “visiting the hill tribes” as many other tour companies tend to offer. Some of our treks do, however, involve visiting hill tribe families and villages. When we do that, the aim is to give the client a perspective on the way of life and customs of these people. Our guides are very familiar with the villages and the host family we bring our guests.
The guide will be an interpret and will help you understand your host family. Your guide will also be doing most of the cooking, and this is often recognized by participants as being a highlight of the trip! The guide will share his passion for his job as well as his knowledge with participants, to help them having a memorable time during the hiking program.
We aim to make your experience as comfortable as possible and provide appropriate material as clean sleeping bags, mosquito nets and thicker sleeping mats. A western style breakfast is always provided to make sure participants have a good meal before the long day of hiking.
What to Bring on a trek?
It depends well on the season, and the area of the trek. The itinerary will mention whether the village has vehicle access or the trekkers are totally independent of a vehicle. Here are some basic guidelines: when packing for a trek, keep it simple—the less luggage you have to carry around the more you will enjoy yourself.
This is what we can recommend to pack in your rucksack, for a basic 3 day trek:
- Shoes; a good pair of running shoes are perfect, or some lightweight hiking shoes or boots.
- 2 T-shirts (cotton), one pair of short or long pants.
- 2 pairs of socks.
- Towel (or sarong), swimming suit, toiletries and personal effects.
- Mosquito repellent (can be purchased in Thailand).
- Personal prescription drugs, contact lenses, glasses.
- Sun-cream (waterproof), hat, sunglasses.
- 1 long sleeved sweater and pants, or jogging suits (as night can be chilly, especially during winter season).
- Small flash-light is always useful and of course a camera is a must.
This list is not exhaustive, and depending the season additional equipment can be added.
For most of our programs, while going on a trek your main luggage/suitcase can be kept with your hotel or at our office.
Packing according to the season
During the cold season from December and January, we recommend a fleece and long pants as temperatures can drop down a lot at night. In the hills and mountain of Northern Thailand temperatures can drop as low as 5° Celsius (40° Fahrenheit) at night or in the early morning hours, so be prepared!
During the raining season a pair of good light weight hiking shoes (Gore-Tex water resistant) will be a must. Bring also a waterproof. Light plastic motorcycle type of rain coat can be purchased locally, and are usually good as they cover your backpack also. We would recommend to stuff your clothes in a dry bag or dry bag liner, inserted in your backpack, to ensure your valuables are well protected from the rain.
Weather and season
For more information on weather and season warnings, please check our weather report
Have a look at our exciting tour selection below:
Chiang Dao Trek 2 days / 1 night
A gentle trekking experience, trekking participants in the heart of the Chiang Dao valley, visiting hill tribes villages and witnessing authentic Northern Thailand rural life.
Chiang Dao Mountain Trek 3 days / 2 nights
This adventurous and strenuous mountain trek is departing from Chiangmai and will bring participants across the Chiang Dao mountain range, down to the Maetang River valley, following regularly used trails by numerous ethnic villagers within this region.
Doi Inthanon Mountain Explorer 2 days / 1 night
During these 2 days of exploration, you will visit the natural attractions of Doi Inthanon National Park, in which stands Thailand’s highest peak at 2,565 metres above sea level. A great opportunity to trek through mountain trails covered with dense tropical forest and relax by scenic waterfalls.
Trekking the Golden Triangle 4 days / 3 nights
Trek to hill tribe villages; see the impressive Chiang Dao mountain; visit the mystical Golden Triangle, the Burmese border and Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost point. Experience it all with our friendly local guides.
Chiangdao Trek and Golden Triangle Tour 3 days / 2 nights
Trek to hill tribe villages; see the impressive Chiangdao mountain; visit the mystical Golden Triangle, the Burmese border and Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost point; experience it all in this well organized sightseeing tour.
Luxury Nature Tour / Forest Trek, Kanchanaburi 3 days / 2 nights
Venture into a large protected forest area, in this eco-trek accompanied by an experienced naturalist. You will also have the opportunity to kayak down one of Kanchanaburi’s rivers, visit a Buddhist shrine deep in the jungle, take time for some birdwatching and visit a pre-historic cave.
Khao Yai Wildlife Safari 3 days / 2 night
With over 2,500 plant species, over 350 bird species, and large mammals including elephants, white handed gibbon, gaur, and Asiatic black bear, Khao Yai National Park is a natural choice for a wilderness adventure. This 3 days and 2 nights trip, departs from Bangkok and lead by expert naturalist.