One of the best places for trekking in Thailand is in the North West near the Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Through the region runs the Mae Klong River and the beautiful landscape is ideal for trekking and rafting. The scenery along the river is a stunning array of limestone cliffs, waterfalls, wild orchids and giant teak trees. While rafting you can enjoy the song of the birds, and if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of gibbons, snakes or giant lizards that inhabit in the dense surrounding wilderness. The trek through the jungle takes us to Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall, Tee Lor Su (400 meters high), where you can enjoy a nice, refreshing swim when the weather permits. The sounds and smells of the jungle accompany us on the trek onwards through bamboo forests, dense growth and rivers. Along the way we will sleep in the Karen village of Kho Ta, where it is possible to gain an exciting insight into the tribe’s lives and culture. From here the journey continues through the jungle on the back of the village’s working elephants...
- Trip length:
- 6 Day(s) 5 Night(s)
- Unique Experience:
- ● Beat the crowd and trek through unspoilt jungle near UNESCO certified Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary.
● Swim in amazing Tee Lor Su Waterfall, ride through the jungle on working elephants and stay overnight in local villages.
● Great alternative to the well-trotted trails in Northern Thailand.
- Locations Visited:
- Mae Sot/Umphang National Park
- Start City:
- End City:
- Physical rate:
- Type of transportation:
- Bus, songtaew,elephant, rafting and walking
- Type of Accommodation:
- Night bus, Guesthouse ,Tent and Home stay
- Tour departure day(s):
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (Wednesday only in high season)
Please refer to below point (participants) for minimum number of pax
- Small Group Exploration
Minimum 2 and maximum 8 participants*
Please note, that it is possible to book 1 person on this tour, but departure is conditioned by a minimum of 2 participants. Please check with your travel consultant. Should the minimum requirement not be met, we will always do our best to reschedule or find the best-suited alternative at any given time.
*Please note that Umphang enjoys a remote location and very few local English speaking guides are present. In rare occasions the group departing on any one day may be more than 8 participants. If so, we will, however, separate into smaller groups of max 8 participants when reaching Umphang.
- Children Policy:
- Child age: Up to and including 11 years.
Child price: See “Rates”
This tour is not recommended for: children below 6 years.
- Included in Price:
- Meals: 4 breakfast, 4 lunch, 4 dinner.
Accommodation: 1 night in VIP night bus, 1 night at a local guesthouse, 1 night in basic tent, 1 night in local home, 1 night in VIP night bus back to Bangkok or 1 extra night at local guesthouse if ending in Mae Sot or Chiang Mai
Entrance fees: All entrance fees to national parks etc.
Transport: VIP night bus from/to Mae Sot and VIP night bus or normal day bus from Mae Sot, local car, soengtaew, rubber dinghy or bamboo rafts (depending on season), elephant.
English speaking tour guide: Guide/driver from New Road Guest House to bus station, guide in Mae Sot, guide upon
arrival in Umphang and during the trek.
- Excluded From Price:
- ● Travel Insurance (Compulsory).
● Guide during overnight bus rides and soengtaew from Mae Sot to Umphang.
● Transport to/from starting point (New Road Guest House, 1216/1 Charoen Krung Rd., Bangrak)
All other expenses not stated as included in the above.
- Travel season:
- All year. The June - October rainy season can bring heavy and regular rainfall.
The best time to visit is November - Febuary, when it’s dry and temperatures are at their lowest, around 30 degrees. From March until May the temperature can rise to 39 degrees.
From Febuary - May the experience on the river will be carried out on bamboo rafts if possible.
- Essential to bring:
- ● Good trekking/walking shoes
● Sandals (for rafting)
● Warm sweater and long sleeved shirts and pants for night time
● Mosquito repellent
● Sleeping bag (can be borrowed locally for free against a small deposit)
● Waterproof poncho & rubber boots if preferred (can be borrowed locally for free against a small deposit)
● Long socks for treks
● Copy of passport
● Motion sickness pills (if needed)
Day 1: Bangkok – Mae Sot
We will meet at New Road Guesthouse around 8:00 pm (please ask the service guide about the exact time the day before). From here we will go by car to the bus terminal and onwards with a VIP luxury bus from Bangkok to Mae Sot...
Day 2: Mae Sot – Umphang
In Mae Sot we are picked up by Mr. Lar and have the opportunity to sleep a couple of extra hours in his guest house (Expect basic accommodation) After breakfast and a shower he will take us on a short ride to the Thai-Burmese border market at the river Moi. After lunch we will go by public Songthaew (half open pick up truck) to Umphang. It is a beautiful 4-hour ride through the mountains with over 1,000 turns in the road. (If you suffer from motion sickness this would be a good time to take some medication to avoid feeling nauseous) Accommodation for the night will be in a traditional house on stilts. You may leave some of your belongings here in order to lighten your load for the trekking ahead. We will collect them on day 5. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Umphang
After breakfast the bamboo rafting begins (or rubber dinghy in the rainy season – depending on the water-level) southwards along the Mae Klong. From the river side there are three-four hours of trekking to the camp area in Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary where the guides pitch our tents and cook dinner over an open fire. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Umphang
After breakfast on day four, we will take a walk to the impressive waterfall Tee Loi Su, South East Asia’s largest waterfall. Afterwards we will walk through bamboo forests, cross bridges and walk through dense jungles to the Karen village of Ko Tha where we spend the night in a traditional house. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Umphang – Mae Sot – Bangkok
After breakfast, the trip continues on the back of elephants through the jungle. If you feel like it, you can ask your Mahout (elephant leader) to control the elephant. When back at Umphang you can take a shower before heading back to Mae Sot. Bus from Mae Sot to Bangkok leaves at 8 pm and expected arrival on the northern bus station in Bangkok is around 5:30 am the following morning, where the tour ends. The guide will not join the overnight bus and upon arrival in Bangkok or Chiang Mai you will have to get to your next destination yourself. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Bangkok
Arrival on the Northern bus station Mochit early morning around 05.30 am. Tour ends on the bus station.
Note: Your guide might change the itinerary according to customer wishes along the way. We ensure that any replacement in itinerary will be an experience as well.
Key: B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner
Elephants and sticks
The elephants in Umphang are village working elephants; they are not there to do shows for tourists. Normally they work in logging, just as it has been for centuries.
Living and working with elephants like this is only possible due the elephant caretakers also known as mahouts. The elephant and mahout lives closely together and does so for their entire life. They grow together and develop mutual respect, which is the foundation for controlling and directing the elephant’s behaviour. To indicate directions to the elephant the mahout may choose to pull the elephant’s ear and/or use a bamboo stick – Just as a rider directs a horse. On their thick skin it does not hurt the elephant.
NEED TO KNOW
Acting Responsible - Arrival Information - Child Explorers - Emergency Contact - Expect the Unexpected - Feedback - Guides - Health and Fitness - Luggage Storage - Optional Activities - Running Late? - Safety and Security - The Law and "the Man" - Travel Documents and Visas - Travel Insurance - Weather
NICE TO KNOW
NEED TO KNOW
Traveling responsibly is a pillar of the Visit Beyond philosophy. To us, it means two things: respect for the environment and respect for local cultures. We practice low-impact tourism and make every effort to preserve the environment. We refuse to treat local people as mere photo-ops and insist that you engage with locals as human beings. You will have a better trip for it.
If you have booked an arrival package you can expect a Visit Beyond representative waiting for you at the airport, train- or bus station with a Visit Beyond sign and your name. If you cannot locate your tour leader at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, please visit the ATTA office in the arrival hall on the second floor near exit no. 7 where you can get help in locating your guide. In emergency cases please call Mr. Jimmy on +66 (0)81 80 80 144. Visit Beyond does not offer refunds for missed transfers due to a change in flight or delays. Should your plane or train be delayed, please contact us immediately. Any additional cost you may incur to get to your destination is at your own expense.
Visit Beyond welcomes travellers of all ages but some tours are more suitable for children than others. Please make yourself aware of children rules under each tour and determine if a given trip is suitable for your family. An adult must accompany children and young people under the age of 18. An adult is defined as anyone aged 18 or above. All enquiries with respect to children are subject to review and approval by Visit Beyond. Visit Beyond reserves the right to restrict the number of travellers under the age of 18 on tours to secure optimal operation.
Please note, that the above refers to child travellers only and not to child prices. These may be seen under each individual tour, if applicable.
In the event of a genuine crisis or emergency, Visit Beyond’s Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 2630 9371. For further contact details please use the following page: http://www.visitbeyond.com/contact-us
Service guide contact is available only in the working hours 8.15 – 12.00 & 15.00 – 19.00
Airport Transfer; call Jimmy at +66 (0)81 80 80 144
Regarding tours please contact P’Lek on the emergency contact number found on the voucher.
Visit Beyond, as the name implies, brings you places that are beyond the well-worn tourist path. Out there, things sometimes go wrong and if they do, it is imperative that you tell your guide or tour leader immediately. They are best suited to help however way they can. If this does not suffice, your guide will contact our manager. Note also that Visit Beyond trips are likely to offer circumstances that involve risks and by booking a tour with Visit Beyond, you acknowledge and accept any and all risk associated herewith.
This said, please expect and appreciate the unexpected. We try to bring you closer to local life and here English may not always be spoken and despite a global world, cultural differences still greatly exists. You will get a much better experience if you bring an open mind, a great smile, patience and willingness to meet the locals at eyelevel.
How do you find your Visit Beyond experience? We would love to hear from your and always welcome constructive feedback. Please contact us on the following addresses: http://www.visitbeyond.com/contact-us
In the event of discrepancies or dissatisfaction, please file the complaint to your guide as soon as it arises. Doing so, we have a better chance of meeting your needs instantly and ensure you get a good experience. Note that you waive any complaints if you cannot reasonably demonstrate that the complaint was made immediately.
If you, contrary to expectation, remain unsatisfied then please file a written complaint to your travel consultant through which you have booked the service. This must be done within 15 days of the end of the service. Visit Beyond will not accept any liability for claims received after this period.
Visit Beyond provides experienced, local, English-speaking guides who know the destination and region well. We encourage you to ask all the questions you may have.
For all tours, please closely read the itinerary and note the physical rating to decide if you are fit to participate. As a general rule of thumb and to get the most out of your trip, we recommend a good physical health and if in doubt, consult your doctor or physician before leaving your home country. We do not walk at altitude nor set distance records, but some treks can still be demanding. Expect hilly terrain and high temperatures. Visit Beyond and its guides reserve the right to exclude a participant without refund if said traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to him/herself or to the group.
Small and very handy first aid kits should be readily available in your home country. We recommend you purchase a kit before departure along with any personal medication you may require. Do not rely on guides, as they are legally prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache medicine and antibiotics.
If you suffer from any conditions, physical, mental or otherwise, you are obligated to notify Visit Beyond in writing prior to booking. Visit Beyond reserves the right to decline a booking if said conditions pose a danger. Likewise, failure to notify Visit Beyond of any such condition may result in your denial of travel. Similarly, travellers should be aware that Asian countries have medical standards and facilities that may vary greatly from what you are used to in your home country. Women who are or think they may be pregnant must consult a physician before engaging in any activity with Visit Beyond or before booking any trips. Any person who is concerned about their ability to travel should contact Visit Beyond and will then be recommended a trip suitable for these specific needs (if available).
Special Health & Fitness for diving:
Before you begin your dive course, you must complete a medical test. If you suffer, or have suffered, from asthma, hay fever or allergies, you must bring a doctors certificate stating that you are physically capable of withstanding the kind of strain that diving may cause. We recommend that you obtain a doctors certificate in advance in case you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned diseases.
Visit Beyond provides luggage storage at all of our service offices, both for the day and if you go on a tour for several days. When going on a tour and you come back to our office, we recommend that you only bring what is needed for the tour and leave larger bags behind. Not only will this make it more convenient for you, but also allow for better and easier commuting.
On some of our tours, there may be free time and/or options for additional activities. These are not included in the tour and do not form a contract. Visit Beyond is not responsible for anything that may arise from a traveller taking part in optional activities. Optional activities are undertaken at the cost of the traveller.
Please always respect the departure times when stated in itinerary. These are carefully considered to ensure you the most comfortable journey and to ensure you make opening times where applicable. In case you, contrary to expectations, are running late for a tour departure, please use the contact details on the front of your voucher to alert Visit Beyond. If we do not hear from you the tour will depart at latest 15 minutes after stated departure time and no refund will be given in case you miss the departure.
Most national governments provide updated advice services on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you stay updated on your government's advice for the latest travel information – before departure and while on the road.
Visit Beyond endeavours to conduct its operations safely and your guide has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. However, Visit Beyond is not liable to you in the event of injury, death, financial loss or any other damages incurred as a result of Force Majeure, e.g., political turmoil, riots, war, landslides, flooding, etc. Visit Beyond requires you to carry insurance that covers such unforeseeable circumstances.
Adventure trips, trekking, hiking and water based activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving inherently holds an element of danger and excitement. While we take every precaution to ensure these are carried out in agreement with operating standards, please have a balanced approach to safety and note that participation will always be at your own risk.
Visit Beyond does not tolerate illegal drugs nor do we tolerate visiting prostitutes. This goes even though it may be common among certain communities we visit. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime punishable by death in Thailand. Visit Beyond and guides reserve the right to immediately expel from the group anyone engaging in these activities.
Note that most nationalities are required to obtain visas for travelling to certain countries in Asia. You are yourself responsible for obtaining valid visa to enter Thailand, if needed. Consult your embassy’s website in the destination country or the destination’s embassy website in their country for the latest visa requirements. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions in regards to visa rules.
Valid personal travel insurance is a prerequisite to participate in any activity or tour organised by Visit Beyond. It should as a minimum, but not exclusively, cover medical expenses, personal injury, repatriation and evacuation. Further amendments to your policy, such as trip cancellation, and loss of luggage and personal effect are not required, but strongly encouraged. Visit Beyond will not be held liable for lost or stolen luggage and reserves the right to deny participation in any activity or tour if you do not hold valid travel insurance. You must be able to provide proof of insurance if requested by Visit Beyond or any of its representatives.
Visit Beyond operates trips in Thailand throughout the year—including the rainy season—and changes may result from inclement weather and other unforeseen circumstances. We reserve the right to change the itinerary according to such circumstances as we see fit to ensure the best experience for our travellers.
NICE TO KNOW
Take into account your personal spending habits when deciding how much money to bring. Are meals included? How much will you drink and party? How many souvenirs do you intend to bring home? Remember to include tips in your calculations and we also recommend keeping an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances beyond our and your control.
There is no departure tax at Suvarnabhumi Airport or at the borders at present time, however we recommend that you always recheck before leaving for the airport. This due to said information being subject to change without notice and Visit Beyond is not liable for unexpected charges levied on departing tourists.
It is a good idea to leave your booking agent’s contact details or Visit Beyond’s contact information with friends or family in your home country in case of emergencies.
Visit Beyond gives you the opportunity to try authentic Thai food. When meals are not included, your guide will be able to suggest restaurants and the best dishes during your trip. Your guide will normally order a variety of dishes to sample. Notify your tour leader of allergies or dietary restrictions.
We recommend withdrawing money from ATMs, which are widely available throughout Thailand. This has the advantage of keeping your money safe in the bank – not vulnerable in your back pocket. Remember to bring your bank’s emergency contact details in the event that your card is stolen. You might also consider bringing a spare card in case one gets stolen. Remember to keep them separated. We recommend you bring some spare cash in USD in case of emergency.
Remember that dressing is generally conservative throughout Asia – especially outside major cities. Visit Beyond therefore strongly recommends modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Avoid tank tops on the beach and never sunbathe topless. Men and women alike are often required to wear pants that cover the legs in temples and religious sites.
…With your loved ones and fellow travellers. Had a beyond ordinary experience? Challenged your personal boundaries or just shared a beautiful moment despite cultural differences?
Post pictures and impressions on Facebook.com/VisitBeyond, connect with your dorm room mate on Facebook.com/New Road Guest House and post your review at Tripadvisor.com/ReviewIt
Visit Beyond employs local guides who greatly appreciate recognition of services rendered. Tipping about THB 100 per day (if you are happy with the service) is appropriate, but not compulsory. We suggest THB 50 per day for porters (if applicable). For drivers who render services for several days in a row, THB 50 per day is appropriate. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
At small restaurants you may want to round up to the nearest THB 20. At upscale restaurants, a tip of 10% is appreciated. (Note that upscale restaurants often levy a 10% service charge on the bill. Additional tipping is at your discretion).
Pack according to the tour you have chosen. If you’re going trekking, bring appropriate shoes. If you’re going diving, bring your suit etc. Visit Beyond encourages you to pack only necessities. Although there are some tours and trips in which you can leave your luggage behind for a day’s excursion, we generally require you to carry your own gear. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to pack in a backpack with straps and back support and a smaller daypack. We strongly discourage hard case luggage!
What you plan to bring we will leave up to you, but generally remember all your travel documents and keep a copy of your passport as well as your travel insurance card on you at all times. Give priority to lightweight and fast drying clothes just as long sleeved shirts and trousers are recommended for trekking and chilly evenings. If you are travelling in the rainy season, remember umbrella or waterproof shield. Lastly respect local culture and bring appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites. You might also find it useful to bring a phrase book – just a couple of words in the local language will give you tremendous credit. Lastly, we are in the tropics so remember sunscreen and insect repellent!
Please check Visitbeyond.com to see, if there is anything essential to bring for your particular tour.
The above has been written in good faith and every effort has been made to accurately reflect Visit Beyond’s policies. It should be seen as general guidelines and information provided as a service to the traveller. Visit Beyond cannot be held responsible for any error, omission or unintentional misrepresentation that may appear in this document or on its website. The Client solely bares the responsibility for staying updated on travel requirements, rules and regulations at any time. Updated 26 March 2014.