Other activities

All roads lead to Cave Lodge

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What we say: 4 stars

Activities in Pang Mapha consist of trekking, caving and kayaking or sitting by (or in) the Lang River, chilling out. There are as yet no elephants, no ATVs and no bungee jumping, so make the most of it while it lasts. This is one of the most spectacular areas of north Thailand, scenery-wise, and it's blessed with some of the most awesome cave systems in Southeast Asia, as well as having myriad hill tribe villages within easy access, so for trekking and caving it is a top spot. Note that many of the organised treks in Chiang Mai and Pai will actually bring you up to this area, so if you arrive by your own means and book a trek through Poo Doi, Nam Faa tours or one of the village's guesthouses, you are saving quite a bit of money on transport supplements.

Treks for one or more days may include stays in Lahu, Lisu and Karen villages, but even though it is a lot less touristy than Pai don't expect to find areas that aren't well frequented by other foreigners as trekking has been a big business in Soppong as well as Pai for a considerable time now.

Also note that many shorter hikes including numerous villages are relatively easily organised on your own, and most local guesthouses have maps available showing trekking routes. The local villages are very used to tourists by now and if you do get lost you'll find someone in any village (usually one of the younger members) who can speak a smattering of English.

Some of the smaller caves are okay to visit on your own, but you will certainly need guides and equipment for the larger ones. Cave Lodge is obviously the place for caving but some of the smaller guesthouses can also organise visits for you. Ditto for kayaking.

Cave Lodge is the place to go for organised mountain bike tours, though Ban Lek in town does have some bikes to rent out at 80B per day if you wish to strike out on your own.

Guided day tours can be done for 450 baht per person with a minimum of four people. These include combinations of local walks and visiting caves.

You can learn to cook traditional Shan or Thai dishes in the Cave Lodge kitchen. Delicious local food will be taught by their kitchen chefs for 30B a dish.

Last updated: 14th August, 2009

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