Depart the hotel at 9am to board a private Tuk Tuk and begin to explore the history and culture of Chiang Mai. Nicknamed the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai has blossomed into a vibrant city that captures both the spirituality and modernisation of Thailand where craft beer and contemporary restaurants have sprouted up amongst gilded temples. Today will start with a visit to Warorot Market, a ramshackle collection of food, textiles, and homeware vendors. There’s ample opportunity to mix with locals out for the day’s shopping and have the chance to taste a few Thai snacks. The fascinating Sop Moei Arts is our next stop, a non-profit which collaborates with Karen hilltribes to build sustainable income by distributing hand-crafted textiles, baskets, and home décor.
Once more, board your Tuk Tuk, and head for Wat Sri Suphan. The temples façade, roof and Buddha statues are all covered in silver, contrasting it with most of Thailand’s gilded temples. This came about as the temple was built in the 1500s to serve the local silversmith village which, in turn, paid homage to the temple by donating silver. After visiting the temple, wander the surrounding alleys to see the local silversmiths that still call the neighbourhood home.
Lunch will be enjoyed at one of our favourites in the Old City, Dash Teak House Restaurant. The traditional wooden house serves up Thai and international fare, but their Lanna food, which is the cuisine originating from northern Thailand and Eastern Myanmar, is recommended.
After lunch, a stroll around Wat Chedi Luang allows for a peaceful return to the action. Famed for its enormous chedi which once housed the Emerald Buddha that now sits on the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The final stop of the day will be to Supachet Studio, a five-minute walk from Wat Chedi Luang. Artist Supachet Bhumakarn opened the studio to showcase his whimsical works, from acrylic paintings to silver jewellery all inspired by elephants and rabbits. You can often find Supachet at work on the 2nd floor. The studio always elicits smiles and is a positive way to end your day.
Finish the day around 3pm.