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4-WD Safaris

Safari in Phuket In the farthest corners of the North there are still very few roads. Until fairly recently, travel was only possible on horse or elephant back or on foot. Today, isolated communities can be reached only by four-wheel drive vehicles. A drive through the rugged terrain, mostly along dirt tracks, is the ideal way to see the spectacular scenery of forests and hills and previously inaccessible hilltribe settlements, and to reach the rafting and hiking trails. One of the best trails leads from the northern capital, Chiang Mai to Pai District in Mae Hong Son, winding through forests, elephant working camp, hilltribe villages and many natural wonders. Local operators offer tours combining 4WD treks, rafting and elephant rides that last from one day to a week or more.

Getting there: Buses leave Bangkok's northern bus terminal for Chiang Mai from 05:30 to 22:00 hours. Thai Airways International and the State Railway of Thailand operate several trips to the city, and Mae Hong Son can also be reached by bus and by air both from Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

When to go: All year round.

What to bring: A sweater in the cooler months, November to February.

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