Our expert, local guide picks guests up at 8:30 for a day getting to grips with the history and iconic sites of Chiang Mai, capital of the Lanna kingdom.
We’ll be exploring Chiang Mai in the iconic red songthaews – red trucks that act as local taxis around the city.
We first negotiate the winding uphill road that climbs to the peak of Doi Suthep. This imposing mountain overlooks the valley of Chiang Mai, offering stunning panoramic views of the city below. At the peak, we visit Doi Suthep temple – one of the most significant Buddhist temples in the area.
Explore the temple complex with expert insights from our guide – you’ll observe locals going about their daily prayers with the wispy smoke of incense sticks all around. A particular highlight is the imposing golden stupa in the central area of the temple.
Next, it’s back into the songthaews to retrace our steps down the mountain and within the walls of the old city. Millions of Thais visit Chiang Mai for the many iconic, ancient temples of the old city. We’ll stop first at Wat Chedi Luang – a crumbling temple complex in the historic centre of the city, before also visiting Wat Pan Tao.
Wat Pan Tao is known for its exquisite Lanna-style ordination hall (Wihan), entirely made of teakwood, complete with intricate designs, and decorated with all manner of Buddhist imagery. The sacred Phan Tao Buddha image is enshrined in the hall.
The final stop for the day is Warorot market, tucked up on the banks of the Ping River that runs through the city. Warorot has long been the lifeblood of the city – a hub for all locals to buy food, homewares, clothes, and all manner of local handicrafts. Observe the hustle and bustle of a Southeast Asian market and try some of the delicious local delicacies. The vast flower market is a particular highlight for visitors.