There is no better way to see the wilderness of Thailand than to spend time hiking its seemingly endless trails.

Treks in the picturesque north vary from steep and arduous hikes in the mountains to less strenuous outings on gentle slopes. National parks provide great opportunities for the whole family to go for a hike, have a picnic beside a burbling stream and thrill to the sight of wild elephants, hornbills, and deer.

In Chiang Mai, the recently named ecotourism capital of Southeast Asia, there are scores of wonderful tours and treks to enjoy. Chiang Mai and her littler sister Chiang Rai are virtually synonymous with mountain treks and are the perfect bases for heading out from the city into the jungles and mountains.