A unique opportunity to stay at a mountain lodge run by a hilltribe community and to learn more about their way of life first hand. There are a variety of great things to do, from taking a herbal steam massage to biking through the local countryside and trying your hand at river rafting. You’ll also learn the basics of Thai cookery and about the importance of the land in the villagers’ lives. By the end of your stay you’ll be using the herbs and vegetables grown on site to produce your own authentic and delicious Thai meals.

Day 1: Morning transfer by local open truck from Chiag Mai to Lisu Lodge, where you will be served with a traditional welcome drink. A Lisu guide will take you on a tour of the village and show you the cultural centre created by the villagers. Then choose between a guided bike tour around the area, a relaxing steam bath and massage or a short oxcart ride through farmlands and orchards. Dinner with traditional Lisu dance show and overnight stay at the lodge. (L/D)

Day 2: A more active day, starting after breakfast with an 8 mile cycle to the Elephant Camp, where you will get the chance to ride an elephant for an hour or so through the mountainous jungle down to the river. After a healthy picnic lunch on the bank of the river, take an exciting 45 minute whitewater rafting ride before proceeding to Khum Lanna. Later in the afternoon, you will join a small class for an introduction to Thai cookery and prepare an authentic 4 course Thai meal. It covers all the major ingredients in Thai cooking along with the concept of balancing the 5 flavour groups, plus you get a complimentary Khum Lanna recipe book. Your evening is free until the delicious dinner you helped to prepare earlier. (B/L/D)

Day 3: You have the option of an early start today, starting out before sunrise by bike along rural roads to reach Phrao, where you can visit an early morning market. Drop in on one of the local shopkeepers, who can tell you more about rice legends and the different properties and kinds of rice. Cycle back to Khum Lanna, with a stop at Wat Pa temple to pay respect to the Buddha image under a Bodhi tree.

After breakfast we introduce you to Khum Lanna’s concept of ‘rice for life’ and the history, types and equipment used in rice production. Try your cooking skills out by steaming sticky rice and take a walk to the organic garden where you can collect herbs and vegetables to use in your cooking class. Lunch will include a country style barbeque, sticky rice that you prepared earlier and all the delicious dishes that compliment them. After lunch, choose from various activities including: guided bike tour, creative fruit and vegetable carving, a local herbal steam bath or a therapeutic 8-herb hot press herbal massage. (B/L)

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