Bergvölker Thailnd, Hill tribes Thailand

Horseback riding adventure
"6 days of jungles and mountains"

Enjoy an extraordinary energizing vacation experience in exotic mountain and jungle landscapes, with direct contact to nomadic tribes of the area. This is an eco-tourists dream vacation destination. Eight Days including a departure and a return day.

We offer six day horseback adventure tours in small groups (max. 4 people) in fascinating mountain and jungle landscapes of the Sri Lanna National Park in the Golden Triangle.

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The day before

We pick you up at the airport or at your hotel in Chiang Mai and drive you to the small town of Phrao (about 94 km north of Chiang Mai). This is where the Thai Horse Farm is based and our tours starts. After a tasty dinner you can retire to your bungalow or our nice guestroom for a good nights sleep.

Day 1 of the Tour "Say hello to the mountains and goodbye to civilisation"

Once we’ve fortified you with a good meal, packed our gear and saddled up we’ll head to the mountains located in the eastern part of the Pharo Valley. Our first break is at a hilly orange plantation next to a reservoir.  From this vantage point you’ll be able to enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the Pharo Valley and all it has to offer.

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Fortunately it is only a short distance until we reach the comfort and shade of the forest.  The journey now continues on trails as narrow as they are steep. They were built by the hill tribes so that they could reach their terraced fields on the hillsides and bring their vegetable harvest back down to the valley. Even opium was once transported along these trails.

Our second break is at a small Temple situated within the forest; the horses can drink from a near by river. Then we’ll follow the river deeper into the mountains of the Sri Lanna National Park.

In the afternoon when a noise overpowers the sound of the jungle, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the final stop of our journey.  Below is the impressive Mae Vaen Noi Waterfall; and the river with the same name has a 50 meter altitude difference over a river length of 200 meters. There are many small lagoons which are perfect to take a swim  and refresh yourself after a day of horse back riding.

We will set up our camp at the top of the waterfall, which was once used as an Elephant camp. Then we will prepare our Jungle feast which we will cook on an open campfire. Do you like 5 star cooking? All you have to do is look up into the clear night sky.

Day 2 of the tour "Hill Tribes"

Forget about setting an alarm, the sounds of the jungle will take care of that. We’ll have a relaxing hearty breakfast accompanied by some fresh coffee locally grown here in the mountains. We’ll then make our way back to the horses, following the Mae Vaen Noi River ever deeper into this magical natural environment. You’ll notice that the trees get denser as we travel deeper into the jungle.

From time to time we may even have to use machetes to cut our way through the thick under growth. After two hours the jungle will start to thin out when we arrive at the first plantations which belong to the Lisu villages. After half an hour we’ll arrive at the village, where we’ll be met by the wife of the village chief who has prepared a traditional Lisu style lunch. Once we have eaten this delicious meal we’ll continue on to our next challenge: traversing a 600 meter altitude difference.

Once we get to the border we’ll cross over from the Chiang Mai province into the Chiang Rai. The 200 square kilometer Chiang Rai province is known as ‘Doi Bah Chang’ by the locals, this literally translates into ‘the Elephant Mountains’. The area with it’s hard to reach small valleys and luscious vegetation is situated among mountains reaching an altitude of 1700 meters. It was once a haven for wild elephants and is now a part of the Sri Lanna National Park.

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After riding half an hour along the mountain trail we’ll arrive at a village that belongs to the Red Lahu; one of the four Lahu tribes living in Thailand and originating from South-West China and Tibet.

Over the centuries this landless tribe has wandered ever further South-Eastwards through Burma, Laos and into Northern Thailand where there have been living since 1891. In Southern China they were quite renowned for their Tiger hunting skills. Today they are seen as (muszers) or wild hunters. For last 20 years, the Lahu have been prohibited by law to live as nomads and have to live in permanent villages.

The loss of their culture & identity is an ongoing process. Perhaps by us showing an interest in them and visiting their villages we can help to preserve their unique way of life. 

After a break at the ‘Village Shop’ we’ll soldier on to the last part of our day’s journey. For this we’ll have to go up and down a steep mountain trail until we reach a turn off point heading east.

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This land belongs to the extended family of the Lahu tribe. We will stay with them for the night.  The last challenge of the day is riding down into the valley of the so called ‘Jungle Farm’. Once you hear the dogs barking you can be assured that a cup of tea will be waiting for us.

We’ll stay in a traditional style stilt Lahu house made out of Bamboo and have an amazing view of the jungle directly in front of your terrace. The icing on the cake comes as the sun sets over the mountains. Enjoy an evening dinner in a family atmosphere together with the tribe. All food is fresh from their plantations or from the jungle. This is a golden opportunity to experience a culture that is uniquely different.

Day 3 of the tour "Jungle Life"

As the first rays of sunlight creep through your palm leaf roof the villagers will already have been well into their day’s work.  The fire will be crackling away with a big pot of rice boiling and a tea kettle.

After eating breakfast, we’ll saddle up and with the patriarch Lao Pah or his son in law Joha and head out into the jungle. Today’s destination is a remote waterfall hidden within the jungle. The ride to the waterfall maintains the Buddhist philosophy of life in that you can only reach the beautiful things in life by taking the hard path.

Riding holiday in Thailand

After cooling off in the pools around the waterfall dinner will be prepared the tribal way.  This will be a little different from the cooking you are used to. Forget your cutlery, water cooker, cups and plates: we’ll be using bamboo and banana leaves. In the afternoon we’ll ride through tea-leaf plantations and surrounding valleys before making our way back to the ‘Jungle Farm’ to enjoy and share another night around the campfire with our hosts. 

Day 4 of the tour "Organic farming in its most basic form"

Today we’ll see typical farm lands of the region and different varieties of crops, such as rice grown on the terraced fields on the hillsides and let's not forget the lush green tea-fields.

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If you stop and watch the local people at work it seems as if time has stood still. Don’t be surprised if you hear Lao Pah telling you about how he always gets sick when he eats so called ‘civilized food’. They don’t use any fertilizer on the fields, only sun and water.  Lao Pah thinks your body can feel the difference. In order to protect crops from  pests the tribe works according to the moon calendar.

After our short excursion through the fields we’ll head further South-East and overcome an altitude difference before we descend the mountain until we reach a small river valley near an abandoned village. This is where we’ll set up camp for the night.

Day 5 of the tour "The never ending realm of the Elephant Mountain-Forests"

Our route once again takes us deep into the Elephant Mountain forests (or Doi Bah Chang if you’re a local.) It’s hard to believe that there were wild elephants roaming these forests just a few decades ago.

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These rugged forests with small hidden valleys and steep cliffs are an ideal environment for elephants.

Narrow trails lead us to some of the tallest points in the mountains and give us a chance to enjoy spectacular scenic views. Then we’ll ride through overgrown jungle valleys where  rivers flow and stop at some of the smaller villages which are home to the Northern Thai Muang Tribes.

We’ll then set up camp next to a stream, deep with in the jungle. The ingredients of our dinner will be conjured out of  fresh jungle vegetables and spices.

Day 6 of the tour "Back to the beginning"

Say goodbye to the people of the Jungle Farm and make our way along steep trails through the dense tropical jungle. A number of rocky trails will give you a great opportunity to take in beautiful panoramic mountain views.

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Our journey now moves on to the valley and on a clear day you can see Doi Chang Dao in the distance, Thailand’s third highest mountain. If you look further north you’ll be able to see Thailand's neighbor- Burma. Around midday we’ll take a break in the shade and let the horses take a breather too. During the last few kilometers we’ll be riding through mango, lamyai & lychee plantations as well as hiking through tobacco, sugar cane and rice fields. 

We'll arrive late afternoon at the Thai Horse Farm where a hot shower and our farewell dinner will be waiting for you.

The following day

After a relaxing night’s sleep in one of our bungalows, we’ll offer you a delicious breakfast and then take you back to your hotel where I am sure you will continue to reminisce over the experiences and memories of your magical trip.

If you have any questions regarding your outbound journey we’ll be more than happy to help. 

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Prices & what is included

This once in a lifetime adventure includes:

  • Transfer to and from Chiang Mai
  • All overnight stays as well as room and full-board including drinks
  • Overnight stay the day before and after the tour
  • The cost of a 6 day horseback riding adventure in a small group
  • All necessary riding and guide equipment
  • Assistance with your arrival and outbound journey as well as your flight bookings

We offer:

8 days "all inclusive"
for 880 Euro per person

Please note that this is an adventure tour. Risks arising therefrom are predictable, but can not be completely excluded. We recommend to purchase travel, health and cancellation insurance in advance. The Thai Horse Farm does not assume any liability. Thank you.

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Checklist for your tour

For your trip we recommend to bring with:

  • Small day pack (anything you don’t need during the day is brought to the camp).
  • Good solid shoes for horseback riding & hiking (most important comfortable shoes), a light long sleeve shirt or t-shirt, long tough hiking pants or other comfortable pants. Also recommend a fleece or pullover.
  • Sun hat, sun cream, Insect repellent, first aid kit, cosmetic items, toiletries, swimming clothes and waterproof sandals.
  • Camera, flashlight torch (ideally headlamp as well) ear plugs (to ease the birds singing or your neighbor's snoring).

The months of October to February can sometimes get very cool (less than 10 degree) at higher altitudes, both in the mornings and at night. We provide warm sleeping bags.

Website by emkay and Alune

20/4 Moo 4 Batum (Ban Ton Kok), 50190 Phrao - Chiang Mai, Thailand | +66 (0)86-919-3846 |