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One Week in Thailand: Kayaking and Hilltribes

Head into the hills and get sky-high on this eight-day northern Thailand adventure. Pass through the bustling hub of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and take the time to check out the night markets and bars well worth hopping. Trek the hillside villages outside of Chiang Mai, before exploring the city and its colourful nightlife. Find waterfalls, elephants and your new fave activity (kayaking, anyone?) and soak in some gorgeous natural scenery that you’d only see from local hilltribes. This journey will take you through temples, jungles, markets and mountains, sure get your heart pumping and your tastebuds singing.

8 days, from


per person


16 people max


Trip code: TTYN
Style: Basix
Theme: 18 to 35s


Countries Visited:  Thailand
Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights), Hilltribe Village House (multi-share) (2 nights)
Transportation: Overnight sleeper train , Songthaew , Tuk-tuk
Included Meals:

  • 4 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • Wander around the Buddhist temples of Ayutthaya, exploring the bygone era of the Kingdom of Siam.

  • Get your street food fix in bustling Bangkok and tuck into some of the tastiest eats in all of Asia. Did someone say 'mango sticky rice'? Yes, please!

  • Hit the nightlife in cruisy Chiang Mai, where the Nimman area is swarming with hipster bars and uber-cool lounges.

  • Trek deep – super deep – into the northern Thai hinterland staying in a traditional hill tribe village, eating and laughing with the locals.

  • Learn the art of Muay Thai with a class in Chiang Mai. Get your heart pumping and pick up some new skills at the same time.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok

Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, there's plenty to keep you occupied until then - perhaps take a walk around Chinatown and explore the vibrant streets, or head to the magnificent Grand Palace. Then, after tonight's important welcome meeting, it’s time to dig into some traditional tastes of Thailand. Bangkok is known for its street food, so you'll get the chance to head out with your leader and check out some roadside stalls around Khao Sarn Road. Later on, discover Bangkok’s nightlife and head out to one (or more) of the best local bars. Ask your guide for directions or grab your new travel mates and attempt to navigate the MRT subway train.

Day 2: Ayutthaya - Overnight Train

Good morning, it's time for an adventure. Take a train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya this morning. Ayutthaya was the capital in the Kingdom of Siam, but now the ruins of this old city form the Historical Park: an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries and statues. Take local tuk tuks on a visit to the Ayutthaya temple site, stopping by Wat Panan Choeng (adorned with a huge 19 metre Buddha image), Wat Yai Chai Mong Kol (with its 62 metre Victory Pagoda), and the famous Wat Maha That (the Buddhist temple with a striking figure head swallowed by tree roots). You’ll have the chance to buy some of Ayutthaya's famous Boat Noodles’ soup – trust us, they’re delicious. After your day exploring, hop on an overnight train up to Chiang Mai. You’ll have a few day-use rooms to share in Ayutthaya to freshen up before your train ride.

Day 3: Chiang Mai

Arrive in Chiang Mai in the morning and transfer to your hostel. Even though check-in is at 2 pm, you’ll still be able to use the facilities, if you’d like. Chiang Mai is the perfect entrance to the Thai highlands, with misty mountains and colourful hillside villages awaiting you to explore. This will be your base for the next few days, as you’ll return here after your hillside trek. Today, spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and exploring the city, then at night, why not get a group of you together and visit the night markets or the trendy bars in the happening Nimman area? You're on holiday, after all.

Day 4: Chiang Mai - Hilltribe Trek

This morning at around 8 am, leave Chiang Mai and head to Mae Malai Market to stock up on some delicious fresh snacks for your trek. Then continue on to the start point of today’s 8km hike. Your destination for this evening is the Lahu Hilltribe Village of Pong Ngan Lahu (approximately 5-6 hours trekking time). Walk along the mountain ridge and take in the views of the natural forest and remote scenery. Enjoy a packed lunch in the beautiful surrounds of Huey Nam Dang National Park before continuing on to meet your local hosts. Pong Ngan Lahu Village is located beside the Mae Taeng River and you will arrive here late afternoon. Tonight, experience a local home-cooked dinner by the campfire, then take a walk around the village to chat with the locals. This is a really special opportunity to experience rural Thai life first-hand.

Day 5: Hilltribe Trek - Chiang Mai

The best thing about being deep in the jungle in the morning is to enjoy the natural wake-up sounds of wildlife calls. After breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to buy some handicrafts from local enterprises to help support the community. Then begin today’s trek through the storybook landscape of farmland and jungle (approximately 4-5hours, 10km), exploring other hilltribe villages along the way. Reach Mae Sae Village at approximately 2pm, where you’ll meet your transfer and drive down to Mok Fah Waterfall. After two long days of hiking, relax your legs by the gorgeous falls or take a dip in the water – there’s no rush this afternoon! Arrive back in Chiang Mai around 5pm and check into your accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax and explore the city.

Day 6: Chiang Mai

Today, head out on an orientation walk with your leader. Then you're free as a bird for the rest of the day in charming Chiang Mai. There are plenty of optional activities for you to consider today. We highly recommend checking out Wat Prasingh and Wat Chedi Luang temples. After this, perhaps stop by Chuan Chom Vocational Training Center for lunch or a massage. Here you'll learn about the work that they do to train the women from the correctional institution with skills to go back to society. Alternatively, head to Doi Suthep or try your hand at a local cooking class. It's totally up to you! At night, why not get the gang together and party the night away at a local bar.

Day 7: Chiang Mai - Overnight sleeper train

With another day to explore Chiang Mai, you’re spoilt for options. Included for today is your chance to learn one of the world legend Martial arts, Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) this morning. Spend 1.5 hours exercising and learning the basics of Muay Thai with the pros, plus how to adapt yourselves to be the weapons and guard. Later in the evening, board an overnight train for Bangkok (approximately 13 hours). Soft sleeper class trains are used for the overnight journey, and they’ve got all you’ll need! The compartments are multi-share with air-conditioning and bunk beds that come with sheets and a pillow. Baggage travels in the carriage with you, and there's a food and drink service available on board.

Day 8: Bangkok

Your train is scheduled to arrive into Bangkok early this morning. You’ll transfer back to the hotel where the trip started, and you’ll have access to shared day rooms, available until midday. If you would like to spend more time in Bangkok (we don’t blame you), we can organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).