Lanna is the given name of a prosperous self ruling kingdom, once the power base of the whole of Northern Thailand as well as parts of present day Burma (Myanmar) & Laos. The rich culture and history owe much to the influence of Burma and, to a certain extent Laos. Still found in northern temples is the script of Lanna, which is probably the original Thai script and thought to be based on Mon. A similar script is still in use today by the Shan people. Lanna is completely different from other provinces of Thailand in cuisine, culture and custom.
Day 1: Arrival - Chiang Mai. On arrival at Chiang Mai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. In spite of Chiang Mai being the second largest city in Thailand and the modern capital of the north, the friendliness of the people, the vibrant night bazaar, the interesting old town and the international feel never seems to fail to captivate travelers. No activities planned for this afternoon; however our guide is on hand to advise some available options. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 2: Chiang Mai. Today we spend a full day seeing some major sights of Chiang Mai. After a short drive we embark on a walk to the famous Doi Suthep Mountain, leading us to the magnificent temple of Wat Prathat near the summit. At an elevation of over 1,000 m, the temple grounds affords a panoramic view over the surrounding countryside. We follow this with a visit to the old and new parts of the town featuring the great diversity. The “Rose of the North”, Chiang Mai has been always noted for exquisite handicrafts whose the combination with the traditional wares of the hill tribe people offers fantastic shopping opportunities. Heading out of town we drive to the neighboring villages of Sankampaeng and Borsarng to see the various cottages industries including silk weaving, wood carving, silver ware and umbrellas making as a highlight of this evening we visit the vibrant night market, which is full of local treasures. Overnight in Chiang Mai. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Chiang Mai – Chiang Dao – Chiang Mai. Upon leaving the town we set off on an hour and half drive to the northern hill region around Chiang Dao, which is home to a wide array of hill tribe groups. The roads conditions are very poor; however the breathtaking mountain scenery makes for an interesting journey. Along the way we stop at an elephant camp to see these huge animals handling timber before we enjoy an exciting elephant ride through the forest to the hill tribe villages. We get well off the beaten track as we walk around the area, visiting the Red Lahu, Lisu, Karen and Akha people. These ethnic minorities still retain their age old cultural traditions, and are recognizably distinct from each other by their dress. Overnight in Chiang Mai. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Chiang Mai – Departure. There is a free time for your own exploration of the town and strolling through some shopping areas. The trip ends after transfer to airport for departure. Includes: (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Thailand History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey