River Cruise Extension for The Hill Tribes of North Thailand Pre Tour | Pandaw.com
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Travel off the beaten track with your English speaking guide and discover the hilltribes, beautiful scenery and history of the land of opium, in our exclusive pre cruise arrangement.



Upon arrival at Chiang Mai Airport you will be welcomed by our local guide and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Chiang Mai is Thailand's "Rose of the North" which is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions and welcoming hospitality.

Meals: no meals included.



Depart from Chiang Mai to visit Doi Angkhang, stopping enroute at Chiang Dao cave. There are four interconnected caverns to see. Be prepared to bend down and perhaps even crawl between incredible stalactites. After lunch, we reach Doi Angkhang National Park, enjoying the stunning mountains backdrop on the way. This area has a cool climate all year round, particularly from December to January, when even frost can be encountered. You will also visit Doi Angkhang Royal Agricultural Station which is a demonstration site for planting and the research of flowering plants, temperate fruit trees, vegetables and other crops under the patronage of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King Rama IX). Transfer to Angkhang Nature Resort.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel / Lunch at local restaurant / Dinner at hotel.



Begin the day visiting the Muser Hill tribe at Baan Khob Dong village, This tribe believe in ghosts and spirits and still hold on to a very simple way of life. The Royal Project has supported this village in promoting agriculture and handicrafts. The Young Local Guide project is underway to demonstrate to visitors the local lifestyle and beliefs, as well as to create a non-migration awareness in the younger generation. We continue to Baan Nor Lae village, located on the Thai-Burmese border. The people of No Lae migrated from Myanmar about fifteen years ago. They speak their own language and are Buddhists. On every Buddhist religious day, they stay home to practice their instruction. Nor Lae village offers a magnificent view of the spectacular natural scenery around the Thai-Burmese border. We continue to Baan Khum which is a village located near the Royal Agricultural Station. This is a small community comprising people of various races such as Burmese, Hwa, and Thai Yai. They settled in the area and now run souvenir shops and restaurants.

After lunch, transfer back to Angkhang Nature Resort for an afternoon at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel / Lunch at local restaurant / Dinner at hotel.



Transfer to Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai, visiting the Golden Triangle on the way, stopping at the Golden Buddha viewpoint to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree view. Visit the Hall of Opium Museum which was built to educate people about the dangers of the drug through an entertaining exhibition which traces opium’s history from its first use 5,000 years ago to current issues of drug abuse and addiction.

After lunch, we travel to Chiang Khong along an extremely scenic route. Upon arrival at Lanjia Lodge which will your accommodation for tonight, you will be served a welcome drink. Here you have the opportunity to get firsthand experience on how to make a Hmong batik handkerchief with Hmong people. Alternatively, you can learn how to make and set animal traps. From the lodge we walk uphill towards the Lahu community. At sunset, you will see families cooking dinner, children at play and other village folk relaxing as the farmers gather their tools and head back home. At the edge of the Lahu village, high on the edge of the hill, we follow the trail that takes you to the edge of the Mekong River, where you will see Laos to your right. The path takes you through some beautiful parts of the valley as you pass plantations and corn fields with small bamboo huts scattered throughout. You will learn about the burial ground of the Hmong Hill tribe where tall grass grows under the shade of the trees. Along this route you will see farmers working their rice and crop fields. As we circle back and walk along the path on the other side of the hill, you can enjoy the diverse landscape of mountain ranges descending steep into the valleys. Sunset on the mountainside is a visual experience as it softens over the mountains in purple hues. Overnight at Lanjia Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel / Lunch at local restaurant / Dinner with Traditional Hmong Dance performance.



After breakfast, enjoy a presentation covering the Hmong and Lahu tribes, the Golden triangle and the giant catfish (locally known as Pla Buek) - the world's biggest fresh water fish found in the Mekong River. Learn about current factors affecting the Mekong River and people whose lives depend on it. At 10.00 we tour the Hmong and Lahu hill tribe village, including a visit to the shaman house of the Hmong. Drink tea with the shaman and discover why the fireplace is important to the Hmongs and why they bury the placenta and umbilical cord of their newborn babies.

Lunch will be provided on the charming terrace that looks across over the Mekong River towards Laos.

We continue to Chiang Khong or Chiang Saen (depending on water levels) to embark your Pandaw vessel. On the way, it may be possible to stop at Chiang Khong City to visit the local Buddhist temple.

The Rachamankha Hotel

Well located in the heart of historic Chiang Mai old city, the 25-room Rachamankha is the leading luxury boutique hotel, offering charming colonnaded courtyards and gardens - a world of serenity and contentment. The hotel distinctive architecture is inspired by the eleventh centuries B.C. vernacular Chinese dwellings, from which Northern Thai architecture has its roots.

Public facilities

Public areas include the Library with over 2,000 books and an enchanting open-air massage pavilion overlooking a tranquil 20-meter pool where drinks and light snacks are served pool-side throughout the day. You can dine in al fresco or in the stylish restaurant. Antiques from different periods around the world, from Europe, Africa, China, Burma and Thailand are scattered throughout the hotel. The spacious and comfortable air-conditioned superior rooms are fully equipped with wireless Internet connection, TV and CD/DVD player.

6 Rachamankha, 9 Phra Singh, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Tel: +66 53 904 111

Visit Hotel Website

Angkhang Nature Resort

Nestled in the midst of a picturesque mountainous countryside and enjoying a cool climate, Angkhang Nature Resort offers relaxed comfort for a perfect honeymoon or peaceful escape. This resort has well-equipped guest rooms with a choice of mountain or garden views. The Camellia Restaurant offers delicious Thai and Northern Thai dishes. There's also a great range of activities to enjoy, such as mountain biking, hiking, mule riding and bird watching.

1/1 Moo 5 Baan Koom, Tambon Mae Ngon, Amphur Fang, Doi Angkhang, 50320, Thailand

Tel: +66 53 450 110

Visit Hotel Website

Lanjia Lodge

The Lanjia, meaning ‘peaceful' in Hmong language, is an eco-friendly community-based lodge nestled high on a hill in Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand. It offers hill tribe holidays combining a hill tribe experience with eco-friendly tours such as hiking and Hmong batik class. The financial contribution for your stay will be used on community projects that will improve the local hill tribe people's living conditions.

The lodge has 16 authentic rooms with bamboo walls, electric fans and mosquito net.

Adventurous and basic accommodation but yet comfortable in harmony with the green environment. Non-aircon. rooms with western bath and toilet facilities & hot and cold water.

347 Kiewkan village, Moo 6, Tambol Rimkhong, Amphur Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai, 57140, Thailand

Tel: +66 86 887 7060

Visit Hotel Website

Rates include

Accommodation at selected hotels with daily breakfast, check-in time is 2.00PM and check-out time is 12.00PM. Early or late service is subject to availability with surcharge, meals as mentioned, english speaking guide, tours and transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicle, sightseeing fees and permits during guided time, service charge and current government VAT tax.

Rates exclude

Early/late check in/out service at hotels (surcharge if requested), tips and gratuities, services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary, all drinks, including water, soft drink and alcohol on all included or optional excursions, laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature, travel Insurance (Compulsory).

Price per traveller in USD

Accommodation Type Price per Traveller
Sharing (2 Pax) US$1030.00
Single (1 Pax) US$1840.00


  • This is a Pandaw group tour
  • The sightseeing at the Angkhang Nature Resort and Lanjia Lodge are join-in groups
  • All accommodation will be booked after your deposit is received
  • On day 4 of your pre tour we do a hike to Lahu village. This tour including visits/stops takes 2.5 to 3 hours. The mountain road is steep and can be demanding. Medium fitness is required. If you do not want to walk then transport will be provided
  • The cruise itinerary includes the Golden Triangle and Opium House on day 1, you have this covered during this pre-tour already, therefore we have arranged an alternate itinerary for you on the last day of this tour

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