I heard that people have different opnion about the same agencies but i'd like to have some recommendation... thanks!
#1 pdro has been a member since 9/6/2010. Posts: 8
i saw that your question hadn't received any responses yet, so i thought i'd try. if i were to book a trek out of Chiang Mai, i'd start by checking out the options at the guest house managed by Captain Bob because of his consistently excellent comments on the message board. you'll find secret links to his website buried towards the bottom of the following thread. hope that helps. cheers.
^^Feel free to do that and thanks for the vote of confidence from exacto =)
There are tons of trekking offerings but they usually boil down to either private (just you & guide, around 1000-2000b/day/person varies as per number of you) or group-based treks (6-12 random people) costing around 1200b for 2 days or 1500b for 3 days (give or take a few 100b). The guide and the group can make all the difference, so try to meet them beforehand and remain flexible enough to wait a day or two if you don't like them, or try another place.
Currently you'll find the majority of treks are in the Mae Taeng area (also described as Chiang Dao), about an hour north of Chiang Mai then turn left to follow the Taeng river and do an anti-clockwise trekking loop (gorgeous area). Usually it's hard uphill walking day-1, more relaxing up&down day-2, activity day-3 (elephants/ rafting etc) or compressed for 2-day treks and some outfits do elephant riding day-1. Usually staying in a Lahu hilltribe village one night and maybe one of the purpose-built camps the 2nd night. There are so many routes, villages, and camps though you hardly ever see another group, except rafting the last day you definitely will. There are plenty of other routes/areas but this gives you a rough idea. Season makes a considerable difference too, like right now the forest is at it's most green lushness and the Taeng river is flowing at its best whereas in Feb/March the forest is brownish and your "rafting" might be a bit ho-hum.
Note that many of the really cheap guesthouses give preference to trekking customers, will store your big bag while you're gone and hold a room for you upon return (and just generally love you) while some folks find themselves roomless if they booked elsewhere. Happens all the time.