Chiang Mai & Golden Triangle

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Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
3 days
From: $ 1,070 $ 357 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Journey into the countryside north of Chiang Mai on this short trip and experience the Golden Triangle, the infamous area where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet
  • Discover rural village life with an overnight stay in Doi Mae Salong, a beautiful region up in the mountains where tea is grown and local hilltribe people come to sell their crafts in the town market
  • No trip to Chiang Rai would be complete without a visit to the funky White Temple. Check out the startling modern design, and see where traditional Thai art and murals are broken up with pop culture references

Short Description

Experience the serenity of northern Thailand while exploring the notorious Golden Triangle region. Beginning and ending in the charismatic city of Chiang Mai, the trip takes you to explore the Chiang Dao Caves before arriving at a charming town of Doi Mae Salong. The region is famous for its Chinese tea traders and you can enjoy a cup of tea in a traditional Chinese tea house overlooking the mountains. Then, make tracks to the Golden Triangle and stand on the confluence of the Mekong and Ruak rivers. Uncover facts and fables about the region’s chequered history, visit the Opium Hall. Enjoy bold landscapes and tuck into mouth-watering regional dishes, before ending the adventure soaking in the hot-springs of Mae Ka Chan. This short break covers many highlights of the less-frequented northern reaches of Thailand, making it a must-do for travellers who want to dig beneath the surface of this enthralling country.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Chiang Mai
End City Chiang Mai

Destinations

Thailand

Attractions & Cities Visited

Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Mekong River

Activities & Interests

Relaxing Retreat

Age Requirement

5-99

No single supplement
See more

Itinerary

Day 1 Chiang Mai/Doi Mae Salong

This morning you’ll be picked up from the joining point hotel by your local guide between 8am-9am, along with other travellers in your group. If you prefer to be picked up from a different, centrally located Hotel in Chiang Mai, please advise your sale agent at least 14 days before your departure date. Set off by road to the Golden Triangle region, the area where Thailand meets Myanmar and Laos. Your private minivan/car (depending on numbers) will head first to Chiang Dao Caves (approximately 1.5 hours). Explore the set of five interconnected caves that make up Chiang Dao, thought to expand more than 12 kilometres into Doi Chiang Dao Mountain. The caves are among the most extensive in the county and are associated with Wat Chiang Dao, and so are a popular pilgrimage spot for both monks and ordinary Thais. The caverns contain hermit images, a reclining Buddha, rock formations, and also a royal coat of arms to mark the visit of the Thai Queen. You’ll then continue on to the charming small town of Doi Mae Salong (approximately 3 hours). The atmosphere here is reminiscent of a small southern Chinese village, and the region is famous for its Chinese tea traders – so enjoy a cup of tea in a traditional Chinese tea house overlooking the mountains and tea fields. In the late afternoon there is time to explore the interesting markets, where you may see produce and crafts made by hilltribe people like the Akha. Please note sometimes in the low season the markets will close early. You’ll stay overnight here in Doi Mae Salong.

Day 2 Golden Triangle/Chiang Rai

After breakfast, jump in a private minivan/car and visit the point of the Golden Triangle, where the Thailand, Myanmar and Laos borders meet. Stop at the border town of Mae Sai (approximately 1.5 hours), the most northern town in all of Thailand. It’s a great place to do some souvenir shopping; full of colourful shops stacked with Myanmar lacquerware, gems, jade and other goods from Laos and China, all at some of the best prices around! Enjoy lunch overlooking the mighty Mekong River and then pay a visit to the House of Opium Museum for a deeper insight into opium culture and this area’s problematic, drug-filled past. This afternoon climb on board a longtail boat and travel on the Mekong River to the old city of Chiang Saen, the ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom. On the way there is a chance to step foot into Laos. Chiang Saen is surrounded on three sides by impressive ramparts, with the Mekong forming the fourth wall. Ruins lie around this charming one-street market town of quiet wooden shophouses. The town is also famous for the local rice whiskey sold from distilleries on the banks of river. From here you will travel south from the Golden Triangle to Chiang Rai (approximately 75 minutes), where you’ll spend the night.

Day 3 Chiang Mai

Chiang Rai boasts a relaxed atmosphere, a great night market, and a variety of good restaurants. This charming city has a small-town feel and is a great place to explore on foot. For many, the privately owned Wat Rong Khun, more commonly known as the White Temple, is a must-visit. Travel approximately 30 minutes out to this contemporary temple, started in 1997 and expected to be a work in progress for another 60 to 70 years. The temple is constantly being added to and its strange design features references to Buddhist mythology, human sin and pop culture icons such as Michael Jackson, Harry Potter and Superman. You will then journey 70 minutes to Mae Ka Chan Hot Springs, with a lunch stop along the way. Although oddly located in the 'car park', the springs offer an opportunity to take a relaxing soak, and/or enjoy a foot massage 'fish spa style', whilst munching on quail eggs which have been cooked in the heat of the waters. After enjoying the hot springs you’ll hop back on the bus and return to Chiang Mai, the journey taking about 1.5 hours and arriving back at around 5pm. Notes: Please note no accommodation is included tonight.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,070
Price Per Day: $ 357 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateTwin ShareSingle ShareDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
May-21-2022May-23-2022$ 588$ 1,070NoSold Out Reserve
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Nov-30-2023Dec-02-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2023Dec-04-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-03-2023Dec-05-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-05-2023Dec-07-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-07-2023Dec-09-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
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Dec-10-2023Dec-12-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-12-2023Dec-14-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-14-2023Dec-16-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2023Dec-18-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-17-2023Dec-19-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-19-2023Dec-21-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-21-2023Dec-23-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-23-2023Dec-25-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-24-2023Dec-26-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-26-2023Dec-28-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-28-2023Dec-30-2023$ 588$ 1,070No12 spots left Reserve
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3,955 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,971
Great 659
Average 127
Disappointing 63
Terrible 135
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Chiang Mai & Golden Triangle

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Company Reviews

Planes, trains, buses... and a felucca !

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Planes, trains, buses... and a felucca !

My trip started in Cairo at the Pharaoh's Hotel. The hotel is just one block from the river Nile with lots of lovely cafes and restaurants lined along the boardwalk. The area is picturesque and a great place to begin my Egyptian adventure!
I met up with my group and we had a briefing from our local guide, Hassaan. The meeting was a great opportunity to get to know my fellow travellers and Hassaan gave us all the essential information on our tour, including teaching us all a few words of Arabic.

This was my third trip to Egypt and my most enjoyable. Previously, I had been on a diving boat from Hurghada and also in the beach resort of Sharm El Sheikh. Both were beautiful but it was easy to miss the depth of culture and history that exists inland along the Nile.

Don’t leave Cairo without sampling some delicious baklava and of course Koshary! The Hotel Baron have a fabulous pastry shop and sell all types of baklava and chocolates, not to mention Giant Ferrero Rocher's, mouthwatering !

This was an unforgettable holiday and for sure I will return to Egypt, only for longer the next time.
Top Tips
• Don’t forget insect repellant for your overnight Felucca trip
• Make a stop at the Off License for your alcoholic beverages. Wine or beer are not widely available but there is no problem to bring your own into the restaurants and enjoy on the train journey.
• Check out the delicious baklava in Simonds and coffee from Abu Auf
• Cairo drivers are crazy, no traffic lights, no rules - beware!
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Where do I start .......

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Where do I start? The whole Egypt experience with Intrepid was superb from beginning to end. We were met at the airport by an Intrepid representative who took hold of our travel documents and whisked us through the airport formalities like we were VIP's. We were waiting for our bags whilst most of the people on our flight were queuing for entry stamps. Bags collected, the representative went with us to the waiting transfer vehicle and accompanied us through the busy Cairo rush hour traffic to our hotel. We'd paid for an pre-night and it would have been nice to have had one of the better "balcony" rooms, but that's a lesson learned for next time - ask first! We met Ramy Hamdy, our guide and the other 6 people in our group the following day. Ramy would be by our side for the whole of the week's tour, and for 2 western blonde women, that was very reassuring. He was practising Ramadan whilst with us, and we felt very guilty at mealtimes, eating whilst he sat watching us. It would have been easy for him to have excused himself whilst we ate, but he made sure we were all OK and had everything we needed. The excursions were well paced in what was quite a hectic tour, but we covered everything you want to do in Egypt, and more. We really felt that we were part of the country, not just visiting it, and Ramy had a lot to do with that. His knowledge, was second to none and he was able to give us insights into the workings of the country that only a resident would know. The "off the beaten track" activities really made this holiday - 24hrs chillaxing on a felucca, sleeping in the middle of The Nile, a visit to a traditional Nubian village and Break fast meal with a resident family there who'd cooked up a real feast, henna tattoos done by the lady of the house, another lunch up a backstreet in the Luxor suburbs that just no-one else would find, camel rides, hot air balloons, the sleeper train too, all experiences to be remembered for a very long time. We left, as we arrived, with personal attention from an Intrepid representative who, again, whisked us through the airport for our flight home. This was the first time we travelled with Intrepid, and there's another trip already booked to look forward to. There's no reason for us to look to another Company for our travel abroad - Intrepid has it all in bucketloads.
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Dubrovnik to Venice - Great Tour

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was me and husband's third Intrepid tour (first was India, second was Iceland) We so enjoy the immediate friends made within small groups like this and also the knowledgeable guides in countries we are not familiar with. Our tour guide - Ivance was so much fun. She went above and beyond as a tour guide. Responded to late night issues, assisting with finding activities on free days, and creating a celebration for one of the people on our trip for their birthday. All restaurant recommendations were top notch.
There was a slight mix up with our transport when arriving in Dubrovnik. Our flight was delayed, cancelled, and while I was able to communicate the change in itinerary we somehow still missed our ride. However, after emailing Intrepid and explaining we tried to call the emergency number, they reimbursed us for our payment for the transfer as well as the taxi we ended up having to take. This was our first time to the Balkans and were were so happy that we had the most amazing group and tour guide. This was our first big trip since 2018 (due to covid) and we could not have chosen a better one.
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Premium Jordan

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Itinery was very varied, ancient ruins, amazing food, the Dead Sea, Petra hiking then Wadi Rum.

Mohammad was a great leader, appreciate him opening up about his personal life stories and experiences.
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Excellent Tour & Guide - Some Issues at HQ

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's very difficult to separate Intrepid the company (office, reservations, customer service) from the in-country guides. I recently took the Mexico Unplugged tour. My original booking process was through an agency (I had actually won the trips as a prize) - and so I couldn't really say what the booking experience was like.

I received no direct contact from Intrepid, but did receive an itinerary document for each trip (3 Intrepid Tours in Total) - which did mention that i had a transfer from the Mexican arrival airport to my hotel.

I was met well and brought to the hotel by a pleasant driver. I had been expecting more basic accommodation, with the word UNPLUGGED in the name of the tour - but we started at an Ibis Styles, and each stop on the tour got more individual (my preferences) sometimes a little more basic, some times much nicer. I was never without Air-Con (or a fan), towels or in room toiletries. Sometimes a safe, once or twice not - but I'd give sacrifice the safe for the family/boutiqe feel of these lovey stays. Being on single supplement meant that I never even needed house-keeping in, with 2 peoples towels to myself.

I felt safe and secure at all times in each hotel, coach, and whenever we were with our EXCELLENT guide, Nathan. In fact, 99.5% of the time, I felt completely safe even when alone, and in the evenings in Mexico, having taken basic self-security precautions.

The tour is RAPID - you will be on the move every 2 nights (sometimes only a one night stay). There are public coach trips (but they are well equipped coaches with air con, entertainment, toilets and charging points).
It is the only way to fit in such a massive chunk of a massive country into 2 weeks. You may feel the need for 5 days recovery afterwards!!

But the pay off is a whirlwind of colour, creativity, history, culture, nature - and our guide was absolutely ON TOP of every moment - always happy to answer questions, had a deep knowledge of the country and was excellent at recommending activities, with consideration each guests individual needs, goals and budget. I think it's worth the pace, the energy and putting all your energy into 2 weeks of making the most of every moment.

We had one major problem on our tour - which was actually a guest. This guest had not been realistic about his physical and mental needs after a serious accident. This meant that the guide, and to some extent the group, were burdened with looking out for them, calling out tripping hazards, assisting at ATMs.

Unfortunately, on top of this, the same person turned out to be a functioning alcoholic and a letch - making unwanted advances and comments at some of the female guests, and eventually going missing for 24 hours. Our Guide dealt with the situation perfectly - but should never have been put in such a position.

Furthermore - Intrepid as a company deemed it fit to welcome the guest back to the tour when they resurfaced. DESPITE the fact that this person had 'prior form' on European Intrepid Tours, (ie was a known problem guest). Intrepid, as far as I know, also allowed this customer to go on to a further tour - which probably took the polish off of another group's experience.

I must also say - that I wrote a lot of feedback to Intrepid Customers service - and they were speedy and attentive in their reply - I really felt like they listened to my feedback - and actually specified what actions they were taking in response! Which was impressive

Soooo...
tour itinerary - excellent, if speedy.
guide in country - EXCELLENT!
Office/Booking/Prep/Customer Service - Fine by me - but they may need to initiate a red flagging system for problem customers!
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Single traveler in new lands

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
As a single traveler going for the first time into Morocco, I wanted the security of a group and a guide who knew the area. I was excited with the itinerary and because I was the only traveler on the tour, I had a first hand experience of everything Morocco had to offer. Live chat ensured that all my questions were answered before hand, and I found many helpful hints (what to wear, what to bring, words to learn) on the website. On the tour itself, the guide and driver became like my family as they explained everything we saw, patiently answered all my questions, warned me and guided me from pickpockets, and made me feel both comfortable and at home in a foreign land. Everything was fantastic and I had the best two weeks of my life!
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Boat,Minibus

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Hotel (2 nights)

Guides

The aim of our local leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. On this Short Break Adventure, you will have one person stay with you for the entire journey. They will be able to provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and, where possible, introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects of the destination.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 5

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Raming Lodge Hotel & Spa
  • 17-19 Loikroh T.Changklan A.Muang
  • Chiang Mai
  • THAILAND
  • Phone: +66 53 271 777

Trip ID#:

intrepid-TTAG

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