Chiang Mai Tours in the 1960s

Chiang Mai tours

Chiang Mai Tours in the 1960s

Since the early days of tourism in Chiang Mai the variety of Chiang Mai tours has increased enormously. Some of the earliest touroperators were Sri Nakorn Ping tourism and Tommy’s Tourist Agency, based in the Railway Hotel, which used to be opposite the railway station. In a brochure of the mid-60s the tours that were on offer were the following tours:

Sightseeing Tours

Chiang Mai tours
A half day tour to Wat Doi Suthep, Huay Kaew arboretum and waterfalls, Chiang Mai Zoo and a Forest Experimental Station. Seems a bit much for half a day.

Tour no.2 took tourist to the home industries in Bo Sang and San Kamphaeng

Chiang Mai Tours
Tour to the Home Industries of San Kamphaeng and Bo Sang. It is possible that you could do a number of these shops/factories in half a day with the light traffic in those days. The third tour was a half day Chiang Mai temple tour that featured Wat Phra Singh, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Suan Dok, Wat Ku Tao and Wat Yet Yod as well as a temple called here “Wat Kaow Tue”….Even with light traffic this was a packed program.

 

Chiang Mai Tours
Temple tour of Chiang Mai.

Tour no.4 took you to the “hand-loom” weaving town of Lamphun, famous for Wat Hariphunchai and to Pasang, the “town of beautiful women”. It was a full day tour.

 

Chiang Mai Tours
Tour to Lamphun and Pasang.

Tribal and Elephant Tours

Tour no.5 was a full day trip with visits to a Meo (Hmong) village, about two hours from Wat Doi Suthep, and to a Lisu (lisaw) village south of Phrao. The third village was a Karen village in Hot district. This must have a day with a lot of driving.

Chiang Mai tours
These were the pre-trekking days.

Tour no.6 featured the Mae Sa Waterfalls, the Chiang Dao Cave, the Mae Faek Irrigation Project and Elephants at Work in Chiang Dao. In those days elephants were really still at work in the forests. These were probably the early days of Chiang Dao Elephant Camp. The logging ban in Thailand dates back to 1989.

Chiang Mai tours
Full day trip to Chiang Dao.

Tour no.7 was a full day tour to the Doi Inthanon area and Ob Luang. It included visits to Karen and Lawa villages as well as visit to the “Grand Canyon” (Ob Luang Gorge) and to the Mae Klang waterfalls. In those days the Mae Klang waterfalls were probably the only falls that could be visited. I suppose that was as far as the road took you. Doi Inthanon became a national park in 1972, Ob Luang in 1991. Other attractions on this tour were Wat Prathat Sri Chomtong and “a beautiful High-Way”, that was likely just completed.

Chiang Mai tour
Early Doi Inthanon and Ob Luang tour.

 

The last tour featured at Phra Phutthabat Tak Pha and a White Karen village near Pa Sang, south of Lamphun.

Chiang Mai Tours
Tour to Karen village and Pa Sang.

These were the early Chiang Mai tours. It was not until the 70s that trekking became popular in Chiang Mai. Tommy’s Tourist Agency looked like a professional outfit. Their vehicles were Volkswagen vans.

Chiang Mai Tours
Staff and drivers of Tommie’s Tourist Agency.
Frans