This exciting Backpackit tour takes you through lush National Parks to the towns of Mae Sariang & Mae Hong Son. These small towns, are nestled alongside mountains and situated near the Myanmar border, this is where the real adventure begins. You will also visit the outskirts of the Salawin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is filled with a wide variety of animal species and endless stretches of spectacular nature. On this 6-day trip along the Burmese border you will experience some of the most beautiful and untouched natural areas in Thailand. We travel with local transportation and gets out where only a few tourists have been before.
- Trip length:
- 6 Day(s) 5 Night(s)
- Unique Experience:
- ● Go where only few tourist come and experience some of the most beautiful and untouched natural areas in Thailand
● Take in the serene mountain views, travel through dense jungle, walk around remote hill tribes and visit an elephant camp
● Make the most in short time, while still getting closer to the original Thailand – backpackit style
- Locations Visited:
- ● Mae Sot
● Mae Sariang
● Mae Hong Son
● Chiang Mai
- Start City:
- Mae Sot
- End City:
- Chiang Mai
- Physical rate:
- Type of transportation:
- Local transportation such as soengtaew and 2nd class busses
- Type of Accommodation:
- Dorm room with shared bathroom in Chiang Mai
Standard rooms in guesthouses and hotels with private bathroom
- Tour departure day(s):
- Selected Saturdays and Sundays upon request
Please refer to booking calendar or consult your booking agent.
- Small Group Exploration
Minimum 1* and maximum 8 participants
*Note that it is possible to book 1 person, but price is higher and we cannot guarantee more participants on the tour
- Children Policy:
- Child age: 2-11 years. Infants below 2
Child price: See “Rates”. Infants free of charge.
Please be aware of: On this tour, transportation is with local transport such as pickup trucks and 2 nd class busses, which can be stressful with smaller children. Please consider if you want to go for the comfort option instead: The Original Thailand 8D [make this a link to this tour]
- Included in Price:
- Accommodation: 5 nights in local guesthouses, 1 night in train/bus if starting in Bangkok.
Entrance fees and tours: Salawin boat ride, visit to Karen village, elephant ride, long neck village, Doi Suthep and Maesa Elephant camp.
Transport: Local transport according to itinerary.
English speaking tour guide: Yes, according to itinerary.
- Excluded From Price:
- ● Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
● Optional tours not mentioned in itinerary
● Food and drinks
● Fee for mud spa (if preferred)
All other expenses not stated as included in the above.
- Travel season:
- All year. In northern Thailand, the June - October rainy season can bring heavy and regular rainfall. The best time to visit is November - Febuary, when it is dry and temperatures are at their lowest around 30 degrees. From March - May the temperature can rise to 39 degrees.
- Essential to bring:
- ● Long sleeved jumper and trousers
● Mosquito repellent
● Passport (when travelling close to the border)
If you are arriving with night bus from Bangkok then your guide will pick you up upon arrival in Mae Sot and take you to Mr Lar’s residence. If you are connecting from the Umphang trek then you will have slept overnight at Mr Lar’s residence and the guide will meet you there. After a short briefing from the guide about the itinerary we will catch one of the local soengtaews running between Mae Sot and Mae Sariang. The duration of today’s transfer is around 6 hours. The scenery along the way are stunning with beautiful landscape and green trees and vegetation almost covering the road. Halfway we will do a lunch stop. You will hardly ever see any tourist in this part of the country hence the food and villages will be very local and remote. You can feel that the adventure has begun – you are now well off the beaten track. In the afternoon we will check in at a local guesthouse where we will spend the next two nights.
Day 2: Mae Sariang
The adventure begins with a journey by local songthaew truck to the banks of the Salwain River. Where we go sailing in a longtail boat on the river; this river is located in between Thailand and Burma. You will experience green jungle on both sides or the river and steep cliffs rises in the horizon. Make your way through the jungle to a Karen village where local families for sure will be a highlight of today’s trip. We will eat lunch in the village; we recommend bringing a lunch box before leaving Mae Sariang in the morning. After lunch we visit local temples and a Christian church before we go back to the guesthouse to relax and enjoy dinner.
Day 3: Mae Sariang – Mae Hong Son
Today’s drive will take you through some of the most beautiful nature in Thailand, and the landscape changes drastically along the way. We start our day with a small cycling trip in Mae Sariang where you can experience the local life and visit some of the local highlights. Then we head off towards Mae Hong Son with the local bus. On the way the bus will stop in the mountain village Khun Yuam where we have time to eat lunch with the locals. After arriving at our guesthouse in Mae Hong Son we go to the elephant camp for some elephant riding in the area near the river Pai. We will make a stop at the local Longneck village. From there we go back to Mae Hong Son city where the guide will have several suggestions to good dinner places.
Day 4: Mae Hong Son
Today's program is sightseeing around the beautiful postcard-like town, Mae Hong Son. We visit Mae Aw, which is located on a mountaintop near the Burmese border. Old Chinese freedom fighters live here. Next stop is a Coffee plantation and after a short walk you will reach a huge lake. This is the area called ‘Switzerland of Thailand’ where you can enjoy the tranquil area with green mountains. On the way back we stop at a mud spa situated at a natural hot spring. Here you can have a mud facial mask treat and take a swim in the hot springs.
Day 5: Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai
We have an early breakfast before heading to Chiang Mai. (Please be aware that the road from Chiang Mai to Pai is notoriously curvy. If you are prone to motion sickness then please bring along medicine to settle your stomach.) We will reach Pai for lunch and continue to Chiang Mai after we have taken a rest. Tonight’s dinner place is up to you, there are many good restaurants in Chiang Mai and your guide will have recommendations. After dinner we recommend you to visit the well-known night bazaar in Chiang Mai.
Day 6: Chiang Mai
After breakfast we drive to Doi Suthep, which is the highest and most beautiful temple situated on a mountain in Chiang Mai. At Doi Suthep we will get the original Chiang Mai feeling. Back in Chiang Mai, we will visit a place called Tiger Kingdom, where we also eat lunch from a nice buffet. Later in the early afternoon we will visit Maesa Elephant Camp, one of the largest assemblies of elephants in northern Thailand. After visiting the elephants we return to Chiang Mai city where your guide will say goodbye and the tour will end.
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.
Departure Days 2013 – Sundays
Mae Sot – Chiang Mai
January: 6 & 20
February: 3 & 17
March: 3, 17 & 31
April: 14 & 28
May: 12 & 26
June: 9 & 23
July: 7 & 21
August: 4 & 18
September: 1, 15 & 29
October: 13 & 27
November: 10 & 24
December: 8 & 22
Emergency Contact - Emergency Funds - Additional Expenditures - Tipping - Weather and Unpredictables - Meals - Group Leaders and Guides - Arrival - What to bring - Checklist - Visas - Laundry - Share Your Trip - Respectful Dress - Money, Dough, Loot & Booty - Departure Tax - Communications - Expect the Unexpected - Health & Fitness - Travel Insurance - Your Travel Buddies - Responsible Travel - The law and "the man" - Children Rules
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
We advise that you keep 10,000 Thai Baht for unforeseen incidents and circumstances beyond our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, etc.).
Take into account your personal spending habits when deciding how much money to bring. How much will you drink and party? How many souvenirs you intend to bring home? How many gifts? Remember to include tips in your calculations. (See below.) Back to Index
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 THB50 per day for porters (if applicable). For drivers who render services for several days in a row, 50 Baht 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 20 Baht. 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. Back to Index
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 customers. Back to Index
Visit Beyond gives you the opportunity to try authentic Thai food. When meals are not already provided, your guide will be able to suggest restaurants and the best dishes during your trip. The tour leader will normally order a variety of dishes to sample. Notify your tour leader of allergies or dietary restrictions. Back to Index
Visit Beyond will often provide experienced, local, English-speaking guides who know the destination and region well. Kindly note that it is sometimes necessary to change the guide at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Your guide is there fore you. He will offer recommendations, history, useful phrases and more. We encourage you to ask questions. At Visit Beyond we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit. Back to Index
If you have booked an arrival package then you can expect a Visit Beyond representative waiting for you at the airport with a sign with Visit Beyond Logo and your name. If you cannot locate your tour leader at the 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. Any additional cost you may incur to meet with your group is at your own expense. Back to Index
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 traditional luggage!
Responsible travel (see below) dictates that we respect local cultures. Bring a camera and take pictures and video, but never intrude on people’s lives.
See our checklist below for more specifics. Back to Index
This checklist is intended as a reference guide; it is not a complete packing list. Always keep in mind weight restrictions according to your airline of choice.
Travel documents: Passport and visas, travel insurance documents, tickets, Visit Beyond vouchers (if any).
Money: Cash, credit card, money pouch.
Special for Ranger tour:You need to bring 3 long sleeved shirts in dark colors like black or army green and 2 pair of trousers for the jungle.
Day pack: First-aid kit, medication/prescriptions (consider carrying a doctor’s letter if you require a large amount of medication), sunscreen, refillable water bottle and purification tablets, flashlight, insect repellent, hat and sunglasses, traveler’s diarrhea tablets, prescription glasses, contact lenses and solution, earplugs, playing cards, phrasebook.
Large pack: Alarm clock, international outlet adapter, swimsuit, lightweight towel, eye mask, comfortable walking shoes, raincoat, umbrella, waterproof jacket, outdoor sandals with good grip, waterproof bags for the rainy season, appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites.
And, of course, your camera, film or memory cards and spare batteries!
Please also check our online check list for this tour. Back to Index
You are responsible for obtaining visas. Consult your embassy’s website in Thailand or Thailand’s embassy website in your country for the latest visa requirements. Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return date. We endeavor to keep visa information updated, but rules can change suddenly.
Citizens of Australia, NZ, UK, USA, DK, SE, NO, FI, and NL do not need visas to visit Thailand as a tourist. If entering by air you will be granted a 30-day entry stamp. If entering by land you will be granted a 15-day stamp and you will require an onward ticket. Back to Index
Some hotels offer laundry services for an additional charge. You can find additional laundry services in all major cities. If you choose to do your own laundry, kindly use non-polluting and biodegradable soap. Back to Index
Go on, show off a little! Share your pictures on our Facebook page. We occasionally hold contests for those who provide the best shots, so stay on the look-out and you could win a free trip!
Remember that styles of dress are generally conservative throughout Asia. This is especially true 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. Back to Index
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. In addition, notify your bank of your travels before you depart, as banks often place a temporary hold on cards due to transactions in foreign countries or other suspicious activities.
Visit Beyond does not recommend traveler’s cheques. Exchanging them can be a lengthy process and can pose difficulties due to banking hours and holidays. In addition to a commission, unfavorable exchange rates often apply to traveler’s cheques. If you insist on bringing traveler’s cheques then purchase them with a major brand and strong currency. Old cheques are rarely, if ever, accepted. Back to Index
There is no departure tax at Suvarnabhumi Airport at the present time. This is subject to change without notice and Visit Beyond is not liable for unexpected charges levied on departing tourists. Back to Index
The most reliable method of communication during your travels will be email. Although Internet access is widely available in Thailand, we do visit areas of the country for several days at a time in which Internet access is limited or unavailable. Please take this into account when planning your trip.
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. We do not recommend that you leave friends and family with your hotel details because there is no guarantee that hotel staff speaks English. Facebook is another handy tool to keep in touch.
Always register with your country’s embassy in Thailand and provide details of your itinerary in order to make yourself available in the event of an emergency. Back to Index
Visit Beyond, as the name implies, brings you places that are beyond the well-worn tourist path. Out here, 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 they can. If this does not suffice, your guide will contact our manager. Back to Index
There are no health requirements for this trip. However, to get the most out of your trip, all travelers should be in good physical health. You should consult your doctor or physician before leaving your home country and you should honestly assess your ability to complete your vacation based on the detailed Visit Beyond trip itinerary. In general, the more you physically prepare for the trip, the more you will enjoy it. 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 traveler 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. Read the trip itinerary closely and bring medicine accordingly, as many trips entail travel on long, windy roads and require that you eat authentic Thai food. Do not rely on trip leaders or guides, as they are legally prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache medicine and antibiotics.
Visit Beyond is well aware of the health risks of bird flu and SARS. Therefore, Visit Beyond reserves the right to make unannounced changes to all itineraries in the very unlikely occurrence of an outbreak of bird flu, SARS or other disease. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require any clarification.
*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 can cause. We recommend that you obtain a doctors certificate in advance in case you are suffering from any of the above mentioned diseases. Back to Index
Although travel insurance is not obligatory to join a Visit Beyond trip, we strongly recommend you purchase insurance before departing your home country. Traveling without insurance is done entirely at your own risk. Visit Beyond is not liable for the uninsured. We recommend Gouda Travel Insurance for our European customers. Back to Index
Traveling in a group can be a very positive experience. You are likely to find that your travel buddies hail from all over the world. Therefore, you will get the double pleasure of experiencing a new part of the world and new friends to enjoy it with. In order to get the most out of your trip, each traveler must respect every member of the group, arrive on time according to the trip itinerary, and practice patience with one another. These are your responsibilities as a member of a group and we expect each member to follow them. For reasons of privacy, Visit Beyond will not provide personal information or contact details of your fellow travelers prior to departure.
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. Please refer to our Responsible Travel page for further details and suggestions for responsible travel. Back to Index
Visit Beyond does not tolerate illegal drugs nor do we tolerate visiting prostitutes. Both of these may be common among certain communities we visit but they are illegal nonetheless. Engaging in such activities puts you and your group at serious risk. Possession of illegal drugs is a crime punishable by death in Thailand. Visit Beyond and group leaders reserve the right to immediately expel from the group anyone engaging in these activities.
*Children are defined from age 2-11. That means 12 years and up will have to pay adult price.
Children can either stay with the parents in the same bed or we can book an extra bed if possible at the guest house / hotel.
*Some trips have special rules for children.
Children rules for SCUBA diving:
Children can do special dive courses from the age of 8.
Children aged 8-9 can do a course named bubble maker
Children aged 10-11 can do a course named Scuba diver
Children aged 12 and up will be able to do Open Water course.
It's still up to the instructor to decide whether a child is mature enough to dive. Being 10 does not create a right to be certified.
Children are defined from age 8-11. That means 12 years and up will have to pay adult price.