My husband looked into trekking in Thailand and found Chiang Mai Trekking by Piroon & Baan Nantaya Guesthouse (Chiang Mai Trekking or CMT). From the very beginning, it was a good experience. We communicated back and forth by email to make arrangements. While many people do a two-day trek, we wanted to do a three-day. They are so well organized that they let us know what the weather and conditions would be like at the time of year we were going, and they sent us a pdf of all of the clothing and equipment that we should have, which was minimal—what fits in a day pack is all that's needed for a three-day trek. On arrival, it was clear to me we were in very good hands. Three of the 15 guides that work for CMT greeted us enthusiastically at the end of the little road where they're located once we got off the truck; they grabbed our packs and welcomed us into the beautiful open air front room of their hotel. They sat down with us and went through the itinerary of our trek and answered our questions. They even have a painting on the wall that shows each of the activities and they use a pointer during the presentation to emphasize their points. Very polished.
The hotel is very well appointed, and the owners/proprietors, Piroon and Jit are ON IT. Jit runs the office and is always available and very willing to help with whatever is needed or wanted. She gave us recommendations on local events, and helped with transportation and laundry.
The room was quite nice. Ours came with a king bed and they supplied a pretty comfortable rollaway for our niece. The air conditioner is quite effective. The bathroom is a nice wet room design, meaning that it's a rather small space but everything can get wet. The beds are firm, the pillows are nice, and the linens and curtains and everything else all look new.
Chai was our guide for our 3-day trek. We got right into the truck and took off the morning of our trek. Chai shared information with us about what we’d be doing on the trek, as well as things about Thai culture and philosophy, and the multiple languages we’d encounter in the different villages in which we’d be staying. The hikes were fantastic—I’d call them moderate difficulty, but Chai very clearly took a slower pace so that we wouldn’t overdue it.
The jungle is really beautiful, and interesting! Be ready for changes of altitude—there’s a fair number of ascents and descents, at least in the pa the we took. Chai was also a lot of fun—he made hats out of giant leaves for us, he showed us the plants that were edible, taught us how to manage water buffalo, and told us a great deal about the flora and fauna. He was just a lot of fun.
Don’t make the mistake I made and bring snacks long—there’s really no need for it. If anything, you will have WAY too much food available during your trek. Thai hospitality ensures the food is plentiful to the point of excess. He seemed to always have snack available.
We did our trek during the rainy season. We were supposed to do our bamboo rafting trip on day 3, but Chai was following the weather closely, and thought the stretch of river we would raft that day would be too dangerous given the forecast. So, we pivoted to Plan B (he had Plans C, D and E ready as well): we would raft on Day 2 as the weather would be better and the stretch of river safer. It was, indeed, quite safe, and if had we gone with Plan A, we wouldn’t have been able to raft—another party that was supposed to that day wasn’t able to because of conditions.
The villages we stayed in were lovely, as were all of our hosts. The beds all had mosquito netting (although it wasn’t buggy in August), and we felt very well cared for. Consider trekking in Thailand—it’s a beautiful experience. And I think I’m accurate in saying Chang Mai Trekking is the outfitter to use—they’ve been doing it for 30 years and they do it right. I'd use them again in a heartbeat.