This two day trip Ban Mae Sa Mai Hiking, Homestay Tour takes place very close to Chiang Mai. You will stay at a traditional H’mong village and take part in village life. A local H’mong guide will accompany us and explain about the history of these tribesmen and their interaction with their environment.
This two day trip Ban Mae Sa Mai Hiking, Homestay Tour takes place very close to Chiang Mai. You will stay at a traditional H’mong village and take part in village life. A local H’mong guide will accompany us and explain about the history of these tribesmen and their interaction with their environment. You will pass former opium fields, enjoy magnificent vistas, collect seeds of trees which benefits the tree planting program of the village and participate in and learn about local life in this village.
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Ban Mae Sa Mai
Our guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Suthep Mountain. Time of departure is flexible but we advise a very early departure, preferably around sunrise. First we will visit Wat Doi Suthep before the crowds arrive. Walk up the 300 steps up to the temple from where you have a majestic view over Chiang Mai. We continue to Doi Pui Village, a Hmong community, close to top of Doi Pui. Your guide will tell you about the turbulent history of this community. In the past the village was involved in opium cultivation. Nowadays the village is a major tourist attraction on Doi Suthep. We walk around the village before we meet our local H’mong guide who will accompany us on our hike to the H’mong village Ban Mae Sa Mai in the Mae Sa Valley. This hike will take about five hours including stops. We start hiking through the forest. The local Hmong guide will tell about the flora and about the history of opium cultivation on this mountain. You will also be stimulated to recognize certain plants and trees in the forest with the tree and plant leaflet we will provide you with. After a walk uphill we will arrive at an open area with fantastic views on both sides of the mountain. We will stop briefly to look at a footprint of Buddha before enjoying a picnic lunch at a scenic spot. We will continue through the forest to the Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai. This village is the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand and gets very few visitors a marked contrast with Doi Pui Hmong Village. In the afternoon you will visit the Hmong Learning wisdom Centre and meet the local silversmith who will show you how to make beautiful silver jewelry. You will stay in a traditional Hmong family house with nice views. You can help collect vegetables for our dinner and help your hosts prepare the dinner. After dinner there is time for conversation and your hosts will introduce you to Hmong culture. Overnight in the village house.
Day 2: Ban Mae Sa Mai – Chiang Mai.
Early rise with the roosters. You will engage in a morning activity with the villagers at sunrise. You will go out into the fields and work on planting or harvesting vegetables. Return to your house and enjoy a local breakfast. After breakfast there are several hikes possible around the village. You can either make a walk through the watershed forest of the village or hike to the FORRU reforestation plots and vegetable gardens of the village. We will also visit the Royal Project, located on the edge of the village and the small Hmong museum. We will have a last lunch in the village before we will visit Mae Sa elephant camp at 1430. This camp has three shows per day and allows elephant riding. We will do something different today. You will meet a couple of young elephants and their mothers. Your guide will give you information about the plight of the Asian elephant which is an endangered species. The camp also has a small information centre which we will visit. You can make pictures of the elephants and pose with them. We have brought some fruit with us that we will feed the elephants. The elephants will enjoy your visit. At 1530 we will continue to Elephant Poopoo Park. There are no elephants here. The Poopoopaper company produces recycled and odorless paper products from dung from elephants and other animals. You can see the whole process during a selfguided tour. They have great souvenirs here as well. Drive back to Chiang Mai. End of the program.
Please note that we enforce a strict dress code in the village and the use of alcohol during the homestay is not allowed.
We only will eat meals with ingredients that are available in the village. Don’t worry. You will enjoy the food.
Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Depending on the proposed option (semi-guide tour or all-inclusive package tour), the price may include the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
International travel insurance.
Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.
Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.
Principally, Lotussia Travel requires all the trip associates to know the destinations well by any means of traveling or enquiry to the local suppliers to figure out all the relative details of any trip. For adventure tours such as jungle trekking, mountain hiking, sea kayaking, river rafting or biking, cycling tours, LOTUSSIA Travel will never add any new routes into available schedule until survey or pre-view it.
Lotussia Travel carefully choose all the hotels, guest-houses or home-stays based on service quality, location, and characteristics, doing best to make the accommodations in the remote small places as comfortable as possible. Please bear in mind that hotels in Vietnam might not be in the same standard in other country. Generally hotels in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hoian, Hue…are much better than hotels and guest-houses in mountainous areas.
Lotussia Travel take dinning as an indispensable experience to clients since it is an important part in Vietnamese culture. Therefore, Lotussia Travel will not intend take clients to the most expensive restaurants but non-touristy local ones which offer delicious, local food, with nice or interesting atmosphere. The restaurants might be simple in the country but LOTUSSIA Travel guarantee is sanitary and cleanliness. Or even on our trek, we encourage our cook offer client food with new tastes from day to day. During adventure itineraries to mountainous or remote areas, there is sometimes no choice for hotel and restaurants. We will try our best to bring you the best taste of local food.
As the tap water in Vietnam is undrinkable, Lotussia Travel recommend clients to drink bottled water throughout your trip, or boiled water on treks. Lotussia Travel offers bottle water all the day, and soft drinks like Cola, Sprite or Vietnamese Tea or if possible juice in restaurants (if mentionned in itinerary). This is not automatically included in the packages. In simple restaurant or on camping, Lotussia Travel offers boiled water, instant coffee or juice, wrapped milk (Details are confirmed in bottom of your itinerary).
In most destinations of Vietnam, all the roads are well paved though the traffic is quite messed up like in Hanoi, Hai Phong… We use proper vehicles, car, minibus or coach in good condition based on the size of the groups. We use 4WD only on the rough road where the other vehicles could not pass through or based on clients requirement on overland journeys or treks. For cycling itineraries, we usually use our support minibus or minibus with support truck. For sea kayaking, river rafting trips, diving packages we use standard boat as support. Detailed information is provided on our service proposal.
We use drivers who are native or local of each travel destination and maintain good safety records for all trips. Most of our drivers can speak English but a little bit. This is just enough to understand basic words such as “time of departure”, “stop”, “restaurants”, “hotels”…If you want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and information about sightseeing sites, booking a tour guide is highly recommended.