I'll just go ahead and say it. This is on my "Top Five Best Experiences" list.
There's too much to describe what happened to us in two days, so here's the gist:
- Tourist police - Waterfalls - Hot Springs - Geysers - Strenuous hikes - Incredible views - Homes on stilts - Solar Panels - Bathing in a river at night with the locals - Waking up to the sound of pigs running directly below our floor - Brushing my teeth in the same river where we bathed last night and seeing a water buffalo now bathing in it - Seeing the contentment of the local tribes with their way of life - Rafting down river - Fixing our raft in the river with bamboo from the forest - Seeing our guide create cups for us as gifts with the leftover bamboo - Riding an elephant down the river, including: --- Watching our elephant pull down leaves with its trunk and eat them --- Watching him splash himself (and us) with his trunk to keep cool --- Feeling his hide with our bare feet - Eating real Pad Thai
During the two days, we did not run into any other tourists on our trail. We still wanted to meet members of the Long-necked Karen tribe so our guide took us to Baan Tong Luang to see them. While it was amazing to see these people, I enjoyed seeing the tribes in their traditional setting more.
Some companies offering hill tribe treks are: G Adventures, Siam Rivers, and Julie Guesthouse.