Culture Tour (details) Chiang Mai is an historical city (Chiang Mai's 700th Anniversary was indeed celebrated in 1996) with a distinct beauty and heritage of its own. Blending Burmese, Laotian and Indian culture, the Lanna culture is unique. In addition to special dishes found only in the North, the people of Chiang Mai have their own dialect, their own customs and their own Lanna architecture, immediately recognizable on the ancient temples that can be seen everywhere in the city. (...)
Nature Tour (details) With an abundance of mountains, forests (cf.Western Road), valleys, waterfalls, caves, lakes and parks that can be found in the area, Chiang Mai abounds in natural beauty. The natural attractions of the city are indeed popular tourist destinations. In addition, if merely contemplating nature leaves you yawning, you may want to consider elephant treks through the jungle or river rafting(...)
Shopping Tour (details) When shopping in Chiang Mai, one must consider the many handicrafts that are part of the city's history. Sah paper umbrellas, delicate ceramics and celadons, dazzling gems and jewellery, silverware of all sorts, lacquerware with intricate design, thai silk, woodcarvings, antiques and semi-antiques, furnitures,... - Whatever you're looking for, you'll surely find a buy in Chiang Mai that you will be pleased with. (...)
Doi Suthep Route (details) An afternoon heading for Doi Suthep - the holy hill west of Chiang Mai - on an steep road meandering for 12 km (7.5 miles) up the flanks of the mountain ('Doi'). On the way, we stop at the popular Kruba Srivichai Monument. Back from Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, you drive onto a road wich mounts through pine forest to Phuping Palace, a summer residence of the royal family, on Doi Buak Ha, 22 kms from town. The beautiful flower gardens (cf. Nature Tour) are open to the public from Friday to Sunday. After that, you climb inside a 'songtheow' (red pick-up converted into local taxi) and continue about 3Km to the Meo tribal village of Doi Pui - wich will give you vignettes of modern hilltribe life.
Northern Route (details) A half day tour along the Mae Rim- Samoeng route, inside the Mae Sa Valley, starting with a visit to the PONG YANG ELEPHANT TRAINING CAMP -30 kms from town, where elephants demonstrate their formidable and highly valued forestry skills. Back on the road, you head for the Mae Sa Waterfalls, an eight level waterfall wich occupies a tranquil setting amid gigantic trees. Your next attraction is the Mae Sa Butterfly Farm, wich raises a large variety of beautifull butterflies in a spacious garden. The farm also provides opportunities for visitors to admire plenty of exotic continuously blooming orchids. You have the option to make a stop at the Chiang Mai Snake Farm to observe - in safety - dangerous reptiles.
Western Route (details) A full day tour starting out on Highway 108 heading toward Hod. Your first stop is a few kilometres away from town at woodcarving and lacquerware shops. The shopping area which also contains many ceramic, silver and bamboo crafts stores, continues until Km. 15. These shops provide you with the opportunity to observe woodcarvings and neo-antiques being made. You may also purchase these items at inexpensive wholesale prices. The next stop on the highway is 58 kms southwest of Chiang Mai, at Chom Thong, home of the handsome Wat (Temple) Prathat Si Chom Thong. After the visit to Chom Thong's temple you will return to the highway and follow the road to Doi Inthanon National Park, a 1,005 square kilometre area which includes Thailand's highest mountain and areas of dense virgin rain forest. Some 7 kms down the road, you will stop at the lovely Mae Klang Falls, Chiang Mai most photographed waterfall. These falls are located at the foot of Doi Inthanon National Park. Some 45 minutes later, you will arrive at the highest point in Thailand, 2,595 meters (8,514 ft) above sea level. Located at the summit is a shrine to Chao Inthanon, a former prince of Chiang Mai. You can stop for the view, take a short nature walk through the rain forest and then go back down the mountain to Km. 41 where two remarkable chedi have been recently built to honour King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.
Eastern Route (details) A day trip along the road to Sankampaeng and its famous Hot Springs. The day starts with shopping along a 13 km stretch of the road lined by handicrafts factories and shops where you have the opportunity to observe the craftsmen at work and purchase their fine products. Just 30 minutes on down the road you can go to the Sankampaeng Hot Springs. The hot springs boil continously and emit a strong smell of sulpur. You can also enjoy watching the thermal geysers rising inside the beautifully landscaped flower gardens within the park area.
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