This multi-day expedition is for those with an adventurous heart and enthusiasm for the outdoors! We will venture into some of the most untouched areas of Thailand; from the Pai Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (only accessible by boat) to the mountains almost bordering Myanmar. This journey will get your adrenaline pumping while at the same time giving you a chance to immerse yourself in peaceful nature. One thing is for sure, this is an experience you won’t ever forget.
Duration: 6 days / 5 nights.
Departure: Daily departures from Chiang Mai
Tour ends: Mae Hong Son town
Route: Chiang Mai – Pai – Mae Hong Son
Activities: Whitewater rafting, trekking, unique & rugged overnight accommodation
Fitness Level: This expedition is recommended for physically fit people who don’t mind living in basic conditions for a few days. Swimming ability is also essential.
Period: The rafting part is only available during the wet season (see our river rafting pages for more details)
- Discover this wonderful area of Thailand riding the rapids of Pai River
- Trek remote mountain ranges of Mae Hong Son province
- Unique overnight stays; jungle camp, a cave, local farmhouse
- Experience basic jungle survival techniques still used by many locals
- Learn about ethnic minority culture, customs and food from your guides
DAY ONE – Scenic journey Chiang Mai to Pai overland
Pickup 9:00am at your Chiang Mai accommodation. Driving along mountain roads we will be passing through spectacular scenery and stopping at a mountain viewpoint. Reaching the Pai valley, be greeted by our team at the rafting base camp for lunch. After checking into your room, the rest of the day is free for you to discover the quaint town and valley independently.
DAY TWO – Full day river rafting and overnight at a jungle camp
Fuel up with breakfast then meet our team 9:00am at your hotel. Transfer to our adventure base in Pai town where we give a basic introduction on safety and paddling techniques, followed by a 1 hour vehicle transfer to the river starting point. Upon boarding the rafts, the real fun begins as we start to paddle down river, making a stop for lunch and a swim on the river banks. In the afternoon, continue along a few larger rapids as the river cuts through beautiful scenery; finally we arrive at a jungle camp for our overnight stay. Your guides will prepare delicious Thai food for dinner while you relax and soak up your peaceful surroundings. Tonight we will be sleeping on an elevated bamboo platform nestled between the river and jungle (mosquito nets provided).
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY THREE – Rafting to Mae Hong Son
After breakfast, we board the rafts for our last day on the Pai river. Spend the morning paddling sets of rapids through even more stunning jungle scenery, then stop for a packed lunch on the river bank. Continue further down the river for another few hours where we reach the exit point (depending on water level), this is where the rafting adventure comes to an end. After two days rafting the magnificent Pai river, we transfer by vehicle to a hotel in Mae Hong Son town where you must say goodbye to your rafting guides. Spend the evening at your own leisure exploring this cute mountain town independently.
(Meals: B, L)
DAY FOUR – Hike through bamboo and rain forest to a cave for overnight in the jungle
08:00am meet our local trekking guide at your hotel and take a 10 minute vehicle transfer to the start of our trekking adventure. Begin with a short cruise on a long-tail boat across the river. From there, we hike through traditional Shan gardens, continue uphill through the jungle and along the valley until we reach our lunch spot beside a waterfall; this is also a great opportunity to cool down with a swim. After lunch, we follow a relatively flat trail with bamboo forest and lush jungle either side. Eventually arrive at a cave which will be our shelter for the evening. Here you can assist your guide in cooking a jungle style meal and learn about the many uses of bamboo to create cooking utensils. Enjoy the evening by the campfire listening to the sounds of the jungle.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY FIVE – Over a mountain range with views of Myanmar then overnight in local farmhouse
After breakfast, we continue on our adventure departing the cave for an uphill trek over the mountain range; from there we can see mountains in Myanmar and an area of previous conflict (now this area is safe). Hike down the mountain to our lunch spot for some rest and relaxation. From here, we hike undulating terrain continuing along the valley then through the jungle to another village. Tonight we will sleep in this rustic village in a local farmhouse. Your guide will cook traditional Shan food and you can bathe in the river.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY SIX – Scenic countryside and mountain top view
Wake up to the village sounds and enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast. Begin the day hiking alongside a valley full of rice fields, soy beans, and fruit orchards. We will pass more farmer’s homes along the way. Later in the morning, we enter the jungle and trek along the mountain ridge on undulating terrain. We gradually ascend up the mountain for a spectacular mountain top view. Whilst enjoying the view, we can refuel with a local style lunch prepared by your guide in the midst of the jungle. After the morning uphill climb, we hike down the mountain to a waterfall where we can have a refreshing swim. Continue hiking along a valley to a Red Karen Village with spectacular views of the area. This is the final destination of our outdoor adventure; from here we have a 20 minute vehicle transfer back to Mae Hong Son town where you can be dropped at your accommodation or the airport.
(Meals: B, L)
- All transfers starting from Chiang Mai and ending in Mae Hong Son
- Experienced English speaking adventure tour guides
- Five nights accommodation; 2 nights twin share, 3 nights very basic conditions in the outdoors (please bring your own sleeping bag)
- Meals as mentioned in itinerary [B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner]
- Accommodation in Mae Hong Son after the trip
- Drinking Water for the trekking section (we recommend at least 2L per person, per day; upon arrival at our overnight stop, the guide will boil more drinking water for the following day)
- Tips or gratuities (optional)
- Personal expenses
- Meals not mentioned
- Air ticket from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai
- Other return transport to Chiang Mai
Note: this program is a sample itinerary only and can vary slightly depending of the season and other circumstances. We reserve the right to change the program according to local situation.
You will begin the trip with an overnight stay in a comfortable mid-range hotel in Pai town. From here you can easily walk around the small town.
Night two is a rustic experience is the jungle sleeping in open-air bamboo huts perched on the edge of the jungle and close to the river. Sleeping equipment is provided (including mosquito nets) and you can bathe in the river or with a bucket and water.
The third night you will be back to simple comfort in a mid-range hotel in Mae Hong Son town.
The fourth night feels like stepping back into prehistoric times when you find shelter in a jungle cave. We create our own sleeping area inside the cave with banana leaves and other jungle resources (please bring your own sleeping bag). Also you will learn from your guide how to survive with bare basics in the jungle, you never know when those skills might come in handy again!
The final night’s accommodation is in a basic bamboo hut with no electricity; here we have a few simple comforts such as outdoor toilet facilities (manual flushing), mosquito nets and blankets. We can wash in the river or take a bucket shower.
From Mae Hong Son, it’s possible to return to Chiang Mai by bus, minivan or flight. If you need assistance with transport, please Contact Us.