May 20 – 29, 2023

Surrounded by several mountain ranges in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is known for its picturesque views, ancient temples, and cool weather. Along with governmental initiatives for economic reform, Chiang Mai has seen a massive upswing in locally-led, socially-innovative projects in pursuit of equitable and sustainable development. This program explores sustainable development and business in the heart of Northern Thailand.

Trip Details

Trip Themes

Meet elephants living their best lives at the Tong Bai Elephant Foundation!

What's Included

What's Not Included

5 Reasons You Need to Join Us in Thailand!

Itinerary - 10 days

Travel from Los Angeles to Chiang Mai!

Begin by visiting Wat Loi Kroh where your samlor drivers will be waiting to give you a tour of the Ping River, Ancient Lanna House, San Pakoy Market, Wat Ket Museum, and Kad Luang. Learn about the Chiang Mai on Three Wheels project that aims to preserve the samlor (bicycle taxi) as a means of transportation in Chiang Mai.

In the afternoon, visit the makers village of Bo Sang and learn about how traditional craft skills are passed down.

Travel to Ban Mae Sa Mai, the largest Hmong community in Northern Thailand, home to an Agricultural Royal Development Project initiated by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Visit the research center for herb and vegetable production. Meet with Sowmee, the silversmith of the village, before embarking on a 2-hour trail walk led by a Hmong guide to visit the community’s vegetable fields.

The White Temple is one of the most iconic and recognizable temples in Thailand. It’s plaster and glass materials shimmer in the sun and its intricate details mesmerize visitors for hours. 

Continue from here to Chiang Rai, the northernmost city in Thailand near the borders of Laos and Myanmar.

Visit Hostbeehive to learn about how this honey producer creates jobs for people in the community and works to preserve local wisdom.

Then head to the Mirror Foundation and meet the local hill tribe women who lead the eBannok Handicrafts Project. Participate in a skills-sharing workshop with the women; learn to mold clay into birds, paint already fired pieces, or weave in traditional ways.

Visit coffee farms in Doi Chang to learn about the hill tribes in this region who historically grew opium until a Royal Development Project introduced coffee beans. At first, farmers were susceptible to middle men who set unfair prices. But in 2002, the village prioritized sustainable development by establishing Doi Chaang Coffee Original Co to assist coffee growers in getting fair prices, developing their own brand, and promoting collaboration for improved quality.


Today, visit a variety of social enterprises breaking the mold through local, innovative sustainable development initiatives in Chiang Mai. 

End the day with a cooking class! Head to the market with a local chef and learn to prepare a traditional Thai meal.

Learn about the Asian elephant and the issues surrounding its preservation in Thailand at the Tong Bai Elephant Foundation. After lunch, join the elephants’ caregivers for trekking and bathing with the elephants. 

Visit Doi Suthep and the mountain-top temples of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat. Partake in an almsgiving ceremony near the shrine for Chiang Mai’s most venerated monk, Kruba Srivichai, whose followers constructed the road to the temple in 1935. Walk a short stretch of the famous Monk’s Trail and enjoy a last group dinner before exploring Chiang Mai’s famous night market for souvenirs.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport to begin your journey home.


Thailand requires that all travelers carry proof of full vaccination against Covid-19, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.

In the event the program is delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19, all program fees will be fully refunded.

Insight has robust policies in place in the event participant(s) contract COVID during the program, in line with practices established by the Government of Thailand and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). COVID-19 specific medical and interruption insurance is included in the program fee.

Health & Safety

Insight has delivered international trips for a wide variety of audiences, including both adults and youths, since 2013. Our top priority from start to finish is the health and well-being of our participants. In the event conditions change while on trip, Insight may need to adjust the itinerary to ensure participant health and safety.

As with all trips, risks do exist and participants will need to complete Acknowledgement of Risk documentation prior to departure. Insight will take every precaution to ensure this experience is truly unforgettable, all for the right reasons. To learn more about our health and safety practices, please contact us.


If the program is cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all participants will be refunded in full.

Insight develops immersive travel programs that incorporate fun and adventure with purpose driven learning. By incorporating authentic experiences into the itinerary, we’re able to show you amazing things about Thailand while also broadening your perspectives. No need to worry as there won’t be any test at the end!

We’ve run programs for high school, university, and adults around the world. Thailand is a welcoming and safe country to visit. Our experienced team will be with you the entire time and will give you a thorough briefing upon arrival on best practices while exploring the country. We have run programming in Thailand since 2018, all without significant incidents or issues.

The program fee includes flights, accommodations, transportation, meals, and activities as listed in the itinerary. It also includes travel and medical insurance. Personal expenses, such as shopping for souvenirs, are not included.

Thailand is a great program for students interested in sustainable development, social innovation, and Thai culture. Anyone who loves lush hillsides and temples will enjoy the landscapes. Anyone who enjoys learning about and engaging with local initiatives will have plenty of opportunities to do so. Students who sign up should be comfortable in hot weather.

Please refer to instructions sent by your school.

Questions? Let's talk