Another option for visiting Thailand’s hill tribes is to stay at a community-run lodge such as the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge, found a one-hour drive from Chiang Mai.
From the lodge, guests can explore the surrounding countryside and visit nearby hill tribe villages. In the evening, there’s a BBQ dinner before Hmong people from the village of Mae Khi come to perform and communicate their culture through song, rituals and dance.
Other lodges offer an insight into different hill tribes, with differing levels of involvement with the local community and a range of prices. Staying at a community-run lodge provides employment and a source of income for these communities, whilst you enjoy the comforts of your accommodation.
Trekking and Homestays
There’s a range of trekking options available in northern Thailand, from 2-day 1-night treks to 7-day adventures. Generally, the longer the trek, the more remote the hill tribes that are visited. Trekkers tend to stay with these communities in either small trekking huts or homestays, eating meals with their groups or their host families depending on the location.
The difficulty rating of these treks can vary, however, as you will be visiting hill tribes, the routes certainly won’t be flat. Longer treks may also incorporate porters to carry the main luggage, any equipment and food needed for the duration. Overall, 3-day 2-night itineraries are the most popular choice, with additional activities included such as visiting waterfalls and bamboo rafting.