The perfect trip for anyone wanting to combine unique adventure with stunning locations and a real exploration of the magic of Northern Thailand.
Start: Chiang Mai
Finish: Chiang Mai
The perfect trip for anyone wanting to combine unique adventure with stunning locations and a real exploration of the magic of Northern Thailand. Northern Thailand has been bussed, cycled, trekked and moped’ed but has it ever been ‘Tuk-Tuk’d’?
Release your inner cab driver and join us on a trip that puts you in charge of Thailand’s most iconic form of transport. We can guarantee numb bums, shaky arms, ringing ears, huge amounts of fun, more than a touch of luxury and a travel story to bore your friends with for years…
Starting and finishing in the beautiful Mae Wang valley, you will embark on a journey through some of South East Asia’s most spectacular scenery, as well as getting the opportunity to stay in some of coolest hotels in the region; while bringing you closer to the local communities like you’ve never experienced before!
Arrival, Driver Training And Temple Blessing:
We’ll pick you up at 10:00am from the CHIANG MAI GATE HOTEL in Chiang Mai city and transfer you to our training base for the adventure ahead. On arrival at our ‘base camp’ in Mae Wang, we’ll check you into your accommodation, have lunch together and then begin your driver training. Once everyone has got to grips with the basics we’ll head on your first test drive to a local temple where the journey ahead will be blessed!
In the evening it’s time to spend more time getting to know your Tuk Tuk and enjoying a great Northern Thai buffet dinner.
Today will include your transfer from Chiang Mai Gate Hotel to our ‘base camp’, a full Tuk Tuk orientation and training, a temple blessing, lunch and dinner and a twin / triple share accommodation in a beautiful resort in Mae Wang – air-conditioning, en-suite rooms (single rooms can be requested but a surcharge applies)
More Training, Elephants & River Rafting:
After breakfast we’ll go through more driver training, building on what you learned yesterday, and run through all the nitty-gritty of the trip ahead. Then it’s time to venture a little further afield with a test drive through small country roads to a fantastic elephant home. This home is leading the way in taking elephants away from a life of captivity and creating a new environment where people can learn about and spend time with elephants on their terms, not ours!
We’ll head slowly in convoy for the 20km or so to the elephant home giving all the opportunity to get some ‘road time’ and confidence. On arrival the inspiration behind the home will talk about the history of the elephants, what he and his team are doing and then, after a great lunch at the home, it’s time to enjoy the company of these wonderful animals. You’ll be able to feed them, get to know them and then walk with them (no riding allowed!) to the local river where you’ll bathe with them. In the late afternoon, you’ll have a change of pace as we float gently downstream on bamboo rafts before it’s then time for a late afternoon convoy as we head back to the base camp to freshen up before heading out for dinner at a local family restaurant before getting ready for an adventurous day tomorrow.
And We’re Off – Doi Inthanon - Here We Come:
After an early breakfast, we’re hitting the road and heading along small country roads towards Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. Your guide will be in the lead Tuk Tuk and we’ll travel in convoy with the support vehicle at the rear. The first 20-30km of the route is simple with gentle curving roads but we soon hit stunning switch backbends, incredible scenery and tiny Karen hill tribe villages as we make our way towards the National Park.
Enjoy the look of complete surprise from everyone as they see Tuk Tuk’s this far up in the mountains – trust us, novelty doesn’t even begin to cover it – and we’ll stop frequently to have a look at different villages/views and to sample some of the great coffee and snacks in small villages. Lunch will be in a roadside snack bar – real Northern Thai style.
If you’re feeling confident we can go up to the top of Doi Inthanon – your trusty Tuk Tuk can make it! – and around mid-afternoon we’ll arrive at your accommodation for the next two nights.
We’re giving the Tuk Tuk’s a well-deserved rest today and exploring the National Park on foot. Accompanied by an expert trekking guide we’ll explore the stunning forest around the area on a trek of around 8-9km (but with some hills!) which takes in great vistas and the obligatory waterfall.
Lunch is provided on the trek and your trekking guide is a mine of information on both the people and wildlife inhabiting the area all around you.
NOTE: This trek is suitable for all as long as you’re able to walk 8-10km. The pace is gentle but there are some up and downhill sections as you’d expect in the mountains. This isn’t a trek done by thousands each year – rather it’s been researched and developed just for this trip!
We’ll arrive back at the accommodation around mid-late afternoon, just in time to rest up, relax and then enjoy a great countryside Thai feast.
On The Road Again:
Time to get back on the road and today we head out of Doi Inthanon National Park towards our final destination of Mae Sariang, close to the Burmese / Myanmar border.
Our route winds through incredible scenery and some very quiet roads for the first section of the day and we then join the main road for the last hour or two into Mae Sariang. Towering trees, steep hills and more than a few sharp curves are the order of the day and we’ll, as always, take frequent stops to enjoy the area, let the Tuk Tuk cool down and to allow traffic to pass (and see all taking photos of you as yet again everyone is stunned by the site to Tuk Tuk’s up here)
We’ll arrive in Mae Sariang around mid-late afternoon and check into our superb riverside accommodation for the night.
Mae Sariang is well worth exploring with friendly people, a fascinating mix of Thai and Burmese culture (Mae Sariang is home to many Burmese Muslims) and some interesting temples. Alternatively, have a cold beer on the terrace over the river watching the sun go down!
More Bends And Mountains:
Mae Hong Son is our destination today and we’ll head up, over and around the mountains on one of Thailand’s most stunning roads to reach there. With plenty of stops to change drivers, go ‘wow’ at the scenery and chat to all. This is most definitely a day for your camera (and Go Pro!).
We’ll arrive at your accommodation around mid-afternoon giving you enough time to check in, have a quick swim (yes, there’s a pool!) and settle into the amazing sunset bar nestled right amongst the rice fields. Cold beer has never tasted so good!
Free Day To Explore:
Another day off for your Tuk Tuk’s and some time to do as you please. There’s a fantastic 8km trek through the forest right from the resort grounds, a swimming pool to hang out by or you can head into Mae Hong Son town to explore (around 10-15 mins by minivan).
Re-charge your batteries, recover from the sunset bar last night or stretch your legs in the forest, it’s up to you.
Mountain Roads To Pai:
Pai, one of the most famous of all mountain towns in Thailand, is our destination today but before we get there we need to negotiate several hundred bends and some of the steepest roads on the trip. With great forest, incredible views and a stop in Soppong for lunch to try local Shan food this is a great day and towards mid/late afternoon we’ll drop down into the valley where Pai sits.
Your accommodation is 4-5km outside the town sitting amongst rice fields and great views wherever you look. There’s also a lovely swimming pool to wash away the day’s travel.
Enjoy Pai And The Surrounding Area:
Another day to let the Tuk Tuk’s rest and give you the opportunity to do some exploring on your own. From caves and temples to hanging out by the pool or exploring the local villages, our guides are on hand to help arrange all sorts of activities – or why not sit back and take in the great views from this fantastic resort (or lend a hand servicing and making sure your Tuk Tuk is in fine form for the final leg of the journey tomorrow!)
The Final Leg:
Setting off in the early morning we negotiate the final few hundred bends as we drop back down towards Chiang Mai and then our initial base camp of days 1 and 2. You’ll notice a huge change in the villages, people and temperature as we head lower and lower and then through a number of small villages and towns on our route.
With plenty of opportunities to stop and explore we take today pretty easy and will arrive back in Mae Wang towards mid/late afternoon. Then it’s time to freshen up before we have a group final dinner, sharing the adventures of the last 10 days and enjoying your last moments with your very own Tuk Tuk.
After a lie in – it will have been a late night last night! – we’ll transfer back to Chiang Mai Gate Hotel arriving around 12:30pm. You are now a fully-fledged member of The Tuk Tuk Club!
Today will include breakfast and your transfer to the Chiang Mai Gate Hotel.
- Transfers from and to Chiang Mai city – 07:45 at the meeting point (Chiang Mai Gate Hotel) or between 08:00 and 08:30 at your city centre hotel
- Your very own Tuk Tuk (up to 3 travellers per vehicle)
- Driving training
- 2 guides with you every step of the way
- 10 nights accommodation in stunning locations
- A Temple blessing, elephant home experience and an awesome 1 day trek in Doi Inthanon National Park
- A support vehicle for your luggage
- Fantastic, twin-share accommodation throughout the trip.
- Breakfasts (10), lunches (3) and dinners (5).
- Travel insurance
- Visa to Thailand
- Flight tickets
- Beverages & other personal expenses
Essential Trip Information:
By its very nature, this trip is an ‘adventure’ – when it’s hot….it’s hot, when It’s wet….it’s wet and when it’s cold….it’s cold (and it does get cold in the mountains between November and February). And as with any trip of this nature, there is some inherent risk which must be accepted by all travellers – without a small amount of risk, there is no adventure! However, all routes and roads have been extensively researched (in Tuk Tuk’s of course), there is plenty of training and practice of driving before we hit the windy roads heading up into the mountains and the guides will always set a sensible pace for the conditions for each different day.
What driving experience do I need?
All travellers who wish to drive a Tuk Tuk MUST have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and an International Driving Permit (IDP) – this is very easy and quick to organise
No previous Tuk Tuk driving experience is necessary!
Can I book on my own / can I take a whole Tuk Tuk?
This experience is perfect for solo travellers, couples or groups of friends (or even adventurous families).
Each Tuk Tuk can seat a maximum of 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children (under 12)
If you book as a party of 3 you can take your own Tuk Tuk.
The maximum group size for each trip is 9 – 3 adventurers per Tuk Tuk.
Each trip will consist of a maximum of 6 Tuk Tuks - the lead vehicle driven by one of your guides – and a support vehicle, driven by an additional guide, carrying bags, spare parts, water, snacks etc.
The Tuk Tuk’s
All the Tuk Tuk’s are original, classic ‘Bangkok style’ Tuk Tuk’s with the relevant registrations to allow them to be driven by the group on all the roads taken during the tour
Whilst Tuk Tuk’s are relatively simple to drive, training and experience is provided in the driver training sessions on Days 1 and 2 of the trip
All fuel is provided as part of the adventure
No-one is forced to drive! There is space for 2 people comfortably on the back seats
Simple mechanical training will be given on Days 1 and 2 and how to care for your Tuk Tuk sessions will take place. In addition, our team are on hand to assist in the event of any mechanical issues.
All travellers must ensure that they conform to local traffic laws and agree to abide by the driving rules of The Tuk Tuk Club – this is for everyone’s safety.
If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.
If you have a UK or US passport, then you do not need a Visa to enter Thailand (up to 30 days if arriving by air or up to 15 days if arriving by land).
This is known as a visa exemption. You may need to show your return ticket upon arrival and / or complete a landing card.
If you’re staying longer than 30 days then you’ll need to apply for a visa before travelling. If you overstay you may be fined or detained, so check the date twice! Please note that a visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at any immigration office for approx. 2000THB. We recommend checking the latest country entry requirements with your national foreign travel office, for UK citizens this is the Foreign Travel Advice section of https://www.gov.uk
If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60-day multiple entry visa from your embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.
For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the Thai embassy in your country (visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand for more information)
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader/ local representative, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability of luggage, cancellation, curtailment and loss and personal effects, alongside covid-19 cover.
If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Direct for a quote. GoKo Travels is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority .
Please click here to learn more about what we do to keep you safe while on a GoKo run tour.
For more up to date information regarding the current travel restrictions within Thailand, please click here
Addtionally, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org and a GoKo Travel Manager will get back to you as soon possible with all the relevant information.
Travel With Confidence:
Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the safety and wellbeing of all of our travellers, leaders, suppliers and staff remains our top priority. Not only have we updated our booking policies so you can flexibly amend booking arrangements before departure and get the most out of your holidays while away, we have also introduced new measures and safety guidelines so you can travel with GoKo Travels safely and securely.
What does this new booking policy mean for me?:
Fully Flexible bookings for peace of mind - We understand that sometimes plans change. That’s why GoKo Travels have updated our booking policies, so you now have full flexibility to change your travel plans if needed.
Our flexible booking policy includes:
(a) Free date changes up to 45days prior to departure - with no interest or added fees
(b) Full refund giving if you have to cancel the trip due to any COVID-19 related issues or international restrictions.
(c) You can now lock in your trip with a small refundable deposit and then pay the rest in instalments whenever you like, with no interest or fees.
Please note: This trip must receive a minimum of three reservations forty-five days prior to the departure date. In the unlikely event that we do not receive three or more bookings for each departure, you will have two options:
You will be able to change dates at no additional cost to you (flexibility up to 3 years
Full refund will be given.
Book with Confidence
Free date changes and cancellations up to 45 days before departure on the majority of our holidays.
Your Money is Safe
Full financial Protection on all of our bookings so you can travel with piece of mind.
Full refund given if you have to cancel the trip due to any COVID-19 related issues or international restrictions.
When you travel with us you can be confident that all of our holidays meet COVID-19 safety regulations.
As part of our commitment to preserving planet earth, we donate 3% of our profits to GoKo Travel's registered non-for-profit, "The GoKo Earth Preservation".
The GoKo Earth Preservation has been set up to protect and preserve the natural habitats of our planet and to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of threatened environments and endangered species around the globe. This is achieved through rewilding, reforestation and marine conservation projects, alongside local community support.
Securing A Rainforest Reserve
Support the purchase of our very own GoKo Rainforest reserve - preserving biodiversity and protecting endangered species in the world's most important habitat.
Assisting Marine Conservation
With your help, we can buy boats to support marine conservation; securing the future for our fragile oceans and the wonderful beings that inhabit them.
Creating New National Parks
By helping with the creation of new parks, we can support local economies, empower native communities and put healthy landscapes into permanent protection.
Carbon Offsetting as Standard
Although all of our GoKo holidays promise to warm your hearts, we don’t want it to contribute to warming the planet.
For every trip booked with us, we support a 3-step carbon offset scheme to calculate and neutralise your holiday footprint, allowing you to travel conscious free, for no added cost. This covers every step of the journey where you travel with us, from international flights to hotel heating, transport, food and more.
The GoKo Carbon Offsetting scheme does not focus on just planting trees, but rather the purchasing, persevering and protecting standing forests from deforestation and degradation - helping revive forests back to full health and avoiding the release of stored carbon. This also enables the regeneration of degraded habitats, which gradually re-absorb atmospheric CO2.
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