This trip will take you to the summit of Doi Luang Chiang Dao, the third highest mountain of Thailand. It is the highest limestone mountain and has unique biodiversity. With more than 1800 species of plants, many of them endemic to the mountain, it is a paradise for botanists.
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Ban Hua Thung.
Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800. We will drive to Mae Malai first where we will visit the market. We continue to Chiang Dao. Here we will visit the Chiang Dao Cave and the fantastic forest temple Wat Tham Pha Plong. Walking up the 500 steps stairs will be a good exercise for our trek up the mountain the next day. Drive to Baan Hua Thung Village. Here you will be welcomed by community members. Check into your homestay and enjoy lunch. In Baan Hua Thung village, local people also play their part to support conservation. Community members have worked together to establish a nationally f00amous ‘community forest’. In this common area, villagers may collect wild foods, but not cut trees. The forest is protected by a combination of community regulations and sacred ‘forest ordination’ by Buddhist monks. Villagers also have a community bamboo forest. Every year, they help each other to harvest bamboo, and divide the profits between the village families. This morning you will trek through the community forest with your guide and a local guide who will explain about different plants and trees. Return to the village. You can help your hosts prepare dinner. Dinner and overnight will be at a homestay in Baan Hua Thung.
Day 2: Ban Hua Thung – Doi Luang Chiang Dao.
Enjoy breakfast at the homestay. We have to drive a short while to the start of our hike up Doi Chiang Dao. We will be joined by a local guide and porters. We will trek up the mountain through forest and open areas until we have lunch somewhere on the slopes of the mountain. After lunch we will trek up to Ang Salung. Here we will set up camp. Ang Salung is a short distance from the summit of the mountain. After having set up camp we will hike up to the summit to enjoy the sunset. The views are magnificent. Return to the camp where we will have dinner. Our guide will prepare for us. Overnight in tents just below the summit of Doi Chiang Dao.
Day 3: Doi Luang Chiang Dao – Chiang Mai.
Wake up in the dark and hike up to the summit to enjoy sunrise and the sea of fog and clouds, unique to Chiang Dao. We will study plants in the area before we descend to the campsite for breakfast. After breakfast we will start the descent. We will walk down a different way to Pang Wua. Lunch will be along the way. The truck will be waiting for us when we will arrive at the Chiang Dao Cave at around 1500. Drive back to Chiang Mai. We will drop you at your hotel. End of the program.
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.
- Car transfers.
- Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
- Entrance fees.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
- Flight/Train tickets.
- Tour leader.
- Local porter(s).
- International travel insurance.
- Personal expenses.
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.