THAILAND – Chiang Mai – Coffee and Culture Experience with the Akha 2D1N
Guests head out to the countryside and mountains north of Chiang Mai for a hands-on learning experience about coffee and the culture of the Akha people.
Art & Culture, Sustainable
Country - City
Thailand - Chiang Mai
Level of difficulties
Possible year-round, best period between November and January
Max number of person(s)
Number day and night
2 days - 1 night
Day by day description
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Phrao – Akha Community
After arriving in Phrao around lunchtime, a delicious local meal is waiting. After that, it is time for a hands-on learning experience at a small local coffee roastery where the secrets of coffee production will be unveiled, all the way from bean to cup. There will even be the chance to roast a micro-batch, and of course, taste it. Then the adventure starts by taking a local truck up the mountain to reach a mountain village. The scenic village is home to a community of Akha, an ethnic group with Sino-Tibetan roots. The hosts will shed a light on their unique culture, history, and daily customs through hands-on activities in the village. If the weather is favorable, a trip to the nearby mountaintop at dusk makes for unforgettable views. At night, the villagers will host a dinner, and accommodation is provided in a simple and clean house.
Transportation: 110 kilometers from Chiang Mai – Phrao – 2 hours + 15 kilometers by truck – 40 minutes from Phrao to the village
Day 2: Akha Village – Chiang Mai
After breakfast, sipping on a delicious cup of locally grown coffee, the exploration continues. More villages are waiting to be explored, and the locals are ready to explain their way of life to all comers. A final walk down a small, agricultural trail toward the valley marks the end of this unforgettable excursion before returning to Chiang Mai.
Distance and duration of the hike: 5 kilometers – 2 hours, including breaks
Total Gain elevation: – 500 meters
Transportation: 15 kilometers by truck from villages to Phrao – 45 minutes + Phrao – Chiang Mai – 110 kilometers – 2 hours
- A private excursion, into an amazing undeveloped region still not on the map of mass tourism
- A sustainable Easia Product in direct cooperation with the local communities
- Interesting insights into coffee production, combined with authentic cultural experiences in a local Akha village
- A remote area but accessible for Active Leisure
- Simplicity of accommodation but great human experience
- Includes a 5-kilometre hike with scenic views along the way
There is a choice between a “big” and “small” cultural performance in the evening:
- Big performance: the whole village will gather in a common area and there will be cultural performances like dances and songs by approximately 10-15 people in traditional dress. Recommended for bookings of more than 5 people. Cost is relatively high (2100THB) for smaller groups, and may be a “too big” event.
- Small performance: more intimate performance with songs and traditional music. Can be held at one of the local houses only a couple of people will be around. Cost-friendly (500THB) and more suitable for small groups up to 5 pax
The arrival time in Phrao is around lunch, while the driving time from Chiang Mai is around 2 hours. This means there is some free time in the morning, which can be kept free, or allows for a short visit in town or on the way to Phrao.
- Opportunity to visit an authentic and “undeveloped” area of Northern Thailand
- Our own private active program, not passing by a supplier and benefiting the local communities directly
- A mix of an interesting coffee learning experience in a local roastery with a stay in the villages
- An Easia Signature activity
- Chance to stay in a remote region but accessible to a fairly wide public
- Adventurous experience with rides in the back of a pick-up truck, and a scenic nature hike
- Our own program, no supplier involved
- It’s Easia Signature, no competitors offer anything similar in the region
- The owner of the coffee roastery is the brother of the CEO of ATTA, which is a very important connection on the North-American Market
- We differentiate from the competition with this product
- Only possible with Active guides (3rd languages on request only)
- Locals have limited experience with tourism, service level may not be consistent in the beginning
- Although usually accessible all year, the National Park is sometimes closed to visitors in periods of heavy rain. Also the hike may be considerably more difficult during the rainy season (July – September)
- Visibility can be a problem during the hot season (March – May) due to smoke
- Only English speaking guide can be confirmed automatically! We currently don’t have enough 3rd language guides, and they can only be confirmed on request (in discussion with the Operations department).
TIME AND TRANSPORTATION
|Chiang Mai city||Phrao town center||100 Km||Car||1h 45min||Good|
|Phrao town center||Akha village||23 Km||Local Truck||40 min||Partly unpaved, may be closed during rainy season but alternative route available|
|Hiking end point (Day 2)||Phrao Town center||15 Km||Local truck||30 min||Partly unpaved, rough during rainy season|
ALERT: The activity is possible year-round, but during the rainy season (July-September) accessibility may be more difficult and may affect the program
ALERT: Only English speaking guide can be confirmed automatically! We currently don’t have enough 3rd language guides, and they can only be confirmed on request (in discussion with the Operations department).
ALERT: Clients must prepare an overnight backpack with their belongings needed during the two days. Their main luggage can be left in storage at their hotel or with the transportation supplier.
ALERT: As this activity takes place in a National Park, we are subject to the official guidelines, rules, and limitations. If the program is not possible due to official restrictions or safety issues, we adapt and operate an alternative program. This may include less hiking and focus more on the village experiences, depending on what is possible.
Notes: We pay for all services provided by local people (local guide, food, activities, accommodation, …). We directly support members of the local community.
Besides that, there is a contribution per pax to a fund managed by a committee representing the different villages.
- Important information :
- Understand the client and travelers’ needs and expectations before proposing an itinerary
- This Module is only recommended for adventurous people who are in good physical condition
- A backpack 20-35L (with supplies for two days) + rain cover
- Long top
- Shorts, t-shirts
- Polar (for the evening)
- Flip flops or slippers (for the evening)
- Hiking equipment:
- Comfortable shoes for hiking
- Laundry bag
- Toilet kit
- Towel (microfiber if possible)
- Individual pharmacy
- Personal Drugs
- Anti-mosquito and insect repellent
- Solar cream
- Medication against motion sickness (if needed)
- Client Profile Form + Insurance and Health Information: Sales send the Form “XXXXXXXX” to collect the information about the travelers and send this document to operation teams (Name & surname, any specific allergy, Insurance details + Remark about hiking levels)
+ reference to their Insurance
- Local hill tribe guide
- Transportation by local truck
- Lunch (day 1), dinner (day 1), breakfast (day 2)
- Water, snacks, coffee/tea
- Package of coffee to take home
- National Park entrance fees and fees for activities
- Cultural performance (music and song)
- Queen’s Project Forest Park entrances and visit
- Contribution to the local community
- Fees services
- Easia Travel national guide
- Transportation to/from Phrao and Chiang Mai (or other destinations)
- Lunch on Day 2
BEST FOR FIT
Number of PAX
- Option for the owner of the coffee roastery to join the trip as an expert.
Program with approximate timings:
- 10.30 am: Leave from Chiang Mai. Drive about one 1h 30 min (100km) to a local restaurant in Phrao
- 12:00 pm: Lunch in a local restaurant
- 13.30 pm: Drive to the local roastery
- 13.45 pm -15.00 pm: Roastery workshop including introduction, explanations on bean processing, roasting, tasting and coffee to take home.
- 15.00 pm: Drive into the mountains by local truck
- 16.00 pm – 17.30 pm: depending on the seasonality and options on spot, spend time in the host village or another nearby village for local interactions
- 17.30 pm: arrive at the top of Doi Mon Lan, to learn about the Queen’s Project and see the sunset (if weather permits)
- Transfer by local truck to Abolocha village
- 19.30 pm: dinner at Abolocha village
- After dinner, spend time with the hosts to
- 8.00 am: breakfast with fresh coffee
- 8.45 am: tour in the village with Akha swing,
- 9.15 am: go to Abone village by local truck, do artisan coffee roasting
- 10.00 am: start to walk down from Abone – Huay Khon
- arrive at Huay Khon around 12.00 pm and receive drinking water/snack in Huay Khon.
- Return to Phrao by local truck, end of the program
Services for Hiking Tour
- Water can be taken from the minivan and is available in each village.
- Food should be verified by the guide (clean plates – cutlery – avoid the use of plastic as much as possible)
- Guide trained in First Aid
- Local guide with knowledge of the route
- Easia Travel emergency number, available 24/7
- Easia Travel Liability Insurance
- First Aid Kit
- Verify the backup with the local community for emergencies. A backup vehicle needs to be stood by in each village travelers will arrive, in order to anticipate unforeseen circumstances.
- Special National guide notes:
- Guides need to be briefed and updated at the office; this is a new product and being properly informed is super important
- The guide needs to help the villagers run the program (timing, encouraging to give info, etc.) as the local people don’t have experience with tourism at all
- Prepare and check the list of travelers to be ready to welcome them.
- The hiking guide must be flexible on the spot: adapt the speed and the length of the trails to the needs of the clients
- Detailed timing: Departure early morning from accommodation in order to have enough time to reach the final destination
- The guide must be strict on the departure time to avoid late arrival at night
- Guide should have lunch together with the Active clients, and encourage the locals to do the same (though it is not in their culture and they prefer to give space to visitors)
- The guide must stop and inform the travelers about the nature, and ethnic minorities surrounding them to make travelers experience the local life and traditions of the country.
- Before the tour, check the climate conditions to avoid risks (for example, bring raincoats) and be careful during the tour not to put the clients’ lives in danger. At the end of the day, he needs to debrief and inform the group about the next day’s itinerary and give them the time departure schedule.
- Languages – use polite language and adapt the behavior depending on the client’s character and behavior.
- Shoes – proper shoes – no sandals or flip flops, especially on day 2
- Activewear or T-Shirt
Ms. Sutthiporn Mayoe
125 M.1 A. Phrao, T. Pa Tum, Chiang Mai, 50190
Tel. 090-463-5530 E-mail: [email protected]
In case of bad road conditions due to rain, the regular program may need to be adjusted. The guide can check with the local contact person in advance so clients can be informed before arriving. To assure clients’ safety, in case the program needs to be adapted a longer road to the village will need to be taken, a visit to the top of Doi Mon Lan may not be possible and the focus will be more on cultural exchange in the village.
Coffee and Culture Experience with the Akha (2D1N Experience)
Day 1 Chiang Mai – Akha Community
In the late morning, head towards Phrao, a quiet town located about 100 kilometers north of Chiang Mai. After a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, you will head to a local coffee roastery for a hand-on learning experience. During the short workshop, you will learn all about the history of coffee in the area, how it is processed from bean to cup. You will even have the opportunity to roast your own beans and, of course, taste it. Then it is time for an adventurous ride into the mountains in the back of a 4×4 truck to an Akha village where you will meet your hosts for the night. You’ll have plenty of time to learn about the unique culture, history and daily lives, all while enjoying green surroundings and breathtaking views. You’ll enjoy a traditional Akha dinner in the village and spend the night in a simple, clean house.
Meals included: lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Overnight in a local house
Transportation: 100 kilometers Chiang Mai – Phrao- 1h 30min to 2h + 15 kilometers by truck – 40 minutes from Phrao to the village
What to bring:
- A backpack with everything for the overnight in the village, it can stay in the truck during visits and hike
- A smaller backpack to carry some water and gear during the hikes
- For the overnight: comfortable clothes, personal medicine, toiletries, a towel, sweater/jacket for the evening, flip flops/slippers for the evening, lamp
- Hiking gear: comfortable and breathable clothes, hiking shoes, rain jacket/poncho (just in case), flask
- Insect repellent
Day 2 – Akha Community – Chiang Mai
After breakfast, over a cup of locally grown coffee, the exploration continues. More villages are waiting to be explored, with the locals ready to explain their way of life to all comers. A final walk down a scenic agricultural trail towards the valley makes for a perfect ending to this unforgettable excursion before you return to (next destination).
Meals included: breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel
Distance and duration of the hike: 5 kilometers – 2 hours including breaks
Total Gain elevation : – 500 meters
Transportation:15 kilometers by truck – 45 minutes from end of hiking trail to Phrao + Phrao – Chiang Mai – 100 kilometers – 1h 30min to 2h