Thailand10A brief introduction to Chiang Mai - the chief city of Northern Thailand as well as the major gateway to the hill tribe villages & Doi Suthep Mountain Monastery. Enjoy the elephant safari in the Maetaeng Elephant Park. Visit Doi Mae Salong - the successful settlement of the former Chinese Kuomintang, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai-Tachileik (Thai-Myanmar border) and the Golden Triangle once a hotbed of the opium trade legal and illicit.

 Route: Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep, Elephant Park, Doi Mae Salong, Golden Triangle and Chiang Rai

 

check16 Inclusive:

• Accommodation 4 nights with daily breakfast
• 2 lunches & 2 dinners (one with show)
• Tours & all entrance fees
• Transfers & transportation in air-conditioned mini-van
• Services of an English or Thai or Chinese speaking guide

stop16

 Exclusive:

• Airfare & airport taxes
• Use of hotel mini bar, laundry & phone-calls
• Drinks at meals other than what is served at table

 

noteItinerary:

 Day 1: Chiang Mai - Arrival (Dinner)

Arrive in Chiang Mai airport, meet and transfer to hotel. Orientation tour of Chiang Mai city visiting the old city moats, bastions and walls, a fruit market, a couple of the most important temples like Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Suan Dok, and other sights. If the monks are gathered under the tamarind tree at any of these temples they welcome visitors chatting with them about Buddhism, Thai culture and history, or their daily life in the temple. Be picked up at your hotel at 7pm for the khantoke dinner with northern Thai and hill tribe cultural show. Return to your hotel at 9.30pm or drop off at the Night Bazaar which has a wide range of handicraft and souvenirs as well as coffee cafes, money-exchange booths, restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours and health massage places for foot and traditional massages. Overnight in hotel, Chiang Mai.

Day 2: Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Mountain Monastery (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Be picked up for the tour up the mountain of Doi Suthep to visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep with its golden chedi, fine views of Chiang Mai below, the small museum of Lanna-style amulets, votive tablets and Buddha images. Be sure to ring all the bronze bells surrounding the main chedi for merit and good luck. Return to hotel and be at leisure to relax by the pool, or go out and explore Chiang Mai on foot or go for a health massage.
Overnight in hotel, Chiang Mai.

Day 3: Chiang Mai - Elephant Park - Doi Mae Salong (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. Today learn a whole lot about elephants at the Chiang Dao Elephant Park. Be picked up at your hotel at 8am to go to the park 50km north of Chiang Mai. There are about 40 elephants free-ranging in this park. You can see them taking their bath, feed them and ride on them for a romp into the jungle. Ride an ox-cart to where the elephants are corralled for the elephant safari. Then have lunch before cruising downriver on a bamboo raft to where your vehicle waits to take you farther north into Chiang Rai province, driving through teakwood forests, mountain ranges and valleys via Thaton to Doi Mae Salong. In 1949 the Kuomintang army of Chiang Kai-Shek retreated from the communist army of Mao Tse-Tung to find refuge in Myanmar. After two years they were told to leave, and so with their packed mules the whole KMT community wandered over the mountains into Mae Salong where they were allowed to settle by the Thai government on the condition that they prevent communist infiltration into northern Thailand. From the beginning as an opium fiefdom they have gained respectability by changing from growing opium to cash crop cultivation. Today this settlement's most famous product is the high grade Oolong tea, flowers, vegetables and fresh fruits and preserved fruits. Dinner of Yunnanese cuisine at the Mae Salong Villa restaurant.
Overnight in hotel, Doi Mae Salong.

Day 4: Doi Mae Salong - Golden Triangle - Chiang Rai (Breakfast/Lunch)

Breakfast at the hotel. Depart from your hotel in the morning to tour the Golden Triangle area and the Thai-Burmese border at Mae Sai. Along the way visit an Akha and a Lisu hill tribe village. Visit Mae Sai, across which is Burmese Tachileik linked by a concrete bridge to Thailand. Continue the tour to the Golden Triangle where the three borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet. Have a cup of arabica coffee after visiting the Big Golden Buddha monument while gazing across the Mekong River at the low hills of Laos. Learn something about the history of opium and its trade in the Golden Triangle in former days in the small Opium Museum. Proceed to ancient Chiang Saen by driving along the west bank of the Mekong River to ancient Chiang Saen. Visit the very old temple of Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Prathat Chom Kitti as well as around this ancient town before continuing the journey to Chiang Rai. Check into hotel. Stroll in the small Night Market for souvenirs and a snack while enjoying the free stage show and singing here. Overnight in hotel, Chiang Rai.

Day 5: Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai - Departure (Breakfast)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive back to Chiang Mai by a different route, through Wiang Pa Pao, Mae Kajarn hotspring, Si Saket and into Chiang Mai – a drive of about two-and-a-half hours through lovely mountain scenery. Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, drop off at airport or at your pre-booked hotel.

End of Programme