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Trekking in Thailand

Trekking in Thailand

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 11, 2023

No matter whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, a trekking trip around the northern hills or in the southern ocean jungles might already be on your list.

Trekking in Thailand brings great opportunities to soak in beautiful nature, go deep into local life and, more importantly, it recharges you physically and mentally. You will be the one in charge: choose your itinerary, your trekking speed, what you want to see, where you want to stop. Many tours can be customized and your guide will take care of your requests.

The most popular routes are in the north, around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. There are hundreds of kilometers you could cover through jungles, mountains, and valleys. In the central plains, we recommend taking a look at the jungle of Kanchanaburi, infamous for activities during World War II.

Before you start planning a trekking trip in Thailand, there are some things to learn. Check our article!


  • Explore the remote natural areas away from the crowds
  • Recharge your batteries with a slow-paced walk in the forest
  • Get a close look at the amazing flora and fauna of the country
  • Learn more about the Thai ecosystem from a knowledgeable guide

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Best time to trek in Thailand

There are three seasons in Thailand: Rainy season, from May to October; cool season, from November to February; hot season, from March to May.

Of the three, the rainy season is the most unpredictable one, and rainfalls are frequent and heavy. On the other side, both, the hot season and the cool season, are good for trekking. The cool season (which sees the peak of tourists) is ideal for trekking, especially in the south or in the central plains. Temperatures are not too high, and you can get to see the stunning colors of the luscious nature.

The hot season has higher temperatures and some precipitation. Thus, this season is perfect to explore the north, places like Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, two of the most popular destinations for trekking lovers.

Is a trekking trip right for me?

A trekking trip can be right for almost anyone, as it can be planned at any pace. You don't need to rush or to see everything. Plan your trip according to your fitness level and your wishes. Before booking a trip, check the itinerary in detail, so that you will know how much walking you will have to do, and see if it fits you.

Usually, we recommend a 1-day trip (about 6hrs for a maximum of 10km) for travelers with no background in trekking. Professional help is essential, especially if you don't have a lot of trekking experience.

Our trip advisor will help you plan your trip, where to go, how to reach your destinations, where and when to stop, how much you should walk, etc. This is really important, especially for those without a lot of experience. Hiring a guide will ensure you a hassle-free trekking experience, and you will be able to rely on his/her professional help throughout your trip.

When planning a trip with all your family, take into consideration the physical condition of each person, especially the kids.

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Where to trek in Thailand

We recommend three routes among the many: The route from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, in the north of the country, filled with gorgeous forests and misty mountains; the nature trail Kae Maw Pan inside Doi Inthanon National Park, that offers spectacular views of the surroundings; the jungle trail near Kanchanaburi, with its thick vegetation and places of historical interest dating back to World War II.

Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son

The route from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son was used by merchants moving from one city to the other. Today, it is only used by trekkers who want to wander through the forests and the mountains of Mae Hong Son Province, near the Myanmar border.

You will trek among some of the most remote natural areas of Thailand, visiting local villages like Huay Hee Karen, and get a glance of their daily life in the midst of nature. Tours on this route usually include a night in a local homestay, where you will be entertained by ritual singers and sword dancers.

To cover this route, you will have to trek for two days, 6 to 8 hours each day.

Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail in Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon is a national park near Chiang Mai, known as the roof of Thailand. Due to its high elevation, the park is humid and cool all year round. There are many trails you can follow. Kew Mae Pan suits everyone, and it is perfect if you don't have a lot of time.

The trail goes through evergreen forests to reach the highest peak of the country, and it is filled with wild animals and rare exotic plants. Walk slowly, and take your time to observe carefully all the natural wonders around you. One of the highlights of the trek are the giant rhododendron trees.

Be sure to stop and admire the breathtaking view from the many view points, and to make a visit to the stupas built to honor the King and the Queen. This route can be covered in about 4 or 5 hours, depending on your fitness level and the weather conditions.

The Jungle in Kanchanaburi

Venturing into a jungle or getting in touch with a remote tribe is not something you can do every day. The jungle near Kanchanaburi gives you exactly the opportunity to do so. At the beginning, you will walk among banana trees, and the trail is quite easy. The trail will then keep going with various levels of difficulty, until you will reach the Kratengjeng waterfalls, where you can rest and relax.

A longer journey inside the jungle (up to two days) will give you the opportunity to visit a village of the Karen tribe, maybe sleeping in a bamboo hut, eating local food, and watching a dance show. The day after, you will continue on the river Kwai on a bamboo raft and then board on the Death Railway.

The jungle on this trail is thick, and we recommend wearing long pants and a pair of good boots. You can trek trough the jungle for about 5km, which should take slightly more than 3 hours.

A guide is needed

The importance on relying on professional help can never be stressed enough. It is the best way to ensure your safety and the best possible experience.

Venturing by yourself in the jungle of a distant country is not a good idea. A knowledgeable guide knows how to orientate, how to take care of you and to solve any possible problems. It can be a precious help when choosing your itinerary and a valuable teacher to instruct you about the ecosystem you are exploring. He/she can give you an unbeatable perspective about nature and its wonders.

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Important tips for trekking in Thailand

Trekking means exploring remote areas, immersing yourself in nature, being surrounded by wildlife. It also means that you have to be prepared. You will walk for a long time far away from civilization, and so you will have to be ready for anything.

But don't worry! We have gathered some tips you might find useful when trekking in Thailand:

  • Plan and do research: Choose what you want to see and plan carefully your itinerary with the help of an expert. Always consider your fitness level when choosing a trekking trail. Hire a guide.
  • Wear proper clothes: Knowing your itinerary, you should also know which clothes are best. Waterproof walking boots are good for any environment, and long pants will be useful when trekking inside a thick jungle.
  • Pack everything you might need: Sunscreen, snacks, insect repellant, dry clothes, etc. You won't regret it.
  • Stay hydrated: Bring as much water as you can, you are going to need it, especially when temperatures are high.

The Asia Highlights Experience

Certainly, a trekking trip can be accomplished on your own with only a map, a trekking pole and a bottle of water in your hand. Or by joining a trekking group with a bunch of strangers of uneven fitness status.

However, to make it even more worthwhile, you will need a keen guide who is not only able to lead you to the best scenic spot, but also to invite you to the local people's life. This is what we excel in. Talk to us and get more ideas now:

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  • Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
  • Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
  • Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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