One day trip Chiang Mai for anyone combining driving Tuk Tuk, yes that’s right, driving your very own Tuk Tuk!, experience real rural life, trekking with and bathing elephants and bamboo rafting Chiang Mai. What more could you want from a day in Chiang Mai Thailand?
Release your inner cab driver and enjoy a trip that puts you in charge of Thailand’s most iconic form of transport. Northern Thailand has always been a world apart, physically and emotionally separate from the rest of Thailand, with a sense of grace and style uniquely its own.
Historically, the North managed to remain independent of Siamese control until the early part of the 20th century and instead was ruled by a distinguished kingdom known as Lanna.
The North of Thailand has famously attractive landscapes of rolling hills, soaring mountains, crashing rivers, thick jungle, and other variations of a natural environment that are not found anywhere else in the country. Among the people of the region there is a wide variety of ethnic types, whose identity is preserved in the remote corners of this mountainous region. The tribes are associated with a wide range of handicrafts and other traditional forms of artistic expression. It used to be said that the people here considered themselves superior to the lowlanders of Bangkok and the central plains—and notably for the great beauty of their women—though this attitude is no longer commonplace.
The main city is the old Lanna capital of Chiang Mai, full of cultural interest as well as good shopping and traditional dining.
Tuk Tuk Tour Chiang Mai Starting and finishing in the beautiful Mae Wang valley, the Tuk Tuk Club takes you on a journey through some of South East Asia’s most spectacular winding mountain roads in one day trip Chiang Mai, towering forests, Bathing the elephants, and great food.
Tuk Tuk Join Tours Chiang Mai base camp in a stunning valley an hour outside Chiang Mai. This is where you’ll learn how to drive your Tuk Tuk in Thailand, experience a Temple blessing for the journey ahead and spend some time with elephants at a local elephant home.
THE TUK TUK CLUB THE BEST ONE DAY EXCURSION IN NORTHERN THAILAND?
Tuk Tuk Tours Chiang Mai Itinerary
07:45AM You can either meet the group at the Chiang Mai Gate Hotel at 07:45, or we will pick you up from your hotel between 08:00 and 08:30, (note – pick up’s can only be provided for hotels inside the Chiang Mai ‘middle ring road’) and then transfer by minivan to our base for the day nestled in the Mae Wang valley.
On arrival in Mae Wang Chiang Mai, at around 09:30, our team will introduce you to your Tuk Tuks and begin your driving training. In case, tourists don’t want to drive a Tuk Tuk on your own, don’t worry, you can enjoy the best day trips in Chiang Mai with nature’s air-conditioning from the breeze in in the back of Tuk Tuk.
NOTE: In Thailand’s law, All drivers must be aged 18 or over and hold a valid manual driving license.
Driving the Tuk Tuks are pretty easy to master and once everyone is feeling comfortable behind the wheel we’ll head through tiny rural roads in Chiang Mai, snaking through Thai farming villages and past Thai rural Temples. One of our tour guides always drives the lead Tuk Tuk making sure that all tourists don’t lose your way and no-one is tempted to go too fast!
With frequent stops to explore the beauty of Chiang Mai and to make sure everyone has a good opportunity to drive, you’ll get a great insight into real rural life in Chiang Mai, Northern of Thailand. Something that’s not as easy to come across as you’d think.
Around late morning, we’ll arrive at the elephant camp Chiang Mai where you’ll not only learn about the past, present and future of the Thai Elephant but also have the opportunity to interact with them.
Once you’ve been introduced to the elephants – who have been taken out of a life of trekking and can no relax and enjoy their time more naturally – you’ll be able to help the mahouts feed them.
After you’ve fed the elephants it’s time to sit down to a some hearty and filling Thai food, right next to the elephants giving you the opportunity to continue watching the elephants and seeing how they interact.
After lunch you’ll walk with the mahouts and their elephants (NOTE: No elephant riding is allowed) through the local countryside to the Chiang Mai river where you’ll help the mahouts wash the elephants – a fantastic experience for you and the elephants!
Bamboo rafting in Chiang Mai Thailand, Enjoy water activities of a different kind as you float lazily along the local river on a traditional bamboo raft. There are no rapids along the way, rather this is a great opportunity to see the local surroundings from a different angle and have a huge amount of fun negotiating the twists and turns of the river.
It’s time to jump back into your Tuk Tuk and wind your way back down the Chiang Mai valley enjoying your last moments behind the wheel of a real Thailand ‘icon’. The road in Chiang Mai curves and sweeps gently down the valley and be sure to have your camera out to catch the surprise of the local community when they see you driving your own Tuk Tuk!
On reaching The Tuk Tuk Club HQ you’ll transfer back into a minivan and we’ll take you back to your hotel, arriving around 6:00PM.
Arrive back in Chiang Mai city
NOTE: Unfortunately the minimum age for travelers on this day trip is 7 years old.
• Transfers to and from Chiang Mai city – 07:45 at the meeting point (Chiang Mai Gate Hotel) or between 08:00 and 08:30 at your city center hotel
• Your very own Tuk Tuk (up to 3 travelers per vehicle)
• Tuk Tuk driving training
• Experience a real rural Thailand when you drive your Tuk Tuk through farming villages Tours Chiang Mai and hamlets
• A visit to a local elephant home tour Chiang Mai where you’ll learn about, feed and walk with the elephants and then help their mahouts bathe them in the local river.
NOTE: No riding is allowed at this home
• Lunch at the elephant home Chiang Mai
• Bamboo rafting along the local Chiang Mai river
• Water throughout the day tour Chiang Mai
• Professional tour guides looking after you during all day trips around Chiang Mai
Excluded: Personal expense
• The minimum age for travellers on this day trip is 7 years old.
• All travellers who wish to drive a Tuk Tuk MUST have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and ideally an International License (particularly for those whose Driving License is not in English)
• Please wear trainers / sneakers for the driving / elephant experience
What driving experience do I need?
• All travelers who wish to drive a Tuk Tuk MUST have a driving license from their own country (manual gear) and ideally an International License (particularly for those whose Driving License is not in English)
• No previous Tuk Tuk driving experience is necessary!
Can I book on my own / can I take a whole Tuk Tuk?
• We actively encourage solo travelers to book this trip – what better way to meet and make friends than sharing time behind the wheel of one of Thailand’s most famous icons
• You can of course also book as a group of 3 and ensure that you have a Tuk Tuk to yourselves
• The maximum group size for each trip is 18 – 3 adventurers per Tuk Tuk.
• Each trip will consist of up to 7 Tuk Tuks - the lead vehicle driven by one of our professional guiding team
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 Tuk Tuk Tours Chiang Mai
• Whilst Tuk Tuk’s are relatively simple to drive, training and experience is provided in the driver training session on arrival in Mae Wang Chiang Mai
• 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
• All travelers 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.
What do I need to bring?
The most important thing to bring with you is a sense of adventure! After all you’re going to be driving your very own Tuk Tuk and exploring the rural roads and lanes of Chiang Mai, Northern of Thailand.
Tuk Tuk Tours Chiang Mai Clothing:
• In Tuk Tuk Tours Chiang Mai, we recommend lightweight cool clothes (shorts and t-shirts are perfect) for the trip. You may also like to bring an extra pair of shorts / t-shirt to change into after you’ve been bathing the elephants and rafting.
• Please wear trainers / sneakers for the driving / elephant experience
• We will provide towels to help you dry off after your rafting Chiang Mai
• Water is provided throughout the day but you might like to bring some money with you to cover other soft drinks / snacks you may like to buy along the way. 300THB per person should be more than adequate.
THE TUK TUK CLUB RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL POLICY
The Tuk Tuk join tour Chiang Mai believes passionately that travel, in particular grass roots, adventure travel, can and should be a force for good, not only for those travelling but also for the people, communities and environment that we come into contact with on our adventures and who, of course, are one of the most significant reasons that people choose to explore and travel.
The very reason we exist is to give travelers the opportunity to see Thailand at it’s best, away from the crowds of the more famous (infamous?) destinations, and to experience the warmth, hospitality and stunning environment that we fell in love with 30 years ago when organized travel to Chiang Mai Thailand was still in it’s infancy and the laid back, friendly atmosphere was far more common.
Whilst our core focus is of course on meeting and exceeding travelers expectations, and providing the adventure of a lifetime, we also have a very strong focus on the positive impact we can and do have on the people and places we spend time with.
The Tuk Tuk Club is based in Thailand and we all live, work and play in the beautiful province of Chiang Mai. All of our guide team are Thai and passionate not only about what we do but also helping people see, experience and learn about the best of their country.
• Throughout all of our adventures we exclusively use local providers, based in the village / town / community is based in and they source produce from the local area wherever possible.
• We partner with local communities for every activity we do on our adventures. Not only to assist in the creation of employment but also to ensure that the absolute best possible experience is given to our travelers. When we go rafting we use the skills of local villagers to guide the rafts, this creating employment opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist in the area.
• All meals on our trips are at small, locally owned restaurants delivering not only the best food in each location but also creating a solid source of income for the local community.
• Our adventures are all about experiencing the ‘real’ Thailand and by following the above course of action, not only do we ensure that the money spent on our adventures remains very much in the local community but that our travelers get to experience and feel the ‘real’ country and have a much more unique experience.
We are very aware of the environmental impact that travel has on the world, both in terms of the travel itself and our office function.
• We don’t send out paper brochures – everything is available online.
• We use recycled paper
• We encourage all our team to cycle to work wherever possible – it’s far more fun that sitting in a car and of course keep us trim so we can eat more of the great food in the area
• We actively support a local elephant home and through our collaboration it has been able to stop all elephant riding and lead the way in its local area in providing a much better life for its elephants. Whilst riding still takes place in other ‘camps’, more and more are following the lead of the home we support and understanding that the welfare of the elephants is the most important element.
• Single use plastic is a major problem in Thailand and we are doing all we can to reduce and remove the use of single use plastic water bottles on our adventures with our target to be single use plastic free by the end of 2019. Whilst remaining hydrated is very important in our climate and a suitable source of water throughout any adventure is vital, we are seeking to replace all single use plastic water bottles with personal drinking bottles which will then be refilled from large tanks of fresh, clean water that we transport.
Our Adventures take part very much ‘in’ the country rather than simply viewing places as one passes by. Whilst we are very conscious that our travelers are on ‘holiday’ and are travelling to enjoy themselves, our team are passionate about people gaining a proper understanding of Thailand and the areas as travel through and work to ensure that this is part of the enjoyment of the experience As such, learning about the country and the positives and challenges for communities, people and the environment makes us a large part of every adventure. Guidance on arrival, and throughout all adventures, is provided on social norms and how to behave / dress when visiting important places, interacting with communities and our guides work hard to provide translation to ensure that travelers can talk, share and learn from the people we meet along the way.
Map of Mae Wang in Chiang Mai Thailand Travelling with Tuk Tuk Tours Chiang Mai