Chiang Mai Tours & North Thailand Tours

With over 10 years combined experience, we offer authentic tours of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and responsible travel to hilltribe villages. We aim to show you the real northern Thailand, not the tourist version, by observing and interacting with locals. We prefer to get off-the-beaten-path and explore rural areas away from the tourist crowds, delving deeper into the local culture and way of life.

On our private tours, our local hill tribe guides will become your local friends, sharing the beauty of their homeland with you. Just tell us what you want to see and do. Some of the activities your tour can include are; authentic hill tribe villages, local markets, traditional food, buffalo riding and farming. Please visit our please visit our Tours and Homestays pages for more information.

Buffalo riding mae hong son Bamboo rafting chiang mai Mae Hong Son view

How our Tours are Different

  • We specialise in personal hands-on experiences that allow you to see the real northern Thailand through the eyes of a local
  • Our guides will take you on a cultural journey, to get 'up close and personal' to the local way of life, for example through activities such as offering alms to monks or helping out on the farm
  • Our itineraries are not fixed, this flexibility enables greater opportunity to explore local life along the way, without the restriction of schedules
  • We follow the rhythms of local life, and often come across unexpected local insights and surprises
  • We combine travel to well known places with off-the-beaten-path areas, this channels revenue to communities located off the tourist trail
  • Private tours mean that you receive the dedicated attention of our guide and driver, who can change the plan of the day to accommodate your interests and needs.

About Us

Red leaf

Red leaf

Thailand Hilltribe Holidays was founded by Thai and foreign couple – Pat and Mel, who came from worlds apart but united together over a common desire to help marginalised communities and hilltribes of northern Thailand. They simply wanted to open doors for local people, giving them equal opportunities to prosper whilst maintaining their cultural identity. They saw how tourism, if managed responsibly, could help local villages and communities.

The Responsible Factor

Our tours are based on responsible tourism principles, and we aim to ensure that locals benefit directly from your visit. With many hilltribe villages that have suffered negative impacts of mass tourism, we aim to redress the balance by channelling tourism in a way that contributes to the welfare and economy of a village. It can be difficult to find a way to visit authentic hilltribe villages responsibly, but our small private group tours, allow you to gain an authentic insight into hilltribe culture and way of life, in a natural and non-intrusive way whilst giving back to local people too. For more information on this, please visit our Responsible Travel policy. We have also created the  Picture Me Back project, which raises funds for hill tribes who struggle to pay for health and medical care. If you purchase one of our amazing photographs to remember your Chiang Mai Hill tribe tour, all proceeds will go towards this fund.

Safe & Family Friendly

Our tours offer a safe and comfortable way to explore northern Thailand. We understand your concerns about matters such as food hygiene and personal safety, and we minimise all these risks to allow you to have a cultural adventure in the safest possible way. Hundreds of families have travelled with us, and most have said it was the highlight of their visit to Thailand. The homestay is a particular highlight for many - watching and learning about how a hilltribe family lives and works, is a cultural eye-opener for many. The villages are always filled with children and animals, a great opportunity for children to interact and discover how people on the other side of the world live.

   Buffalo riding mae hong son      Bamboo rafting chiang mai     Mae Hong Son view       

See the Real Northern Thailand

Red leaf"This is why we travel ! "

Our family of 5 went on the 2 day/1 night Homestay tour from Chiang Mai last week with Anan as our driver and guide. It was an AMAZING experience we will never forget. Anan has great English and a fun sense of humor and it was important to him that we were able to see and do as much as we wanted during our short time together. He knows everything about the Hilltribes and we loved learning from him! "

Mindy A, Utah USA

Red leaf" Awesome 6d/5n Mae Hong Son Loop tour " Mae Hong Son Loop is a very scenic journey. A great getaway from the "bling" of city life. We did what the typical tourist would do, visited some touristy spots visit the National Parks, temples and etc BUT we also covered off tourist track destinations that you would not get from other package tours. From having lunches at the wooden stalls run by the tribes, visiting local temple, lovely photography spots, visiting local cafes, buying local food produce and the homestay with the tribal family. These were the highlights of the trip to me. Swee Hong Lee, Singapore

Red leaf"A life changing Holiday….” I have just completed a 9 day North Thailand Loop tour with Pat & Sun and it was AMAZING… the best holiday i have ever had! As my interests are People, Culture Textiles and Photograpy, I was taken to some amazing spots and met some incredible humble people. We chased Sunsets and Sunrises for that perfect light, perfect photo and stopped roadside many times wandering into fields, temples, homes to talk to and photograph people… who always had a smile and were happy to oblige. Jo B, Australia

Red leaf"Unique Tour of Northern Thailand " We had the most wonderful trip in November 2014 with Anan and Winai who took us to places which we would never have found on our own. Through them we had access to the lives of several hill tribe people without feeling too intrusive. I expressed an interest in textiles when booking the tour and was delighted that we got to see spinning and weaving in the villages. As farmers, we were also pleased to learn from our guides about agriculture in Thailand and even had a go at threshing rice! Sue, Hertfordshire, UK