Homestay & Hiking at the Coffee Plantations of Ban San Charoen
Ban San Charoen is a Yao (Mien) mountain village in a valley between the mountains on the border of Phayao and Nan province. In the old days this area was (in)famous for the poppy-field plantations for the production of opium. To support the village people in an sustainable existence there is a Royal Project to promote farming coffee plantations instead of poppy fields. And one of the Yao coffee plantation owners organises tours of the coffee plantations with explanation of the coffee bean production & hiking into the mountains. A great way of experiencing authentic local life of the mountain people nowadays. Yes of course there are cars and they have electricity, but the older people are still daily wearing their traditional cloths that they make themselves.
Program for Homestay at Hill TopThe program is 2 days / 1 night and includes transport, lunch, dinner & breakfast and of course coffee. Pickup from your hotel in the early morning for transport to Ban San Charoen. This part you could do on your own if you have already transport.
In Ban San Charoen you will meet your host & guide for the next 2 days. He will introduce you to the coffee production and taste some of the local made coffee. After that you will explorer the little village and meet Yao people. In the afternoon you will take a 4WD truck into the mountains to the Homestay where you will stay overnight and enjoy a simple dinner. The Homestay is at 1600m above sea-level and between the coffee plantations. Here you will have a local made dinner and enjoy the evening together.
The next day you will wakeup before sunrise and make a hiking up-to the mountain ridge for breakfast & coffee with a stunning sunrise view (weather permitting of course). After breakfast you will hike back to the Homestay and take the 4WD truck back to the village. Optional you could hike to a waterfall nearby. From the village you will be brought back to your hotel in Nan. And again this part you could do on your own if you have already transport. Be aware that the Home Stay accommodation & food are very basic and simple. Also be aware that due to the weather the program can be changed. For more information contact Lapien Cafe and mention this website. Due to bad weather or bad roads conditions it could be that the part of going up by 4WD truck is replaced by a 2 to 4 hours hiking trip.