Wang Chin Route - 6 days, 5 nights
Lead by expert Dutch biologist Sjon Hauser, this route will start in Chiang Mai OR in the city of Phitsanulok 300 km Southeast of Chiang Mai and subsequently travel 800-1100 km while crossing through much of Northern Thailand in a comfortable minivan. At least four of Thailand’s most interesting national parks will be visited, beside religious, historical and cultural sites and mountain tribe villages in the relatively little known remote areas of the country. There will be no difficult trails to walk, only easy to moderate ones.
Along the route we will get to the summit of highest mountain in Thailand, visit waterfalls, hot-springs and viewpoints, with a little bit luck, in the right period of the year get chance to see sea of mist covering valleys in white from some great view-points.
Mr Hauser has lived in Chiang Mai area for more than 20 years. He is author of dozens of travel related books/publications, has expert knowledge of flora and fauna of Northern Thailand and is an expert in snakes in the region.
This tour is for maximum eight persons.
Day 1; (Bangkok or Chiang Mai) - Phitsanulok - Nakhon Thai
Option 1, Starting in the morning from Chiang Mai - You will meet your tour-leader Sjon Hauser in Chiang Mai for a five hours’ drive to Phitsanulok. The first stop will be the beautiful Wat Phra That Suthon with a giant but elegant Reclining Buddha statue. Before lunch we will also visit a rare shrine where local devotees have offered dozens of wooden phallus to a female spirit. Continuing, we will not visit the town of Phitsanulok, but turn onto the highway to the east and stop at a workplace where truck bands are recicled into trash bins and furniture. In Nakhon Thai, 100 km east of Phitsanulok, we will spend 2 nights in Panya Garden Resort. The resort is surrounded by paddy fields and teak trees.
Option 2, Starting in the afternoon from Phitsanulok - After meeting your tour-leader Sjon Hauser, Phitsanulok’s Wat Yai will be visited, a temple known for its venerated golden Buddha image called Phra Phuttha Chinnarat. Later on we will get to Nakhon Thai (see above).
Day 2; Nakhon Thai - Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park - Nakhon Thai
After an early breakfast we drive to the Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park further east. On the extensive flat top of this mountain we will walk a few short trails through moist evergreen forests. The mountain top was used as a stronghold by communist rebels back in the 1970s. We will visit the remains of their training camp, caves and rock formations which the rebels used as air shelters. A somewhat longer walk leads to the Lan Hin Pum viewpoint with impressive vista over the valley. This is also an ideal place for a picnic style lunch break. After the lunch we will visit a Hmong-village in the national park and later on if we still have time and energy visit a museum about the hectic history of the park or alternatively visit another area with strange rock formations and rare flowering plants.
Day 3; Nakhon Thai - Wang Chin
We will leave the resort and continue to the central parts of the Northern Thailand towards Si Satchanalia Historical Park. We will drive by villages, low hills, mountains and picturesque countryside and stop a few times to visit the morning market of Chat Trakan, and see various crops grown in the fields, see villagers working and observe egrets, storks and some other birds that may be feeding on the muddy fields. We will also stop at a large lotus swamp rich in bird life. We eat lunch on the bank of Yom River next to the Si Satchanalai Historical Park. Subsequently we will explore the park to see the 600 to 700 year old ruins and kilns. Then, we will continue to Punjen Hide Away Resort where you can relax at the swimming pool before dinner. We can spend the evening by an easy night walk along a forest stream in hope to see nocturnal animals.
Day 4; Wang Chin
After breakfast we visit the beautiful Mae Poeng waterfall in the Wiang Kosai National Park. During the peak of the rainy season, access to the waterfall may be restricted and there will be some alternative nature exploring nearby. In the late afternoon, we’ll continue to the west and will have a simple lunch at the market of the small town of Li. Li is the center of veneration of the legendary monk Khruba Si Wichai and if on schedule we may visit a nearby temple to learn more about the life and his temple projects in the 1920s and 1930s. From Li it is a 150-km drive to Mae Chaem, and halfway, near Hot, we’ll stop at impressive erosion formations in the bank of the Ping River. We’ll spend two nights at Mae Chaem’s Navasoung Resort in the foothills of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain.
Day 5; Wang Chin - Thoen - Hot - Mae Chaem
After the breakfast we’ll enter the Doi Inthanon National Park. When we reach the summit at 2565 meters above the sea level we will explore the cloud forest around, known to be home for some very rare birds. On the way down from the summit we will visit the twin Royal Chedis or make a 1-hour walk in dense evergreen forest. Later on we have a simple lunch in a Hmong village. After lunch we visit a royal agricultural project promoting alternative crops among the tribal population. On our way back to Mae Chaem, we visit the impressive, yet little visited Mae Pan Fall which is accessible by a short jungle trail.
Day 6; Mae Chaem - Doi Inthanon - Chiang Mai
In the morning we head for Hot again. We will visit a hot spring and then continue to Op Luang Gorge where the Mae Chaem River has cut a tunnel through the granite rocks. From here we will walk through deciduous forest and see some pre-historic rock paintings and gorgeous lianas hanging on the trees. Lunch will be near the gorge. After lunch we continue to Chiang Mai. Our driver will drive you to your hotel in the city.
The best time of the year for this tour is May to November during the rainy season when the nature is lush with much activity in the paddies and fields.
During the cooler December to January season some concerned areas for this tour may get overcrowded by tourists, this may pose problem for making reservations.
February to April is generally the driest period with very little activity on lower elevations, including agricultural activities.
Tour rates include:
- Entrance fees national parks (a total of 1200 baht per person) and temples
- English speaking guide
- All meals except dinner on day 4 and 5
- Some snacks & fruit
- Drinking water
Reviews from our guests
We launched our review system only few weeks ago, we appreciate your feedback when booking with us.
By: Karyn & Noah Marciniak | posted Mon 27 Mar, 2017
We had an amazing 2-day tour experience! We can't overstate how much it exceeded our expectations! We ended up seeing every single thing that was promised, and so much more including tons of animals and birds. Our guide was excellent and knew the answers to all our questions. We ate great food and the tour was adjusted to accommodate the types of things we wanted to see. We would recommend this tour to everyone!
Local partner – We're happy to read your positive review. That's what we are doing it for, to make the guests have a great time. You are always welcome to return ;-)
By: Laura Castelli | posted Tue 21 Mar, 2017
Booking this tour was a great decision. It was so easy and so much fun. We were picked up at our hostel in Pak Chong and driven to the park. It was just us and our guide/driver. We got to see every inch of Khao Yai, run after gibbons, spot different birds, and even do a night safari where we saw elephants! We felt very safe and taken care of- great value and the passion of our guide (Tata) only made it better. Thank so much- we will definitely be recommending to any friends heading that way!
Local partner – Thanks Laura for your kind words!
By: Reka Kangyal | posted Thu 16 Mar, 2017
We had a really great time, and our tour leader made his best to show us as much as possible within one day. Thank you for this once in a lifetime experience!
Local partner – Thanks for your kind words!
By: Chanda Jakusz | posted Wed 15 Mar, 2017
Tata and Boo were my guides for the day. This trip exceeded my expectations. Tata and Boo knew just were to go to show us various wildlife. I marveled at Tata's skill with bird calls, and really appreciated all that I learned. They both clearly cared about the park and the animals. That shone through. It's not just a job. I will definitely recommend this to others and will name these two for reference.
Local partner – Dear Chanda, Thank you for taking the time to sent us your review. And great to hear our guides did their 'job' well ;-) The passion for the nature and wildlife is the first and most important quality we look for in a guide. The guests will feel that, and it is 'contagious' ;-) Thanks for booking with us!
By: Cindy Lembré | posted Sun 12 Mar, 2017
Hello. It cas an amazing safari. The guide speak perfectly english. We are happé!
Local partner – Thanks Cindy!
By: Ralph Paul Maguire | posted Thu 9 Mar, 2017
A really peaceful day in nature. Jay is an excellent interpreter of the wildlife in the park and we so enjoyed the trek. Without a guide it would be very difficult to navigate and to find the animals and birds. One thing that could help to make the trip even more memorable were if Jay's long lens photos were available. I wholeheartedly recommend others to book the tour with Jay and believe it can be adjusted to all levels of interest.
Local partner – Thanks Ralph Paul for your kind words. Glad to hear you had a lovely day!
By: Pascaline Denblyden | posted Mon 6 Mar, 2017
This is one of the best nature tour I have taken, not only because the animals were gracious enough to greet us. Our guide Tata was excellent. Knowledgeable, friendly, open, and Michel more. Tks Tata for making my last days in Thailand so enjoyable. Hoping to welcome you one day in Vancouver.
Local partner – Thanks Pascaline! Sounds like our guide did a great job again (as always ;-) ). If you ever return to Thailand you know where to find us.
By: Wendy Johnson | posted Sun 5 Mar, 2017
Good morning . We have just returned to the UK after a two week holiday in Thailand , we spent two days one night doing the Kui Buri overnight elephant tour . What an experience it was truly one of the highlights of our holiday! A very professional team give us an insight into the world of wild elephants , the walk on the second day was fantastic. I would like to say a big thank you to all involved. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wishing to see how the community and wild elephants can live side by side, it was inspirational.
Local partner – Thanks Wendy for these kind words. We are happy to hear the tour inspired you. Kui Buri is a great example how tourism can help conservation. Best wishes!
By: Stefanie & Bieke | posted Mon 27 Feb, 2017
We booked our trip for Kao Yai for friday 24th. Communication during booking was very clear. We asked to do the trip with other people; to reduce the costs, which wasn't a problem. Our guide (Tata or Tantan, don't know how to write it), came to pick us up at our hotel; which was very easy. On our way into the park; we already saw a few makaaks and the great hornbill. We picked up a German couple; they we're really cool. In the morning we went for a 2,5h hike. Tata was really passionate about nature. He was funny; answered questions and said some really interesting cool stuff. He knew the hiding hole of a scorpion; which he triggered and then put on our hands; he had an eye for detail and showed us the birds and the reptiles, etc. We even saw the crocodile in the water! Lunch was really good; where we saw the waterfall. In the afternoon we went on a chase with the car because they were signs that one of the male elephants was spotted; so we actually saw him! Checking a wild elephant; crossed off of our bucket list! Then we went to visit the scenery; which was a beauuuutiful view of the park; were we saw some sort of wild Thai goats that all of the sudden with a lot or noise showed up. The trip was really unforgettable and was one of the highlights of Thailand; I'd recommend it to everybody!!
Local partner – Dear Stefanie & Bieke, Thank you for your kind feedback. We are happy to hear you seem to have had a great experience. Even seen an elephant and the rare Indochinese Serow (the mountain goat). Very lucky for just a one day visit. We will thank our guide Tata in name of you! Thanks!
We launched our review system only few weeks ago, we appreciate your feedback when booking with us.
Tour details in short:
- Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
- Type: Private tour
- Price: (on request)
- Group size: 1 to 8 people
- Grade: Easy to moderate
- Transport: Air-conditioned minivan
- Start: 8 a.m. (Day 1) from Chiang Mai or about 2.00 p.m. from Phitsanulok
- End: 5.00 p.m. (Day 6)
What to bring:
- Long trousers
- Rain clothing
- Sweater or light jacket
- Hiking or sport shoes
- Insect repellent
- Sunblock lotion