We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Kata Beach
Level Contributor
22 posts
68 reviews
Save Topic
Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Hey There.

It would be great to get some information on visiting the hilltribes. I will actually have my own car, so if its easier to drive somewhere for a cheaper option then that would be great.

We will be intending to do an overnight trip.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Colorado
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Gafferworld:

It actually may be a bit difficult to visit the hilltribes on your own, unless you are just looking for the hilltribes set up for tourists. If you want to wander through some of the more rural authentic hilltribes, you need to know how to find them. I've visited hilltribes many, many times but couldn't tell you which windy, dirt roads I took to locate them, as we have always had a local guide familiar who is familiar with the hilltribes. Also, unless you speak the language of the hilltribe, it might be a bit difficult to communicate, should you have an interest in doing so.

If you have your own car it would be cheaper to go on your own, but you could also consider hiring a guide (about 800 baht per day) and using your own car as the transport. That would save you the cost of hiring a car.

If you went to Mae Salong, a few of the small guesthouses (Little Home comes to mind) do have some hand drawn maps of how to locate some of the hilltribes, and you can find 4 or 5 of the hilltribes that are within a few km of tow. However, in my visit in October, we went to one that was about 20 minutes outside of Mae Salong, which wasn't on the map, and was up a mountain on a narrow dirt road. The benefit of course was that few people ever make it up to that hilltribe.

There is an Akha tribe not too far out of Raummit that you could probably find on your own by asking the locals in Raummit for directions.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
669 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Agree with above. You'll need a local guide if you really want to get more experience out of it, otherwise, you'll just be going there and snapping photos, without knowing much about them.

I would suggest you to go with PDA, a Thai NGO that is well-known for its social projects and the Cabbages & Condoms Restaurant.

http://www.pda.or.th/chiangrai/pda_tour.htm

They have a tour office and a hilltribe museum in Chiang Rai. The museum provides you with good info about the different tribes. Proceeds benefit the local people.

Mentioned in this post
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
Kata Beach
Level Contributor
22 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Hi Boroer,

Thank you for that very informative info. I dont think I would be looking to visit them on my own so the hired guide may be the answer.

I will check out Mae Salong for more information.

I guess would would be looking to stay overnight in the village as well. Is this possible?

Also, how difficult is it to pick up a guide? Are they available in Mae Salong or do I need to look in other towns?

Cheers for the great help ;)

Gav

Kata Beach
Level Contributor
22 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Thank you also kutepanda. I will check you link.

This is a great help.

Thank you so much.

Gav

Colorado
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Gafferworld:

I am not sure about Mae Salong, as I always use a guide from Chiang Rai to take me to Mae Salong in a car, as I prefer to not drive myself. Mae Salong is pretty small, but I would guess the guesthouses have some local guides to whom they could refer you.

I use Jermsak in Chiang Rai, as he is a local who grew up in a hilltribe and subsequently an orphanage, has a relationship with many of the more rural hilltribes and has lived in Northern Thailand almost all his life. He speaks excellent English and is a knowledgeable, kind man. His email is Jermsak_Cei@yahoo.co.th

I've also met Mr. Cha, Mr. Sing and Pam, all of who are locals and all of whom I liked.

To obtain the names of other Trip Advisor recommended guides (meaning they are recommended by people on this forum who have actually used them and been satisfied with the service), go to the FAQ section on the upper right hand side of this forum page and click on the "Find a Tour Guide" link. Scroll down to Chiang Rai. The contact info is provided for each guide.

Obtaining a local private guide (versus one used on big tour group endeavors where the guide often comes from another city) can be a little difficult in the high season of November through about mid February. But, I have booked last minute trips during this time frame and been lucky enough to fit into a guides schedule when they had a free day or two between other bookings. There are not as many English speaking guides (who speak English well and are TAT certified) as in Chiang Mai or Bangkok.

In order to check reviews/feedback on guides, place the guides name in the "search" section of the Chiang Rai forum, which is in the center of this page, about 1/3 of the way down. It will pull up all the posts about that particular guide and you can read first hand reviews, as well as any trip reports where travelers used the guide and mentioned his or her name in the trip report.

Good luck with your decisions and have a great trip.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Mentioned in this post
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai Province, Thailand
Chiang Rai Airport
Chiang Rai Airport
Chiang Rai, Thailand
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Bangkok
Bangkok
Thailand
Colorado
Level Contributor
3,379 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

Kutepanda:

Thanks for sharing the website above and for posting. I sent you a private message also, but if you used a guide associated with the organization above with who you were satisfied, please feel free to forward me his/her contact information and name and we'll add them to the FAQ on tour guides.

Broder

7. Re: Informaton required about visiting the hilltribes

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 June 2013, 05:42