Trekking in Chiang Dao

Outstanding but a bit pricey

Photo of , , Chiang Dao

What we say: 4.5 stars

The residents of Chiang Dao and the surrounding area uphold relatively strict environmental regulations, which helps preserve the purity of the region's ecosystems.

The area is renowned as a birdwatching mecca, and those interested will be able to arrange treks tailor-built for such pursuits.

If it's a bit of mountain culture you're after, Chiang Dao can't be beat: it's the only district in the province that has every one of Thailand's hilltribe ethnic groups represented. Village visits and home stays are often the highlights of treks in this area, providing a unique and generally uncensored view of life in minority villages. The cherry on top is that you will not likely run in to any other trekking groups, as the area is large and the number of trekkers small.

Arranging treks once you're in town is extremely simple, with most guesthouses able to put together a tour or get you in contact with guides that they work with frequently. Chiang Dao Nest has several packages available to trekkers, and though they are quite pricey, they receive rave reviews. If you're looking for something cheaper, Malee's Nature Lover's Guesthouse down the road offers more affordable packages, and have been working with guides they know and trust for many years.

It is even quite simple to arrange a Chiang Dao trek from Chiang Mai. The Nest will provide transportation -- for an added cost of course -- to and from the city, and many Chiang Mai travel agencies and guides offer Chiang Dao trekking packages – just ask!
With all it has to offer, Chiang Dao represents one of the best trekking options in the North, and anyone who comes to Thailand looking to breathe some fresh mountain air -- and do a fair bit of sweating while they're at it -- will be well served to head straight there.


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