Chiang Mai Private tours

Thapae Gate dancing girls Chiang Mai Private tours

We offer a wide range of day and multiple day Chiang Mai private tours on this website. We offer all kinds of tours: cultural tours, samlor tours, temple tours, historical tours, culinary tours, trekking tours, family tours, festival tours, handicraft tours, tribal culture tours, Buddhism tours, national park tours and special interest tours. In this article we will give a number of suggestions and examples of these kind of tours.

three palm trees and Wat Chedi Liam Chiang Mai private tours
Wat Chedi Liam. Picture by Roy Cavanagh

Cultural Tours

We are determined to promote and preserve Lanna Culture, the culture of Northern Thailand. For centuries North Thailand has been an independent kingdom. Between roughly 1558 and 1774 is was part of a Burmese kingdom. Only in the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century a Thai kingdom, centered on Bangkok, slowly stamped its authority on the North. Still there is a very strong Northern Thai identity in architecture, dance, music and culinary traditions. If you really are interested in Lanna architecture Lampang is a great place to go.

Samlor Tours

The samlor, which literally means “three wheels”, is the traditional bicycle taxi. The samlor unfortunately is threatened with extinction. As late as the 1970s there were a couple of hundred samlors in Chiang Mai. The samlor has made space for cars, tuk tuks and other motorized vehicles. The samlor is part of Chiang Mai heritage and should not disappear. That is also the mission of our sister brand Chiang Mai on Three Wheels.

Chiang Mai Private tours Tourists bargaining with samlors
Tourists bargaining with samlors

Temple Tours

The standard Chiang Mai private tours include visits to Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang. There are lots of other very interesting temples in Chiang Mai and surroundings. We just mention Wat Umong, Wat Doi Kham, Wat Suandok, Wat Lok Molee and Wat Jet Yod. If you have a little bit more time and are interested in Buddhism a visit to one of these temples we can highly recommend. Don’t miss Wat Srisuphan, the silver temple.

Old chedi of Wat Sribunreuang Mae Sariang
Wat Sribunreuang Mae Sariang

Historical Tours

There are a lot more historical building than only temples in Chiang Mai. There are heritage houses, churches, traditional teakwooden houses and so on. For some time we have been doing historical walks. We also did some customized Chiang Mai tours for relatives of people who worked for the British teak logging firms before World War Two. Chiang Mai also has a lot of American Missionary history that few people know about. The Prince Royal College has a museum and the Dara Academy too. Both are schools that were founded more than 100 years ago by American missionaries.

Wat Lampang Luang front with blue sky Chiang Mai private tours
Wat Lampang Luang front

Culinary Tours

Chiang Mai has many cooking schools and fantastic markets. We will not only take you to a cooking school but also know where the best markets are. We will take you to rice fields and fruit orchards. We will show you where your food is coming from. Our sister company Chiang Mai on Three Wheels offers a great half day culinary tour by samlor. You will sample eight snacks at local markets and shops.

Fruit for sale on Chiang Mai Markets
Chiang Mai Markets

Trekking tours

As a trekking destination Chiang Mai has been somewhat overlooked. The best trekking is right at our doorstep in Doi Suthep/Doi Pui National Park. The one day trek from Doi Pui Hmong village to another Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai is the best day trek you can do. If you have a bit more time we really recommend an overnight stay in the Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai. Scenery is fantastic and hiking around the village is superb. Our Historic Opium Trail trekking is a great program.

Saying good bye to the host family at Palong village Chiang Mai private tours
Saying good bye to the host family

Family Tours

We have lots of experience with Chiang Mai private Tours for families. Every family has different needs and requirements. We can customize your family trip and can add lots of interesting activities for the young ones. These tours are educational and also fun. Our sister company Green Trails offers many different active tours for the family. A good example is the All in the Family tour, a soft adventure trip for the whole family.

Kids and guide on trekking
Chiang Mai Family Tours

Festival Tours

Festival Tours are our specialty. We offer many Loy Krathong tours, private as well as join-in. Loy Krathong is not the only festival we promote. We love Songkran. Other great festivals are the Flower festival, the Poy Sang Long Ceremony, the Lamyai Festival (Lamphun) and the fantastic Salak Yom Festival. There are many other small festivals and events in Chiang Mai and North Thailand.

Kom Loy Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Festival
Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Festival

Handicrafts Tours

Chiang Mai is the handicraft capital of Thailand, no doubt about it. We will take you to handicraft factories where few people go. We will not take you to commercialized handicraft places but have selected a number of places where sa paper, celadon, pottery, umbrella’s and parasols are still being handmade. You might not want to miss out on the atelier and museum of Petch Viriya, the master carver of wooden elephants. Try our Old Handicrafts of Chiang Mai tour.

Wooden elephants stacked up
Ban Jang Nak, home of the elephant wood carver

Tribal Culture Tours

North Thailand is home to many ethnic minority groups. The so-called Hill Tribes are ethnic minorities but there are also lesser known groups such as the Tai Lüe, Tai Yuan, Tai Ya, Kachin, Lawa and Pa-O amongst others. All these groups have their own fascinating characteristics in their customs and traditional dress. We offer a Tribal Photography Tour but can also customize tours to any of the other ethnic groups. Our sister company Green Trails has experience with organizing tribal textile tours.

Chiang Dao Lisu village Chiang Mai private tours
Lisu village Chiang Dao

Buddhism Tours

If you are specifically interested in Buddhism we have extensive contacts to organize customised tours to temples, meditation centers, Buddhist Universities and so on. We can organize lectures, retreats and meetings with monks and experts on Buddhism.

National Park Tours

There are many national parks in North Thailand. Doi Inthanon National Park is probably the most well known. We offer several tours such as the “Doi Inthanon, the Roof of Thailand” day tour. There are other national parks such as Doi Khuntan. This kind of overlooked national park is worth visiting. It is one of the few parks through which a railroad runs. Huay Nam Dang National park offers one of the classic trekking routes. Don’t forget Doi Suthep/Doi Pui National Park.

Kiw Mae Pan Nature Trail tourists on view deck Chiang Mai private tours
View deck Kiw Mae Pan Nature Trail

Special Interest Tours

We are the specialist of customized tours in Chiang Mai and North Thailand. If you have any special interest such as stone carving; paper flowers; tribal textiles; Lanna culture; temple architecture; history of the Teak Industry in North Thailand; any specific hill tribe or minority group; any specific festival; botanical gardens; Burmese legacy in Chiang Mai; Northern Thai food, rice cultivation; American missionary history or any other: please contact us. We will put together a customized tour for you.

Salak Yom Festival. Dance group. Picture by Frans Betgem
  • Chiang Mai a la Carte is always looking for the unique places, small restaurants, lesser-visited markets, hidden temples and special events that will make your visit out of the ordinary. We will make sure you will meet people, learn about daily life, customs and traditions, history, religion and culture and makes an extra effort to make your experience unforgettable.

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Let us create a fantastic experience just for you

  • Chiang Mai a la Carte is always looking for the unique places, small restaurants, lesser-visited markets, hidden temples and special events that will make your visit out of the ordinary. We will make sure you will meet people, learn about daily life, customs and traditions, history, religion and culture and makes an extra effort to make your experience unforgettable.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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