The Heart and Soul of Chiang Mai
The Warorot and Ton Lamyai Markets
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your trip named the Heart and Soul of Chiang Mai. First, we will drive to the most famous markets of Chiang Mai, the adjoining Warorot and Ton Lamyai markets in the Kad Luang complex on the Ping River. You will hear the story of the devastating fire that destroyed the needs in 1968. Close to the markets is a Chinese temple that we will visit as well. This area is known as the Chinatown of Chiang Mai. We will walk around this vast, vibrant market that we have nicknamed “the beating heart of Chiang Mai.” We will take you through the backstreets to the Hmong market, where beautiful traditional dresses and tribal souvenirs are for sale.
Chiang Mai’s living heritage: the samlor
The Warorot Market is also where most of the remaining samlors (bicycle taxis) are based. Once there were hundreds of them on Chiang Mai’s streets, but now only about 40 are left. We support these “iron men” of Chiang Mai, so we have included a relaxing samlor ride this morning for a half-hour ride. The drivers are not young, but in excellent shape, so please don’t be embarrassed to take a seat. They will highly appreciate your support. They will bring us to Wat Chiang Man, the first Royal Temple. From there, we will continue the ride to Wat Phra Singh, another temple dating back to the 14th century. Here a monk will bless you in a short ceremony. We end the ride at Wat Chedi Luang, the giant stupa that dominates the old city.
The Temple on the Mountain: the Heart and Soul of Chiang Mai
We will continue to Doi Suthep, the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai, to visit the most famous temple in North Thailand: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We walk up the famous Naga staircase to this magnificent temple, where you have a fantastic view of the city and its surroundings. Your guide will tell you about the temple’s history and Kruba Srivichai, the monk whose followers constructed the road to the temple in 1935. Chiang Mai people consider the mountain sacred and worship Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the heart and soul of Chiang Mai. Very few people leave Chiang Mai without visiting the mountain temple.
Doi Pui Hmong village and the Family Coffee Brewery
After visiting the temple, we will continue further up the mountain to see the Hmong village Doi Pui, where we will have lunch in a local restaurant. The Hmong people are an ethnic minority that migrated from China to Thailand. We will walk through the village to the Family Coffee brewery owned by Neng, a Hmong man, and his family. The brewery has a coffee shop with a lovely view over the village and the mountains. We will spend some time learning about coffee, which has become an essential cash crop introduced by the Royal Project for the Hmong.
Wat Pha Lat, Chiang Mai’s forest temple
Then it is time to descend the mountain to Wat Pha Lat, the “jungle temple” of Chiang Mai. The “Ho Phra Chao Rin Nam” is of particular interest. This Burmese-style building was reconstructed in 2019. This temple was in poor shape for many years, but it has become increasingly popular in the past ten years. The young and active abbot, who can be seen working and managing at the temple grounds, certainly has been a factor in this. We will spend some time at this beautiful place before we bring you back to your hotel. We hope you have enjoyed visiting the Heart and Soul of Chiang Mai.
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