How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Our guide James (real name Chakhree) was a real foodie and he took a lot of time at the food markets encouraging us to taste all the unfamiliar fruit, veg and... insects! He also showed us how to prepare Thai dishes and we cooked them on the open fire at the tribal houses. James really made our holiday, if we wanted to do something in particular during our free time he sorted out the arrangements and he was really good with the children in the group.
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
"We took very small sleeping bags with us for the trek but they weren't really necessary as a blanket and pillow was provided, a sleeping bag liner is probably all you need. I would definitely recommend ear plugs as the cockerels are very loud between 3 and 5am! They are also essential for the noisy sleeper train along with an eye mask.
On the trek we used sandals on day 2 as we were in the river so much. With hindsight I'd have taken my boots as the steep hill sections were ankle deep in mud and very slippery. I also would recommend proper trekking sandals - cheap sandals or crocs literally fell apart.
On the whole tour we spent around £375 per person which includes about £40 for optional activities and £40 for souvenirs ( I loved the Karen tribe woven scarves)."
Do you have anything else to add?
At Mae Hong Son encourage the whole family to try the full body mud spa - a really enjoyable and fun experience! Try and grab some tourist maps of Bangkok and Changmai to get the most from your free time and make sure you try the crazy Tuk Tuks.