Ethical Hill Tribe & Elephants Tour

Why not combine a Karen hill tribe tour, together with a Karen elephant experience ? Learn about the Karen people and their way of life,  in an ethical way that supports the Karen tribe directly.


We can take you to visit authentic Karen and Kayan Long Neck hill tribe villages, to learn firsthand about how the Karen live and work. From how they lived traditionally as subsistence farmers, growing rice and crops to how they hunt and forage for herbs in the forest. There is the option to stay overnight in the village at a Karen homestay. We have both traditional and modern homestay  options in a Karen village, depending on how much comfort you need. Both are guaranteed to be authentic !

We work closely with the Karen and other hill tribe villages, investing time and funds to ensure that our tours have a positive and direct impact on the hill tribe communities that we visit. So that you can rest assured your visit supports them directly ! How can you tell this is true ? Because when we visit, you'll see only smiles from villagers who are happy to welcome you, and who want to share their way of life with you. Travelling with our hill tribe guides, is like travelling with long-time friends !


Here is what the outline itinerary looks like :

Day 1) Pick up from your hotel in Chiang Mai - we'll head out into the lush sub-tropical countryside of Chiang Mai - visit to an ethical elephant sanctuary - spend the morning here, bathing and feeding elephants - learn about how the mahouts take care of them - after a local lunch, option for bamboo rafting - then we will continue our journey north - on the way we will stop to explore local life (roadside markets, areas of natural beauty etc.) - Visit a traditional Shan (ethnic minority village), learn about the Shan people and see their traditional woven textiles and weaving - then visit the Karen and Kayan Long Neck tribe - You will have the chance for cultural immersion, with a Kayan Long neck family, and to learn about their way of life as refugees in Thailand - Option for short trek with a village guide to learn about the local ecology, and how the Karen live and farm - enjoy learning to cook traditional dishes together over a local-style fire pit for dinner - O/n in the village at a homestay

Day 2) After breakfast at the homestay we will depart the village - drive up Doi Angkhang mountain, a cluster of peaks and valleys that form a mountain range that borders Myanmar - Enjoy the stunning vistas on the way up. Doi Angkhang is home to colourful minorities such as the Palong and Lahu hill tribe - Visit their villages, where these ethnic groups still live in bamboo stilt houses and hold belief in the spirit world - We will have the chance to talk to them and learn about their culture and way of life - Visit an outlook point which overlooks the mountainous Thai-Myanmar border - Optional visit to the Royal Agricultural Project Station - Descend Doi Angkhang, option to stop at a local waterfall where you can play in the waters - Drive back to Chiang Mai, other activities/ attractions can be included upon request on the way - Drop off at hotel in Chiang Mai.

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What makes this unique

- Learn about the Kayan Long Neck Tribe in an authentic and ethical way
- Gain an authentic and 'up close and personal' experience with hill tribe villagers
- The itinerary is an outline only, every trip is unique
- The itinerary is not fixed, and flexible to explore local life along the way
- We can customise the trip to suit your interests (ie: trekking, handicrafts, nature etc.)


- This tour starts in Chiang Mai. We can pick up+drop off at your hotel/airport/train station in Chiang Mai
- Pick up time is 8am and we finish in the late afternoon. The timing is flexible though, please contact us about this
- This tour can be customised. Please contact us about this for more details

Ethical Factor

- Your visit encourages hill tribe communities to be proud of and to preserve their traditions and way of life
- By paying for services to villagers, they benefit directly and fully from your visit
- Travelling with our hill tribe guides ensures you won't be intruding, it will simply feel like you're meeting new friends !
- We follow village life, rather than village life following our expectations. So we cannot guarantee what you will see, but you will have the chance to meet villagers, be invited into their homes and to see how they live in an ethical and respectful way