back-packers in the 1970s were the pioneers of Thailand's eco-adventure
travel. Today, more than 100 agencies are registered as members of the
Professional Guide Association of Chiang Mai and the Jungle Tour Club
of northern Thailand.
A typical tour involves
a group of six to ten trekkers, a guide and a cook. There will be overnight
stays in hill-tribe villages and a hike of four, five, or even ten days.
These treks are designed to expose visitors to a variety of hill-tribes
who typically live at various mountain elevations.
Most popularly originating
from Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, these 2 to 6 day treks take visitors through
forested mountains and high meadows in what are actually the lower extremities
of Himalayan foothills. Major attractions are remote hill-tribe villages.
Mountains surrounding Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai host seven major, once-itinerant
hill-tribes of Tibeto-Burman origin: the Mao, Lisu, Lahu, Yao, Akha, Lawa
and Karen; each with their own distinctive dialects, costumes, and customs.
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