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Sunday, February 25, 2018


Welcome to Thailand Ecotour!

The Ecotours Project: part of The Mirror Foundation, Chiang Rai

A grassroots Thai NGO, based in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.

Our trekking and homestay programmes are designed to protect and maintain the cultures and traditions of the local hilltribe communities, in the Mae Yao area of Chiang Rai district. The money we receive from our groups is put back into the communities, directly and indirectly, helping to sustain the local economy.

If you would like to book a programme, in the safe knowledge that your money is being ethically spent, please look through the options, and contact us via the enquiry form.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, all our trips are private - we do not sell open tours - if you would like to book a trip, then it will just be you, and our guide.

If we are running more than a single trip on the same day, we will sometimes collect all groups at the same time, and deliver the orientation together, before each group leaves with their own guide. This cuts our costs, meaning the more of the money you spend can be used to aid our work.

n.b For occasions when more than one group has booked the same programme option, for the same day:

We have a checkbox in the enquiry form, asking if you wish your trip to be private or whether you are happy for others can join.

  • If you are happy for others to join your group, please check this box.
  • If you wish your booking to remain private, just leave the box unchecked.




Our accident insurance coverage requires that we send the company the passport number and full name of everyone in the group.

We don't need any photocopies, or even to see the original passport - just the number and full name of each participant.

It is helpful if the details can be ahead of time, but if this is not possible, then they must be given to us before the trip begins - it is very important, as you will not be covered in the event of an accident during the programme.

Following the itinerary


We ask our guests to understand that while we endeavour to follow the itineraries of each programme as closely as possible, sometimes circumstances make this impossible - weather conditions may mean a trail is too dangerous to follow, or events are happening in a village which causes changes to the homestay. Any number of things can result in amendments to the itinerary, although these are few and far between, so we reserve the right to alter without notice.

Culture and beliefs

There are also substantial cultural differences, which can take you by surprise - living conditions; bathrooms; etiquette; beliefs; traditions; ...and much more. It helps enormously if you have a basic understanding of some or all of these differences, as preparation for spending time in the villages - it can not only make your experience more enjoyable, but it reduces the possibility of offending the locals and/or their religious beliefs.

Village life

It comes as a surprise to some that villagers are not wearing traditional clothing all the time. But please remember, that traditional clothing takes a long time to make, has deep cultural significance, and is expensive. It is, at the very least, the equivalent to your best set of clothes - would you wear your best clothes to go to work in the fields, or would you save them for special occasions?

Unless it is specifically part of a programme, we do not arrange any activities in the village - it is too difficult, as villagers have their own lives to lead. Generally working at least six days a week, rising around 5am and going to sleep around 9pm, life is based around the agricultural calendar. During the day, villages will be relatively quiet while the men and women go to the fields, and will only come to life in the early morning and evening. 


As mentioned elsewhere, the guides are local villagers who we have trained, and all of whom have passed TAT certified Tour Guide exams. They are members of the communities you will visit, and are full of information. However, while we have taught them English and Japanese language skills, some guides are more fluent than others. This can cause some communication problems, so patience and understanding are suggested - if you can't get answers to questions straight away, then make a note and email us, so that we can follow up and get back to you.

Etiquette and safety

As we are providing a service which endeavours to minimise impact on the cultures and peoples we are escorting you to visit, we ask that you respect our code of etiquette, which we deliver during a short orientation.

If our guide asks you to do something, or not do something, it will generally be related to a safety issue. Whatever it may be, please follow his advice.

If there are medical issues, or fitness problems, which means the trip has to be cut short, talk to the guide and he can organise transportation to get you back. But, please remember that some locations are very remote, so the distance and time, and difficulty of access, can delay things considerably. We advise all people thinking of booking a trip which involves trekking, to have at least rudimentary fitness and no major health issues. Please be honest with yourself about your ability to complete a programme - we are not in a position to make that decision for you, although we can give a certain amount of advice.


Life in the hills is slow. Things happen, or not, at a speed which can frustrate people coming from western society. Please take it all in your stride, and embrace the experience. Try not to get upset or anxious, as it will only make things worse. If there is a problem, talk to the guide about it. He can get a message back to us as soon as it is possible to do so.