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During this vacation, you will live like Thai locals. Youll visit the herbal garden where youll gather ingredients for your cooking class, drink a cup of tea with a local family, and learn about Thai traditional medicine at the shamans house. At the cooking class, youll learn to cook traditional Thai dishes - Thai sticky rice is a must! Guided bike tours, oxcart rides, guided walks, rafting, a visit to a farmers rice and traditional tools shop - these and many other activities will not let you to get bored!
You will be placed at a non air-conditioned room with electric fan at Lisu Lodge and KhumLanna. The accommodation is based on half twin-bedded room.
Set in a small valley surrounded by mountains, KhumLanna is located in the serene village of Phrao, an hour and a half drive from Chiang Mai. Amidst emerald-green rice fields and lush orchards, KhumLanna gives you a luxurious home-stay experience combined with a cooking school specializing in traditional northern Thai cuisine. In sum, it is a celebration of heritage, food, and lifestyle.
Named after the Lisu hill tribe village that is found near the lodge, Lisu Lodge is part of a community-based project that aims to conserve the natural heritage of the hill tribes of northern Thailand. The Lisu migrated from southern China and Tibet in the early 20th century. Built in traditional Lisu style with an eye for western comforts, the lodge overlooks the lush fields and hills surrounding the valley and serves as your base camp for a magical blend of adventure, relaxation and insight. During the tour, a family elder will guide you around the village to introduce you to Lisu customs and culture. You will view the local shrine, admire the work of skilled silversmiths, and marvel at fine embroidery work, and perhaps even be invited into someones home to share some tea.
08:30 to 09:00 - Pick up from your Chiang Mai hotel (or Chiang Mai airport) and transfer to Lisu Lodge (approximately 45 minutes of ride).
10:00 - Arrive at Lisu Lodge. A traditional welcome drink will be served followed by a briefing. Lisu Lodge Staff will propose you a choice of activities, and you can decide how you want to spend the afternoon.
11:00 - Essential Travel Thailands Lisu guide will then take you for a walk through the village. You will start from the Ton Lung temple to view the herbal garden and visit some local families with a stop for a cup of tea and a spot of traditional medicine at the shamans house. Return to Lisu Lodge for a tasty Thai lunch.
Enjoy your visit to rice paddies -Walk with your guide through rice paddies where the villagers grow rice without the use of pesticide and insecticide.
Besides strolling through the green or the golden carpet of the paddy fields, depending on the season, you will learn and participate in the various stages of rice cultivation in northern Thai style
Visit a Himmapaan nursery, learn about the flora of northern Thailand and how Essential Travel Thailand restores the forest ecosystem at a tree nursery of the Himmapaan Foundation, whose goal is to support and implement environmental and social projects by working with local communities in areas affected by tourism.
Enjoy a vegetable garden, where the organic fertilizers from leftover organic waste are produced and a variety of vegetables and fruits that are used in several dishes served at Lisu Lodge is grown.
Time at leisure until the Thai dinner with a traditional Lisu dance show.
Overnight at Lisu Lodge.
Meals: lunch and dinner.
Breakfast at the Lodge.
Start an exciting day with an easy 13 kilometers (8 miles) of cycling to Muang Guert. Youll stop off to relax and enjoy a magnificent landscape at the tea plantation where you will be led by an experienced guide who will introduce you to the process of growing and harvesting tea as well as vegetation propagation to produce tea seedlings at the nursery, whilst teaching you how to pluck tea leaves and enjoy a cup of fresh-roasted tea.
Continue cycling to Rafting Station. After a healthy picnic lunch on the bank of the river you will go on an exciting ride, about 45 minutes of white water rafting that takes you to a traditional Thai country village.
From there you proceed to KhumLanna. Upon arrival, as a welcome drink, enjoy a refreshing herbal tea or fruit juice from the bountiful gardens of KhumLanna. Check-in to your room.
Briefing to decide on your activities for the following morning is at 17:00
Thai cooking introduction. You will receive a KhumLanna Thai Recipe Book that explains many delicious recipes, plus the herbs used and the health benefits of each. You will also receive descriptions of Thai words that will be helpful for your market visit the following day.
Start a first lesson to learn to prepare an authentic Thai meal (4 dishes). All the major ingredients in Thai cooking are introduced along with the concept of balancing the 5-flavor groups.
Enjoy the Thai dinner that you helped prepare yourself.
Overnight at KhumLanna.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
05:30 - Coffee / tea will be brought to your room for your wake-up call before the sunrise biking along the rural country road via San Kwang village to Phrao to visit an early morning local market where local coffee is available. With the help of your guide, you may buy local cookies and flower garlands for the temple offering on the way back
Then you visit a farmers rice and traditional tools shop, chat with the owner, and learn more about the rice legends, differences and properties of the varieties of rice. Your local escort will translate.
Cycle back to KhumLanna with a stop to visit Wat Pa to pay respect to the Buddha image under the sacred tree. Continue biking to KhumLanna along the local canal through the rice fields and get more information about the rice-growing process and the important place that rice occupies in Thai life.
Refreshment or shower before breakfast is served at 09:00.
10:00 - KhumLannas concept is Rice for Life. You will be given an orientation of this concept and also learn about the history of rice cultivation, the types and the equipment used in the past, the future needs.
Try your cooking skills out by steaming the Thai sticky rice and following this take a casual walk to the organic garden - there is a variety of produce including the different rice harvesting stages. You will also have the opportunity to collect herbs and vegetables from the garden and use them in your cooking class.
Lunch will include a country-style barbeque, sticky rice that you prepared earlier, and all the scrumptious dishes to complement.
16:00 - Depart KhumLanna and transfer to Chiang Mai airport or hotel. Upon arrival end of services.
Meals: breakfast and lunch.
This retreat will take place in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
On day 1, a second additional 1-hour activity can be booked at a nominal charge but as a free activity you are welcome to go cycling by yourself. Essential Travel Thailand will give you a road book of recommended itineraries.
On day 2, a second additional 1-hour activity can be booked at a nominal charge but as a free activity you are welcome to go cycling by yourself. You will receive a roadbook of recommended itineraries. Apart from the excursions mentioned in the itinerary, you can enjoy rafting (1 rubber boat - 4-5 persons) and cycling.
You can enjoy a local herbal steam bath and a therapeutic hot-pressed herbal massage with 8 herbs such as ginger, zingier, lemongrass, plantain, tamarind leaves, soap pod, camphor, and Aom Kiew.
The most convenient airports to arrive at are Suvarnabhumi international airport also known as Bangkok airport (BKK) and Don Muang international airport (DMK). Essential Travel Thailand will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.