We communicated with Sasi, the owner of Sabai Tours before our arrival to Chiangmai. She kindly advised us on the things to do in Chiangmai. And, she was most accommodating and informative. She even picked us up personally upon our arrival in Chiangmai. We booked 3 tours and opted for the group tours instead of the personal tours:
1st Day: Lifestyle Adventure - trekking, white water rafting, elephant, bamboo rafting
To our horror, we had to sit in the back of a 4WD, 6 in a row. There were a total of 12 of us. The bench could only accommodate 4 people comfortably, with 5 people already a squeeze. Our guide, Tommy, made 6 of us squeeze together and the 6th person was sitting with one leg off the 4WD! We had a most uncomfortable ride in the 4WD and the journey was 1 hour each way!
We did enjoy the elephant rides and trekking to the waterfall.
And, our lunch... it was salty fried rice with tofu, eggs and bits of chicken. Tommy said that when we were in the jungle, we had to eat like 'jungle people'.
The white water rafting was nice, with 6 of us in the boat. After this, it was bamboo rafting time. We were expecting the ride like in the brochure... but we were so shocked when they piled 12 people on a sinking bamboo raft! So we literally all sat in the muddy water where water reached our waist in the sinking bamboo raft!
2nd Day: Doi Inthanon
We visited Doi Inthanon and the highest peak in Thailand. It was rainy and our guide, Nui, advised us to buy raincoats. We made stops at 2 waterfalls which were awesome! Lunch was served at the site of the 2nd waterfall where we had rice with soup, vegetables, tofu and salty stir fried chicken. Nui was extremely knowledgeable and we enjoyed listening to her. Our van had 9 people and we had a comfortable ride. As it was raining, the view was misty and we couldn't see the 2 King and Queen stupas clearly. There were stops to buy persimmon and other foodstuffs.
3rd day: Golden Triangle & Karen Long Neck
We were a group of 12 people with our guide Pan. The ride was a long one but Pan was entertaining and he told us many stories. We stopped at the hot springs and White Temple. Then, visited the Golden Triangle and took the boat ride to Laos where we did shopping. We also went to the border town, Mae Sai, where we saw the border with Myanmar. Lunch was buffet with other tour groups. Finally we visited the Karen Long Neck village before heading back to Chiangmai.
We would definitely contact Sasi again on our next visit to Chiangmai!