Smiling Albino

local by smiling albino

adventure in chiang mai & chiang Rai

6 days / 5 nights

chiang mai & chiang rai, thailand

family, active, adventure, culture

why Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai?

all about the trip

The one thing that makes northern Thailand such a great destination for such a wide variety of travelers is that it offers a perfect mix of ancient culture and awesome outdoor adventure. 

There are lots of amazing destinations in this region to check out, but although two of our favorites – Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai – sound similar, they offer a fantastic contrast of experiences. 

why you must go!

the bragging rights

  • Pedal and raft along the Ping River for an active combination of light cycling through rural villages with mountain views and charming landscapes in the morning, returning on the Ping River by bamboo raft.

  • Between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai we'll make an extended stop in a Lahu village along Thai-Myanmar border for a traditionally prepared meal using locally-sourced natural ingredients.

  • Adventure Bikes, Boats, Villages & Caves - all in one day! Get into the countryside to see hilltribes towns, temples and more.

day 1

Welcome to Chiang Mai

This morning, travel from your home to Chiang Mai (CNX). On arrival, your guide will be waiting for you at the airport with a signboard with your name on it. Get ready for your adventure to being! 

On arrival, your Smiling Albino host will be waiting to travel you to your hotel. 

The rest of the day will be at your leisure, or you can enjoy an optional evening tuk tuk experience with Smiling Albino. 

As dusk begins to settle, we’ll take you on a unique adventure exploring a large swath of Chiang Mai’s evening attractions. We’ll start with a tour by tuk-tuk or motorcycles to see the old town, some local markets, and stopping for a traditional northern dinner, or end the evening with a visit to one of Chiang Mai’s night markets.

ACCOMMODATION: Tamarind Village

thailand-chiang mai-monk-chris-arthur-collins-5dIlQDlMQa8-unsplash

day 2

Pedaling & Rafting the Ping

Get ready for a great day in the saddle! The perfect sequel after exploring the vibrancy of Chiang Mai city is a two-wheeled adventure exploring the gorgeous surrounding countryside. Today’s ride sweeps through the communities and great outdoors of the Mae Rim valley along the Ping River north of Chiang Mai City. We’ll cycle mostly flat roads with mild hills, through rice paddies and lush valleys while viewing wonderful mountain landscapes.

After a satisfying local northern Thai lunch, we’ll enjoy a more leisurely afternoon. We’ll board a chauffeured bamboo raft fitted out with cushions and a sun shade. Tea and local snacks will be served as we drift down river watching the jungle and riverside life sweep by. The support van will be following nearby and we can stop whenever you like and complete the trip by van.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
ACCOMMODATION: Sri Prakpa Boutique Resort

Mae Wang Bamboo Rafting Chiangmai THA

day 3

Extraordinary Road Trip from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

Today we’ll drive to Chiang Rai via the scenic route through Fang town. The trip takes about six to seven hours, but we’ll break it up with some memorable experiences.

We’ll pick you up early from your hotel and transfer north to Chiang Rai Province with a meal stop en-route. This will be no ordinary transfer day and no ordinary meal. We will take the most scenic route, driving along the winding roads that straddle the Thai-Myanmar border. After around three hours we will stop for a special hill-tribe jungle lunch.

Taking a short, but worthwhile, detour off the main road, we’ll head up to a Lahu hill-tribe village where you will enjoy a traditionally prepared meal (ingredients are procured locally and made and eaten using bamboo vessels and utensils created on the spot!). Time permitting we can take a stroll through the village and learn about Lahu ways of life before continuing the picturesque journey east towards Chiang Rai.

Before reaching your hotel, we can stop at some other locations along the way, such as the stunning Wat Tha Ton temple, with a view that stretches deep into Myanmar!

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch

lahu village

day 4

At Leisure, Phu Chaisai

Enjoy a day today at leisure enjoying the beautiful setting at Phu Chaisai. Set amongst 800 acres of unspoiled and lush subtropical mountain forest with views of the Mae Salong Valley and Doi Tung, peace and tranquility await you at Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort.

The 800 acre estate property includes two water reservoirs, a natural spring-fed waterfall, the Mae Nam Kham River along the property’s northern border with Doi Tung, hundreds of varieties of native bamboo and tree species, an organic vegetable farm and fruit orchard. The highest point of the property reaches 600+ meters elevation.

MEALS: Breakfast

phu chaisai 2

day 5

Bikes, Boats, Villages & Caves

Get ready for a full day of exploring a large swath of what the scenic countryside surrounding Chiang Rai has to offer. And we’ll do it in the best way we know how: on bicycles with the breeze in our faces! The day will begin with a trip to a cave temple, Wat Tham Phra. We’ll spend some time exploring this vernacular temple, get used to our bicycles, and then take off to pedal along the Kok River, through fertile farmland, creaking bamboo stands, and to a hilltribe village surrounded by limestone mountains.

Here we will have a local lunch, and then carry on through small back roads leading out of the village, up and over some medium-grade mountains, passing by further Ahka and Lisu settlements. When we’ve had enough biking, we’ll board a private longtail boat waiting for us on the river and head back down the river to Chiang Rai town. Sit back, relax, and take in the scenery unfolding along the shores as you reflect on this epic day.

MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch
ACCOMMODATION: The Legend Chiang Rai

Boat-1 LR

day 6


This morning is at leisure. Enjoy the remaining time at your hotel before you embark on your journey back home. At a pre-scheduled time, we’ll jump back into the van and head to the airport for our flight to Bangkok.

MEALS: Breakfast


want to see where you’re staying?

featured properties

chiang mai

tamarind village

Tamarind Village is a 40-room, village-style resort in the center of the old walled town of Chiang Mai. Divided into three private courtyards, this boutique hotel is designed in the spirit of an ancient village, ensuring traditional ambiance. The ancient Lanna-style rooms face inward into a tranquil garden dominated by a two hundred year-old tamarind tree. Tamarind Village is set in the heart of old city, 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the Night Bazaar and riverside restaurants.

tamarind village 1
tamarind village 2

chiang rai

phu chaisai

The Phu Chaisai is an oasis of spirituality. Noted designer ML Sudavadee Kriangkrai built Phu Chaisai as a labour of love. An abode for solace and peace of mind, you will not find TV’s or alarm clocks here. Luxury villas are made of bamboo, clay and natural materials. In the warm embrace of Mother Nature, one can find peace with their inner selves during a stay here. Al fresco dining and a natural spa make the Phu Chaisai an integral part of the essential Thai experience. This is a rustic, boutique resort in the hills of Doi Mae Salong.

phu chaisai
Phu Chaisai

chiang rai

The Legend Chiang Rai

The Legend is a charming boutique property in Chiang Rai, designed in Thai-Lanna style and set in a garden amidst flower ponds and brick walking paths. Spacious, white, minimalist architecture gives the rooms a comfy, luxurious appeal. The property backs onto the Mae Kok River and provides a glimpse of riverside life each morning. The Legend is located on the bank of Mae Kok River, secluded somewhat from Chiang Rai city, only 15 minutes drive from Chiang Rai Airport and a few minutes to the city centre.

legend chiang rai 2
legend chiang rai 3

interested in a different hotel?

Make it customized with a property of your choice, or ask us for a recommendation!

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Is this the right itinerary for you? Looking for something different? Let us plan your perfect adventure, or keep exploring!

still looking?

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