26 Apr Thailand Luna Tours
Thailand Luna Tours – Committed to Sustainable Tourism
Operating out of Chiang Mai, Thailand Luna Tours with their ten years of experience strives to support family run businesses and subscribes to sustainable and responsible tourism by offering off the beaten track, local, non-commercial and hand crafted tours.
Who are Thailand Luna Tours?
As a member of one of the hill tribes of northern Thailand, an ethnic group called the Karen, the owner Mit is from a small village in Chiang Dao, Doi Luang National Park. Growing up in the rain forest from a very poor family, he became a trekking guide, as is natural to many of the Karen who grow up in the mountains with a love for nature and knowledge of the area.
From an early age he had a dream with his brother to share the Karen way of life and help preserve their indigenous culture by creating jobs within the community and surrounds.
In his South African wife Kischa with her similar love for nature and wildlife, Mit has found the perfect partner to inspire his journey and together they founded a sustainable and ethical tour operator that has gone on to support ethical and responsible tourism.
Philosophy and Mission
Recognising that the tourism industry can have a harmful impact on indigenous cultures and with Karen traditions slowly disappearing, they wanted to offer tourists an opportunity to help preserve this unique culture by supporting ethical trekking and elephant experiences that support local communities while providing an opportunity to see the environment. Their immersive homestays and local Karen guides offer further insight into the people.
For Virawut Hayawa (Mit) and his wife Kischa Brews the journey began with the opening of a small owner run guesthouse in Chiang Mai called Luna Guesthouse and expanded to be Luna guesthouse 1 and Luna guesthouse 2.
Kischa has always had a great love for elephants and animals alike and Mit, being from the Karen hill tribe had many family and friends who have had elephants as part of their family for many generations. They decided to team up with these Karen families and start the ‘Karen Elephant Family’ where they work with these families and their elephants to get them out of the elephant riding business and keep there elephants at home where people can visit.
This is a great program, as it not only supports domesticated Asian elephants in the right way, it also supports their families.
With the birth of the couple’s baby boy in September 2015, they started Noah’s Nature Trek, with the hope of steering people away from the commercial treks where you “ride elephants” and instead offer the whitewater rafting, trekking to waterfalls, visits to hill tribe villages but with no elephant riding.
Their treks and elephant experiences empower indigenous Karen families to enjoy their communities through authentic jungle experiences, while promoting sustainable, ethical tourism and the welfare of their elephants.
Tours on Offer
Elephants At Home – Spend the day in a beautiful rural Karen hill tribe village; meet a hill tribe family and their elephants that have been a part of their lives for generations. Experience an authentic relationship between the people and their elephants that doesn’t involve abuse, only love for their elephant family.
Noah’s Nature Trekking – Go trekking with local Karen hill tribe guides in the north of Chiang Mai, over an hour outside the city where you encounter a more rural Thailand. Visit the local waterfalls and go whitewater rafting on the Mae Taeng River, with the option of an overnight in a hill tribe village.
2 Karen Eco Trek – On 2 Karen Eco Trek you will head into the heart of Doi Luang National Park in Chiang Dao for 5-6 hours of trekking through the rain forests on the second highest mountain in Thailand. Through rice paddies, remote villages and a huge beautiful open ended cave.
For those who want to see some Temples they do offer the visits to the more popular temples, as well as a few that are lesser known. Chiang Mai is an attraction in itself and city tours are available on request, as are local cooking classes and much more.