In general the trekking on this tour will not be too hard for anybody who is reasonably physically fit. The precise itinerary of the trekking may have to be changed from time to time to take into account the weather and local conditions, but the same concept is well maintained. The trek will be in a group of 6-15 people.
While trekking participants will sleep in the villagers’ huts. As the huts consist of a single all-purpose room in which the villagers live and sleep, participants will sleep on the covered balcony or a bamboo bed inside the hut. A mat, a sheet and a blanket will be provided but for additional comfort participants may wish to bring a sleeping bag as in mountain areas it can be quite cool at night, especially in December/January.
Additional equipment such as a rucksack, water canteen, life jacket are available from our office in Chiang Mai.
Clients who book pre- and post-trek hotel accommodation through ETC can store their additional luggage at the hotel.
In addition participants will require:
Good trekking shoes (good tennis shoes will do but only in dry season when it is not too slippery), rubber sandals for when not trekking, light warm clothing and rainwear during July – October and heavier warm clothing November – February, (March – June will be only a little cool in the evenings), a sun hat, torch, small first-aid kit (plasters, foot powder etc.), insect repellent, toilet articles and toilet paper.
As participants are required to carry their own kit, unnecessary items should be avoided (a private porter can be provided upon request for an additional charge).
Clients are required to buy their own drinking water. Bottled drinking water is sold in the market and local shops in each village.
Meals while trekking, which start from lunch on Day 1 until lunch on the final day, will be prepared by the porter. During the day a stop will be made by a stream, in a hilltribe village or at some other suitable spot, allowing time for relaxation, and for cooking a simple meal of noodles. In the evening dinner will be prepared in one of the huts by the porter. Similarly with breakfast the following day.
The guide accompanying the group will have long experience of the country through which they will travel and be very familiar with the tribes people and their customs. His advice on these subjects should be followed.
To experience elephant-back riding is great fun and should not be missed. However, please bare in mind that we do not encourage clients to ride the elephant on its neck. Though some might feel it is challenging it can also be dangerous. Clients wanting to do so must take full responsibility themselves as we cannot guarantee their safety and ETC will accept no responsibility in the event of an accident.
The rafts are about 1.5 – 2 M. x 5 – 8 M. and can carry approximately 7-8 persons. The rafting can take up to 6 hours in the summer when the water level is shallow and the current is slow. During the rainy season it might take only 4-5 hours. Along some parts of the river there are a lot of snags (dead trees, big rocks, broken wood, etc.) which can sometimes be dangerous. A life jacket is essential as it will not only keep you afloat if by chance you should fall off the raft but also help to prevent injury if hitting any of these snags. During the rainy season (or the dry season following heavy rainfall) the current will be quite strong and the guide will decide if the rafting should proceed or not. His advice on this matter should be strictly followed.
The trekking area is not considered a malarial area by the health authorities, it is epidemic only in areas close to the border with Myanmar, not where the trip takes place and there have been no report cases among tourist visitors. Please consult your doctor regarding any preventive measures to be taken. Insect repellent is though the most important protection you can employ.
THE MAIN THINGS NEEDED DURING THE TREK
- Good trekking shoes.
- Slippers or sandals.
- Trousers and T-shirt. A pair of zip-off trousers where the shorts almost come to the knee is a good idea. Not only could you trek in them and then easily switch to something more modest in the hilltribe villages, but they were great for temples and any situation where you want to start off dressing more modestly and then change into something cooler if it was acceptable.
- Sweater / jumper, jacket, sleeping bag (Oct-Feb).
- Raincoat, poncho (May-Sep).
- Torch / flash light.
- A T-shirt and shorts for swimming (Swimming trunks and swim suites are not appropriate for the local culture)
- Sun glasses, sun protection cream.
- A water-proof camera bag
- A hat with strap.
- Ear plug
- Mosquito / insect repellant.
- Personal necessities such as soap, towel, tissue, tooth brush.
- First aid and personal medicines (pills – diarrhea, cold, headache etc.).
- A sense of adventure.
* A mosquito net is not necessary, and please do not take extra luggage or any valuables.