Thailand: Sacred Forest & Temples

Experience Thailand like no one could. This expedition is about running in the misty highest mountains of Thailand in Chiang Mai, the sacred forests in the heart of the jungle along with Hill tribes. We put it all 1 week, mingling with local populations & tribes, thanks to our partnership with Sport for Kids. This Endurance runcation will definitely allow you to go beyond your running limits, but we made it adjustable so you could enjoy the most of this epic trip

2020 DATE: Jan 26th – Feb 2nd – 8 days
Price:  $1,750  $1,550 (deposit $500)

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This expedition in a nutshell

  • 8 days, 7 nights
  • Trip begins and ends in Chiang Mai, (we recommend you staying one more day and explore Bangkok on your own)
  • 6 runs and guided hikes, fully supported
  • 120K, 4000D+ through the jungle, rice fields & the highest mountains of Thailand 
  • 5 nights in Hotels/Resorts in the Chiang Mai area / 2 nights in Hill tribe villages

Some testimonials

  • Definitely a challenging expedition. My legs want that every year
  • Far from the touristic places, I never had felt that lost and out of my normal life.
  • Those moments in the Hill tribes are definitely a landmark of my entire life.
  • 100% trail running, and 0% classic tourism. I never thought that we would have so much connection with the local people.
  • Asian, cooked under your eyes food is exactly what you need after a long day of running in these trails. Breath-taking.



  • Airport Pick-Up
  • Accommodation for 5 nights in traditional and charming Thailand-styled hotel in Chiang Mai
  • 2 nights in a mountain hut
  • Breakfasts, packed lunchs and dinners along the expedition. Please detail dietary requirements in advance
  • Equipment for all adventures
  • Local guides, Photographer, Doctor
  • Daily activities


  • International flights
  • Personal travel and medical Insurance
  • Energy gels and electrolytes (even if we provide some local snacks to fuel on the runs)

Week overview

For this trip, you will have to join us in Chiang Mai, accessible directly from Bangkok. This will bring you on the most beautiful trails and the wildest forests of Chiang Mai, into the green valleys and rice fields of the Karen tribes or in the highest mountains and tribes of Thailand.
From Chiang Mai, we will go through the highest steep Thailand mountains, inside the sacred forest. down in Chiang Dao. We will follow a route recently created especially for trail runners that is to say us.
Sharing your itineraries with the Hill tribes and their temples is challenging, but definitely worth it. During 7 days you will experience one of the most amazing trail tracks in the world, enjoying alpine summits & panoramas in out of path itineraries. Far from the traditional image you could have of Thailand. We bet that your night with the Hill tribes in bamboo houses will never be forgotten.

Activities include: Yoga, SPA, local immersion in hill tribes and meal preparation in their company

Detailed itinerary

Day 1, we always organize a formal meeting with all participants to share important information and details about the following days and routes. It’s also the time for everyone to get to know the runners you will share the week with. This meeting takes place in the City Center of Chiang Mai.

On Monday, we will enjoy the surroundings of Chiang Mai. This small city is the capital of the region, and the door to the secret and unexplored jungle of Northwest Thailand. Pure jungle trail are no less than 10min away from the city center. We’ll go back at the hotel to enjoy an afternoon by the pool and other activities.

Run: Up to 21k ; 1400m+
Meals: BLD

On the second stage, we will leave the “city” surroundings to join the deep jungle. The goal is to join Mae Sa, a reunion of 6 small villages of farmers. Running by terraced rice paddies, and aiming at the iconic Mae Sa waterfall will be your objectives. The pool in the mountains will allow you to get the perfect amount of recovery you’ll need.

Run: up to 25k ; 1200m+
Meals: BLD

Wednesday run leads us to an iconic tribe of Northern Thailand: The Karen Village. This ethnic group took refuge in the region and could develop their ancient traditions, the most famous being the long neck women. To go there you’ll have to run through alpine summits in a long stage, and should be able to cross path with elephants. Spending the night with the families will be one of the highlights of your week.

Run: 24 ; 1000m+
Meals: BLD 

Leaving directly from the Karen Village we will have a very jungly trail run. The mythic waterfalls of the region will give rhythm to our journey. After lunch, we will be transported back to Chiang Dao, to enjoy an afternoon in the SPA.

Run: 26 ; 1400m+
Meals: BLD 

Leaving directly from Chiang Dao, we will aim at joining the Lisu Village. This 55k Thai community is one of the 6 main hill tribes of the country. Lost in the jungle, you will discover their traditions and spend the evening and the night with the families.

Run: 22k ; 1200m+ 
Meals: BLD 

This last stage will be the occasion for all runners to run and discover some of the most iconic temples of Northern Thailand, on one last cooler stage. Spa & Pool will await you for an ultimate recovery session.

Run: 21k ; 800m+
Meals: BLD

We’ll get up early to head back to Chiang Mai, where our trip ends. Those who want to stay further in this diversified country, will be provided with a lot of tips (and trekking paths 😉 ).
Run:  :'(
Meals: B 

Useful information

For this expedition, a certain level of running is required to enjoy the most out of it. Even if all the stages are adjustable, the terrain and elevation require that you had already done and enjoyed some trail running. There are no minimum required nor time restrictions. No daily run is mandatory. Easier runs options are available any day for recovery. The best option is still for you to contact us if you are not sure you would enjoy this expedition.

A good recommendation is that you are in a good condition enough to finish a half-marathon, that you are used to repeat the efforts (running repeatedly every week), and used to elevation.

Running equipment: a detailed list will be provided 1 month before the trip starts, but no specific equipment is required for this expedition.

The price for this trip is $1,750 with an early bird at $1,550
A $500 deposit is required to secure your spot.

  • 91+ days from the trip start date : Deposits are non-refundable
  • 61-91 days from the trip start date: 50% of total payment refunded**
  • 60 days or less from the trip start date: No refunds

**This only applies to participants who have paid their balances on time. If you do not pay the balance by the due date and cancel after the fact, we will retain your full deposit

During this trip, you will experience 2 different types of accommodations: 
– 5 nights in a very good, clean and comfortable lodge hotels and resorts. Normal price is for a shared “twin” room. Supplement available for a private room.
– 2 nights in villages with the Hill tribes, sharing bamboo huts (sheets, cover and all the necessary will be brought by our logistics)

The group size limit for this trip is 16. In addition, you will be accompanied each day by 3 or 4 guides, with at least the 2 founders of Albera, and medical assistance. The ratio runner / guide is maintained under 1/6. 

Requirements for entering Thailand are not very restrictive. Nonetheless, certain conditions ofter change, and we recommend you to check exactly what you would need for entering this country. Pay attention, a certain amount of cash (~$100) is required at the immigration services.

Why Thailand ?
Thailand has revealed itself a great destination for us in so many reasons. First, you’ll have to know that northern Thailand is the perfect landscape to throw challenging trail runcations. Steep, down in the jungle, exotic,… Plus, for a long time, the country has been safe, which is a non-negotiable condition for us to develop our runcations. Finally, we’ve found this exceptional local partner that will bring us in total local immersion, that developed trail running in this region, and that is very integrated in the region.

Why do we land in Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai is the center of our itinerary, and the biggest city of this Alps & Jungle region. Better than picking-up people in Bangkok, we leave you the choice to organize your trip to Chiang Mai as you want. We definitely recommend you to explore Bangkok and other cities if you have the choice.

What’s included in the trip cost?
The trip price includes pre-trip communication, airport transfers from/to Chiang Mai, all accommodation during the trip (5 nights in hotels & resorts, 2 nights in local bamboo huts with the tribes), all meals (BLD) & snacks, hot beverages with breakfasts, water and some local snacks for the runs. Transportation, drivers, experienced guides (us), for organized & supported runs and an Albera Expeditions hat. To sum up, pretty much everything is provided between Chiang Mai & Chiang Mai ! For travelers wanting to discover Bangkok and the surroundings, we will provide you with some useful tips, do not hesitate to ask !

What isn’t included in the trip cost?
The cost does not include your flights to/from Chiang Mai & travel insurance. Why ? Because runners are coming from all around the world, and everyone will have a different schedule and travel expectations. However, if needed, we can set you up with a local travel agency that will provide you exactly what you’ll need.

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2020 DATE: Jan 26th – Feb 2nd (Limited to 16 people)

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