In addition to our Tropical Gardening School, we offer a Jungle Camp at the nearby village Mae Khanin Tai. This is a small village with rice/soybean fields, pomelo and longan orchards, surrounded by jungle which belongs to the Opkhan National Park. You can either bring everything you need there (tent, food, water etc), or you can pay extra and get food or drinks from the villagers. The land we offer as a campground is a one acre (half a hectare) fruit orchard, only 1 minute by walk from the beautiful Mae Khanin Tai temple. If you wish to stay indoors with a Thai family instead, that can be arranged too. The temple has showers and bathrooms. A refreshing stream meanders next to the camping site, and the valley is moist and green even in the dry season. You are allowed to make a camp fire, and to pick dry branches on the ground, but you may not cut anything from a tree. At the camp ground, you may eat fresh fruit from the trees (betel, pomelo, coconut, litchi, guava) or harvest taro. You are free to roam about in the valley (easy walking) and the mountainsides (tough walking). The highest peak is Doi Pung, 850 meters, but the walk there is dangerously steep. We have not made any tourist adaptations at all.
Costs: You pay 100 Baht per person for each camp night, or 200 Baht per person for a primitive indoor stay.We share the fee 50:50 with the village. Payment is done at the Dokmai Garden office, where you can buy nature guides, browse the internet, eat lunch and learn more about local plants and other organisms before going to the jungle. We can offer 4 WD transportation Dokmai Garden – Mae Khanin Tai, 500 Baht/car one way (12 km). If you want to hire an English-speaking biologist (PhD or approved by our scientist) for a guided 6 hour tour, the price is 1000 Baht per person. 25% of that fee is shared with the village.
Recommendation: We strongly recommend that first-time visitors take our one day tour, including pick-up at your hotel, guided tour at a fruit and vegetable market, guided tour at Dokmai Garden to learn more about dangerous and useful plants and animals, a superior lunch at Dokmai Garden with homemade fruit drinks, transportation to Mae Khanin and a three hour guided tour and a late afternoon meal there. If you have signed up for a few camping nights (you pay for this separately), you stay at Mae Khanin until the agreed pick-up date (return transportation is included in the tour package price): 1600 Baht per person.
Good to bring: hiking boots, camping gear, hat, sunscreen, torch, plasters, camera (make sure to give us reports of what you find, as discoveries of rare species could be valuable to science). Some people insist on long trousers, but if you walk carefully, shorts are more convenient. Unlike so may other national parks, we have no land leeches in the Opkhan National Park. Dokmai Garden has wireless internet, but at Mae Khanin Tai there is no internet, and the cell phones usually only work halfway up the mountainsides, not in the valley. As a safety precaution, we ask you to write the direction of your intended hike every morning, so we know where to search for you if you break a leg or get swallowed by a python.
A Mycological expedition from the Chiang Mai University is crossing the stream Nam Mae Khanin to reach the campground on the other side. To the right Elaeagnus latifolia, a Himalayan silverbush with edible fruits.