The Old Elelphant Trail By 4WD

  • DepartingDaily
  • Days3
  • StyleBasic
  • From$240USD

The Old Elephant Trail was once a very busy trade route over the mountains between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. Established around 1831 the route became abandoned when roads were built in the 1950s, but many of the hilltribe villages along the trail are still here. The route is too long for most tourists and away from the regular trekking areas, making it perfect for multi-day expeditions. On the border between Thailand and Myanmar, this remote lush jungle area is one of the last natural sanctuaries of the tiger. Your 4×4‑adventure will enable you to travel the eastern half of the Old Elephant Trail, one of Thailand’s remotest regions.

Start Chiang Mai, Thailand
Finish Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Chiang Mai
Style Basic

Physical rating ***
Ages Not required
Group size Min 2 paxs

Small groups

Average group size of 10 paxs

Local leaders

Local food, accommodation and transport

Responsible travel

Make a difference in the world, just by exploring it



Your 4×4 adventure starts with a scenic drive South of Chiang Mai. Our first stop is at the local market of Chomthong, where Karen people, often still wearing their traditional gown, offer their produce. We also visit the impressively beautiful temple Wat Phrathat Si Chomthong.

Then continue to Mae Ya waterfall, where picnic lunch will be taken. With its 200m and many tiers, Mae Ya is one of the highest and most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand.

After lunch, continue driving southwards, and enter Ob Luang national park. We will stop at the spectacular Ob Luang canyon and at Theppanom hotsprings.

Late afternoon, we reach Mae Chaem, where we will spend the night.

Dinner at a local restaurant or at the resort.

Overnight in Mae Chaem.

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a lazy breakfast in the morning sun.

Today we will mostly drive on dirtroads and through jungle, passing small hill tribe villages. We start with a scenic ride along the Mae Chaem river.

Picnic lunch will be taken in a hill tribe village on the way. After lunch, it’s time for action! Dirt–tracks that during the rainy season change into impassable mud–slides, will make the adrenalin rush through your veins. Pass several hilltribe villages and stop every now and then to get in touch with these friendly, colorful people.

Later afternoon, arrive at Le Musikee Resort in Wat Chan. Dinner at the resort restaurant.

Overnight at Le Musikee Resort, Wat Chan.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast at the resort. Today will bring more off–road adventure as well as the most amazing panoramas over Thailand’s highest mountains.

We start with a visit to Wat Chan village and its small, charming temple. We then drive towards Dong Samun, a Blue Hmong village. We visit the local school and have a chat with the hospitable head teacher, who’s a big fan of Arsenal FC. If you like, you can even try teaching the children!

Continue to Khun Mae Talaa, another Hmong village. We will take a walk through the village to witness local life. We can pay a visit to the smith, who still works metal in the traditional, manual way.

After our visit to Khun Mae Talaa, we ride to Samoeng, and back to Chiang Mai.

Lunch en route.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Our services include

  • Accommodation at selected hotels/villages
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking guide/driver for your 4×4 vehicle
  • 4×4 vehicle, including fuel
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Drinking water
  • Visits as mentioned

Our services do not include

  • Other meals than mentioned
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance, tips, visa

Important notes

  • Travellers to Thailand are required to buy insurance before departure
  • This itinerary may alter due to local conditions, the strength of the group and other unexpected circumstances. We will do our very best to adhere to the set itinerary, however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your guide will have the final say.
  • Exotissimo donates part of its profit to the local school in Dong Samun. By means of your visit, you directly support the hill tribe children.

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