Chiang Mai Highlights
Duration: 5 Hours 30 Minutes
Overview: Starting along the banks of the Ping River, get an introduction to Thai culture. Pass through a former leprosarium, now a home for the elderly and a rehabilitation centre for the disabled. Along the river admire the colonial style white and cream buildings that include a church and hospital. Continue through shady quiet country lanes passing beautiful traditional teak houses and men fishing in the Ping River. Stop for a rest, some fruit and a cool drink under the shade of 100-year-old trees. Next explore the 13th century city of Wiang Khum Kham, excavated in the 1980s after being buried under mud from the river. Most of the sites are ruined chedis. Back to Chiang Mai's old city through Tha Pae Gate and stop at Somphet market.
City and Temple Tour
Duration: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Overview: King Mengrai founded the old city of Chiang Mai in 1296 with the full name of Nopburi Sri Nakawan Ping Chiang Mai. It formed the core of his kingdom of Lanna, which fell to the Burmese in 1556. It came into Siamese control in 1775 as a semi-independent state and came under Bangkok rule in 1938. This long and varied history is evident within the old town walls. Chiang Mai counts over 300 temples - during the tour entrance is limited to a couple of salient ones. Wat Phra Singh is the largest and containing several fine wood carved buildings. Wat Chedi Luang was a former home to the Emerald Buddha. The chedi used to stand 90 meters and is now being restored after the earthquake of 1545 that cut it down to its present size. Graceful Wat Chiang Man is the oldest of the temples, once home to King Mengrai. Wat Suan Dok is the royal funery temple.
City Tour & Doi Suthep
Duration: 4 Hours
Overview: Visit Chiang Mai's most interesting Buddhist temple, the 600 year old Wat Phra That Doi Suthep perched 1053 metres above sea-level on Doi Suthep mountainside. The final ascent to the site is via a magnificent Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase of 306 step (alternatively for a small extra cost the temple can be reached by a cable-lift). Inside is an intriguing copper-plated chedi topped by a five-tier golf umbrella which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. You can also enjoy incomparable views over the city of Chiang Mai. Other temples include Wat Suan Dok whose large central stupa contains a Buddha relic and where the ashes of Chiang Mai's Royal Family are interred; Wat Chedi Luang where the Emerald Buddha was once enshrined; and Wat Phra Singh, housing a very sacred 1,500 year old Buddha image.
Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill Tribe
Duration: 3 hours 30 Minutes
Overview: Of the several groups of Hmong Hill tribes the Blue and White Hmong are the most predominant in Thailand. These groups are distinguished by the color of their costume. Learn about lifestyle. Enjoy a spectacular view of Northern Thailand driving through mountains and forests culminating with a visit to 600 years old Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, overlooking Chiang Mai at an elevation of 1053 meters above sea-level. The final climb to the site is via a magnificent Naga (dragon-headed serpents) staircase of 306 steps (alternatively for a small extra cost by a cable-lift). Inside is an intriguing copper-plated chedi topped by a five-tier gold umbrella which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. You can also enjoy great views over the city and valley of Chiang Mai.
Elephant & Rafting Tour
Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: Enjoy a scenic drive north to Doi Chiang Dao, the third highest peak in Thailand (7500 ft). In the shadow of the mountain lies the Elephant Training Centre, where a daily display shows elephants lifting and maneuvering logs, once a mainstay of their employment in the formerly rich teak forests of Thailand and Myanmar. A favorite for visitors is bath-time in the river. After the show, take an hour's safari through the jungle on your large grey mount, and then enjoy a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, float down the Ping River on a bamboo raft for approximately one hour. On the return journey to Chiang Mai, stop by an orchid farm. Thailand sports around 1300 species of this exotic and colorful plant.
Elephant Safari, Rafting & Longneck Hill Tribe
Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: The tour begins on the route to Mae Ta Maan Elephant Camp, 56 kms north of Chiang Mai. Observe how trained elephants are used as working animals in teak forests. See elephants bathing in the river, working in the jungle, elephant painting, dragging and pushing logs and responding to commands. Take an elephant ride for an hour through the jungle, making a stop at the Lisu Hilltribe Village whose inhabitants originate from Tibet. In the afternoon continue the trip on a bamboo raft along the Mae Taeng River for 45 minutes. Drive to visit the Long Neck Karen or Padong tribe. The women wear several brass rings around their long, slender necks. Padong originate from Shan state in the Union of Myanmar. Also visit the Palong tribe, the smallest group found in Thailand. Women of this tribe dress in colorful costumes.
The Flight of the Gibbon
Duration: 7 Hours
Overview: Located in ancient forests about an hour's drive from Chiang Mai, this beautiful place offers the best environment for a thrilling experience in the quiet majesty of the rain forest ecosystem. Take an exhilarating flight through a 1500 year-old rainforest high above the forest floor. You zip-line easily from tree to tree on a spectacular and gradual downhill course, taking time to linger in your favorite places, soaking up the fragrance, clean air and animal life. Our safety team accompanies you and teaches you how to move through the trees with the speed and grace of a young gibbon. This old growth forest supports a huge range of plant, animal and bird life. The fixtures are expertly designed and engineered by Australian and New Zealand specialists and 10% of profits go directly to conservation projects.