Things to do in Chiang Mai: 2 Day, 1 Night Hike

One of my favorite things I've done in Chiang Mai has been Trekking through the mountains on an overnight hike.  I've done both the 3 day, 2 night trek that included white water rafting, elephant riding, bamboo rafting, the orchid farm, long neck village and butterfly garden as well as the non-touristic trek.

If you're only in Chiang Mai for a few days and just want to say you've done a bunch of stuff and get a few photos, then the normal 3 day trek is an excellent value for only 1,500 baht which is only $50US especially because it includes your accommodation and all of your meals.

Our trekking guide climbing a tree with a machete.
On this trek I didn't want to ride elephants, go bamboo rafting or do any of the touristy stuff, I just wanted to go trekking and hiking.  So I found a package through Spicy Thai Backpackers called the 2 day, 1 Night Non-Touristic trek for around 1,300 baht which is $44US.  It seems strange to pay more money for less stuff, but the better experience and better hiking trials were well worth it, and either way, paying less than $50 for a two day tour all inclusive is cheap anyways.

What to eat:
Everything is included expect for water, but all you need is 1.5 litres as you can buy more at the jungle camp and on the 2nd day during lunch as well.  On the first day, we stopped by a local market to buy supplies where I slipped my guide 100 baht ($3.33US) and told him that I don't eat rice, bread or noodles and only meat, veggies and eggs.  I also brought along some nuts and seeds of my own and it ended up being perfect.

What to bring.

The trick is to bring as little as possible.  They provide blankets at night so you don't need to bring your own.  Here is a list of what you need to bring for a 1 night/2 day trek, adjust it if you end up doing the 2 night trek. These are items that you'll either have on you or in your bag, don't double up.

1x Small Backpack 
1x Shoes to walk in.  (Don't do it in normal flip flop sandals, but hiking boots are over kill.  Any pair of  comfortable sneakers will do. You can also do it in barefoot shoes such as vibram 5-fingers.  I personally did it in my Luna running sandals which were fine expect they were slippery)
1x Sandals for the camp site.  After a long day of hiking, you'll want to change into flip flops to walk around the camp site.  You'll dread having to wear shoes, so bring some flip flops to walk to the bathroom and to hang out.
1x Hiking shorts 
1x Swimming shorts
1x Shorts or long pants to sleep in
1x T-shirt or long sleeve shirt to sleep in
1x Lightweight jacket or hoodie for hanging out at the camp at night
1x Small flashlight for going to the bathroom at night
1x Mosquito spray
1x Toothbrush
1x Nuts, Seeds, or other high energy snack

Our guide picked us some fresh Rambutan from the trees! 

I personally only brought one t-shirt as I knew I would be walking without my shirt during the day.  I went during the start of december which was right before the cold season, but during the day it was warm enough since you were walking.

The terrain changed from mountain to jungle to local farms and rice fields.

Walking through the fields

Ending the first day's hike swimming in a waterfall.

Jet Lag Lychee Hike

I went again on another 2 day 1 night hike since writing this and used it as a way to get over jet lag by being out in nature, getting some sun, excise and forcing a sleep schedule shift by sleeping at dark and waking up with sunrise. It works perfectly and even better, since it was Lychee season, I also got to feast on a ton of fresh free jungle fruit!

Read the updated post here.

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the hike and getting away from Chiang Mai for a weekend.  For only $44 it's an easy, cheap mini vacation that clears your mind, gets you some fresh air and exercise and lets you see some cool parts of Northern Thailand that you normally wouldn't see.

The best thing was being away from cell phone signal and wifi for a few days.  It's so nice be unplugged for a few days and I highly recommend it for anyone in Chiang Mai, both tourists and people living here.

To book your trek, I'd recommend just showing up and booking it in person the day before at any hostel as you'll get the best prices and local pickup that way. I've met people on the exact same trek as me pay double or even triple what I've paid because they did it online or through a travel agent. 

If you really want to book online, Travel Hub seems to be the only company I've found that  doesn't seem to charge a premium (the price for a 2 day 1 night trek was 1,400 baht and the 3 day 2 night hike was only 200 baht more at 1,600) at the time of writing this which is standard.

Warm Regards,


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