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 appreciate your feedback after the tour when booking with us.
By: Alessandra Arrigo, Italy | posted Sat 20 Jan, 2018
hallo, thanks for asking. the experience was very good. the two guys we had for guides in the two days (Jay and Tata) were brilliant and very friendly. The parc is amazing and we enjoyed our visit very much. We've also choosen one of the hostel you suggested (Hallo Hostel in Pak Chong) which was very good, but I think it's quite far away from the parc and my only suggestion is to suggest hostels or hotels closer to the parc. If you told ma that it was far and I didn't notice, I beg you pardon and make my excuses.
By the way, everything went well and we will recomand you to our friends.
thanks a lot
Tour operator's response
Great to hear you had a good experience with our guides.
We do not make any specific hotel recommendations because we have no personal experience with the hotels and we have no influence whatsoever on the quality. We simply provide a list of hotels from where we can pick up our guests. Every hotel might have its advantages and disadvantages and everybody has different preferences so we do not specifically recommend any hotel and let the guests decide by themselves what fits them best. To suit people on different budgets we have included Hello Hostel in Pak Chong town which is very cheap but indeed a longer drive. Most of the other options listed are much closer to the park, but there is no low-budget options near the park. It generally costs double or more.
Thanks for joining our tour!
By: Matteo Mambelli, Italy | posted Sat 13 Jan, 2018
We really enjoyed our tour: landscapes were astonishing, food good, guide very nice and helpful
By: Sarah Wu, Singapore | posted Wed 10 Jan, 2018
It was a most enjoyable day trip with guide Jum. She pointed out many wildlife (great hornbill,many bird species, sambar deer, pheasants, water insects, crocodile) and flora ( bamboo, medicinal plants, teak flower, orange etc), which we will not take notice without her guidance. Evening time was spent sighting elephants and we saw a male one! Everyone was excited and happy. Thanks to Guide Jum for her expertise in animal behaviours. We highly recommend this day tour.
By: Daniela Harb, Austria | posted Mon 8 Jan, 2018
We enjoyed the tour with Gan and Pho very much. They were truly enthusiastic about the wildlife and made all efforts to give us a comprehensive picture about the animals and their habitat. We were lucky to see i.e. hornbills, snakes, crocodiles, elepants and even the leopard cat.
The girls made the tour a fantastic event in our holiday.
Thank you, Daniela
Tour operator's response
Glad to hear about their enthusiasm and the results. Some great wildlife. Very lucky even to see a wild cat species in Thailand.
Thanks for booking with us!
By: Donald Bushell, United States | posted Sat 6 Jan, 2018
We had an excellent trip with our guide, Som. She was very knowledgeable and kept us all engaged. Her English was excellent and we all liked her very much. She was patient when we wanted to spend a long time looking at the elephants. If we were to come again, we would be very happy to have her as our guide.
Tour operator's response
Thank you Donald for your kind review.
We will pass the word of thanks to our guide Som!
By: Marco Grasso, Italy | posted Tue 2 Jan, 2018
We had a beautiful tour at Doi Inthanon Park. The guide and the driver were very nice and professional, everything was organized very well.
By: Jeanine Schneider, Germany | posted Sun 31 Dec, 2017
We had a fantastic day-tour in Khao Yai National Park. We were a group of 4 people with 1 toddler and 1 teenager and left all totally excited and happy after that tour.
Our guide was incredibly friendly and showed and explained us everything during the day. We have seen so many animals and plants we haven't expected to see, like a Gibbon, hornbill bird, monkeys and even a wild elephant.
Our little one was very excited about the jungle hike and is still talking about everything she has seen on the way and her being a Junior Ranger now.
We had a great day and recommend this trip to everyone!
Tour operator's response
Thank you for the lovely words. Nothing makes us more happy than to hear the trip has excited the little kids.
It is these kind of experiences that will likely help them make the right decisions in the future when it comes to protecting these areas and the wildlife that lives in these parks.
Great you gave your kids this opportunity, and glad we were able to help with it.
Thank you for booking with us!
By: Muhammad Fuad Khan | posted Sat 30 Dec, 2017
Excellent tour. Ja was our guide, an extremely wonderful lady, very friendly, knowledgeable, great observation and professional.
Meal was typical Thai food, hot, nice served and tasty.
Unfortunately we couldn't do the tracking due to constant rain but we thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
Would certainly highly recommend to everyone.
By: Ryan Dunn, United States | posted Wed 27 Dec, 2017
Bill was a fantastic guide and a great host at the bungalow. Can’t recommend him highly enough. Thank you for a fantastic experience.
By: John Miller | posted Tue 26 Dec, 2017
Yes, we very much enjoyed our trip. We loved everything about it. Apply, our tour guide, was amazing!!!! He was extremely knowledgeable and very observant. He pointed out so many things we won't have seen by ourselves. We couldn't of asked for a better tour guide!
Tour operator's response
Glad to hear you had a great day with our guide Apple.
Thanks for 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