Chiang Mai Trekking Tour
Meo, Lisu, Yao, Akha, Lawa and Karen hilltribes live throughout northern Thailand's mountains.They share animist beliefs and honour numerous forest and guardian spirits. Each tribe has distinctive ceremonial attire, courtship rituals, games, dances, agricultural customs, puberty rites, languages or dialects, aesthetic values and hygienic habits. Popular Jungle Treks, lasting from 2 to 7 days, take visitors through forested mountains and high valleys and meadows, and include visits to remoter high-altitude hilltribe settlements for overnight stays. The best guides are hilltribe youths who customarily speak English, Thai and at least three tribal dialects.Treks commonly feature travel by foot, sometimes by boat, elephant-back, horseback or jeep, frequently a combination of two or three modes of transportation. Prospective trekkers are advised to shop around companies offering such tours for the best conditions. All treks must be registered with the Tourist Police. This is done for trekkers protection. Avoid companies that do not abide by this law. Visitors are welcome to enquire from the Tourist Police to confirm which tour companies have negative or had reputations, or visit the TAT Chiang Mai office to obtain a list of registered travel agents.
Also, avoid narcotics, essentially everything from "soft drugs" such as marijuana to "hard drugs" such as opium and heroin, both during travel and at hilltribe villages. There are severe penalties for such usage.Valuables, such as passport, jewllery and money, should be deposited in the safe of your hotel or guest house while you are trekking upcountry. Wear sensible clothing to protect your limbs and sleep under a mosquito net at night. Malaria is a real threat, and sensible precautions should be taken to avoid it.