Thailand Multisport

Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4-16
Difficulty
Starting from
$2,799 for REI Members
$3,079 for non-members
Departures Dec 2019-Dec 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Lush nature, rugged mountains and plenty of thrills; Thailand is our gateway to nine days of action-packed adventure.

From invigorating jungle hikes to bustling markets, our journey takes us off the typical tourist path. Go on remote hikes free from other tourists, bike through quaint villages and enjoy unique stays in eco-lodge accommodations. We begin in Chiang Mai, the hub of the north, with a full day elephant immersion experience at a rescue sanctuary. The evening brings the option to wander through Chiang Mai's famous night markets, sifting through displays of handcrafted silk, paper, textiles, and culinary treats.

Next, we turn toward the mountains for a 3-day trek. Hike past beautiful waterfalls and challenging jungle forests. Along the way, we are welcomed into the homes of the hill-tribe people to dine, rest and experience a rare glimpse into the daily life of villagers. We change gears from there, exploring by kayak and mountain bike. Bike to the Chiang Dao caves to explore five interconnected caverns extending some seven miles into the mountains. Our journey ends where it began, celebrating with new friends and new memories in Chiang Mai.

This is a great trip for adults and fit, older teens. If you're traveling with younger children, check out our Thailand Family Adventure.

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike, bike, and kayak through northern Thailand on an action-packed trip
  • ?Feed, bathe and learn about Asian elephants at a rescue sanctuary
  • Visit remote hill-tribe people and see the daily life of villagers
  • Enjoy a variety of Thai cuisine, including lunch at a unique floating restaurant
  • See colorful Chiang Mai, adventure hub of the north

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Our multisport adventure consists of several different activities. Participants will hike most days, including one hike of just over 11 miles (7+ hours). On three days we cycle on flat and rolling terrain (on both paved and unpaved surfaces) for up to 20 miles (2 ? 3 hours). One day includes kayaking on flat, calm water for up to 2 hours. Kayaking is suitable for novices. Please note that all activities can seem more strenuous due to the heat and humidity of Thailand.

Terrain notes: We hike through many areas that have few ?western? amenities or facilities. Our hikes include uneven terrain on trails that are not maintained and can be muddy, slippery and rugged. Be prepared for many steep ascents and descents. Trekking poles are highly recommended.

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Kayaking

What's Included

All accommodations as noted in itinerary; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; private bi-lingual guides; porters as needed; private transport throughout; 24-speed mountain bikes with front suspension and bike helmets: sit-upon two-person kayaks and pfds; entrance fees to various parks and temples; private ground transportation within Thailand; Chiang Mai airport transfers when arriving with group.

Accommodations

Hotel/Resort, 5 nights; Rustic village stay/Ecolodge, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Chiang Mai where our adventure begins!

Our trip begins today in beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand. Guests arriving this morning are met at the Chiang Mai airport and transfer to our hotel. After our trip orientation, we enjoy the first of many delicious Thai meals. Our afternoon includes a tour of Chiang Mai. We start in bustling Chinatown with its intricate maze of shops to weave through. Next, we visit the stunning Wat Suan Dok Temple, known for its beautiful white pagodas and chedis. Our final stop is at Wat Chedi Luang in ?old town? Chiang Mai. This towering stupa sits on a sprawling compound and is believed to have been the largest structure in ancient Chiang Mai. Before dinner, we return to our hotel to freshen up. Lunch and dinner included.

Day 2

Observe and interact with elephants. Visit Chiang Mai's famous bazaar.

Today is quite special as we learn about Asian elephants firsthand. We drive outside of Chiang Mai to scenic Mae Taeng Valley to visit a rescue center that provides a sanctuary for Asian pachyderms. On this full-day experience, we get up close and personal with these majestic creatures by feeding and walking the grounds with them and learning their plight. Returning to Chiang Mai in the afternoon, venture out on your own and explore the acclaimed Chiang Mai night bazaar. As Thailand's primary handicraft center, the bazaar offers fabulous displays of goods including silk, paper, wood, textiles, and culinary delights. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.

HDriving: up to 3 hours.

Day 3

Begin our hill tribe villages trek and meet our Lahu hosts.

We're heading for the mountains today, but first we stop at Baan Tong Luang's hill tribe village. The village offers insight into the history and traditions of Thailand's minority northern hill tribes. Next, a short transfer into the mountainous region leads us to the Mae Tang River Camp for lunch. It is also the starting point for our three-day trek. Our afternoon hike includes a beautiful waterfall, open vistas and bamboo forests. The hiking trails are made by the local villagers to access their farmland and other villages. Trails are primitive and the terrain is rugged with several long, steep sections. Our trek ends at the tiny Lahu hill tribe village where we spend the night. It is time to relax and soak up the incredible beauty of the surrounding valley from our private longhouse as our guides prepare a Thai dinner. All meals included.

Hiking: 3+ hours over hilly, forested terrain with steep ascents; trails can be slippery. The heat and humidity can make the hike more challenging.

Note: Lodging at the tribal village is very rustic. All guests share one sleeping room in a longhouse made of thatched walls and metal roof. Sleeping bags/pads and mosquito netting are provided. We suggest bringing your own sleep sheet. Bathrooms are basic outhouses with a makeshift shower. There is no electricity.

Day 4

Trek through the lush jungle and along ridges with spectacular views.

We bid our Lahu hosts farewell after breakfast and head out for our longest and most challenging trekking day. The terrain is again rugged with steep uphill sections and stream crossings. We hike through fields, orchards and heavy jungle forests, but we have the trails to ourselves and are rewarded throughout the day with truly spectacular views including refreshing streams and local villages. This evening we stay at a charming ?Shan? home. For dinner, our guides treat us again with their outstanding culinary skills. All meals included.

Hiking: 7+ hours; 11 miles with significant elevation gains on rugged, unmaintained trails.

Note: Accommodations are basic. All guests share one or two sleeping rooms in a local villager?s home. Sleeping bags/pads and mosquito netting are provided. Bathrooms and showers are shared. There is limited electricity.

Day 5

End our trek at a resort with hot showers, cold drinks and a massage.

On our last day of hiking we follow jungle trails through large stands of bamboo, coconut and banana trees, and local farmland. Periodic views into the verdant valleys below captivate us along the way (trekking poles are advised for the steep descent on this section of trail). After a delicious homemade lunch, we transfer to a local lodge where we can enjoy a well-deserved hot shower and cold beverage, a dip in the pool, or a Thai massage (spa services at hotel are an optional expense). Dinner tonight is at the lodge. Laundry service is available tonight and tomorrow. All meals included.

Hiking: 3 ? 4 hours; jungle trails with hills and a steep descent.

Day 6

Visit a floating restaurant; explore Sri Lanna Park by mountain bike.

Switching gears today, we cycle right from the lodge to the ruggedly beautiful Sri Lanna National Park, pedaling quiet backroads through the Thai countryside. We ride through villages, plantations and small farms with our support vehicle following behind. Much of the biking is on flat land following the irrigation channels used to water rice paddies and orchards. This afternoon we swap out our bikes for sit-on-top kayaks and paddle on an expansive, pristine lake. Our destination is a floating restaurant where we enjoy lunch in a gorgeous outdoor setting. We?ll work off our lunch by paddling back to the dock where we?ll hop on our bikes again. We take a new route back to the hotel, which is just as quaint and scenic as our morning ride. All meals included.

Cycling: 10-20 miles depending upon group and conditions; Terrain: a network of small unpaved roads, fairly flat to rolling. Kayaking: 2 hours on flat water.

Day 7

Explore the Chiang Dao caves; bike through orchards and rice paddies.

We depart for the nearby Chiang Dao valley, where we bike to a fabulous cave system of five interconnected caverns extending some seven miles into the mountains. Local legend has it that this complex was inhabited by Burmese hermit monks for thousands of years. After our cave visit, we?re back on our bikes traversing orchards, paddy fields, plantations and local villages. The beauty of the countryside never gets old. Several routes are possible and will be determined, in part, on the group?s makeup. We end our day at a small ?eco-lodge? which is located close to a Palong hill tribe village. There will be free time to relax, explore the local village or enjoy some additional riding. Our rustic lodge is located in an out-of-the-way setting and provides private rooms with shared bathrooms. All meals included.

Cycling: 2 to 3 hours on paved and dirt roads with some singletrack trails.

Day 8

Make your own mouthwatering Thai cuisine with a special cooking class.

This morning there are two options: participate in a traditional Thai cooking class (enjoying the fruits of our labors, of course!) or jump back on our bikes for an amped-up ride on challenging trails through the surrounding countryside. After lunch, we bid farewell to our hosts and depart for Chiang Mai. This evening we celebrate a great journey's end with a final banquet at our preferred venue. All meals included.

Optional Cycling: mountain biking for 1 to 2 hours on rolling hills and flat paved and dirt roads, and singletrack trails.

Day 9

Return home or join our Angkor Wat extension.

If you are not joining REI Adventures for our Angkor Wat Extension, then the journey ends in Chiang Mai this morning. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering.��� To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection.��� This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip.��� Try to bring only what is necessary, this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.