The Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Tour

This is a private tour. In 2023 we hopefully have a Loy Krathong Festival that is similar to the festival as it took place in 2019 and the years before. This is a sample program without price. You can book your own hotel or we can book it for you. Of course, we can customize your trip. Please let us know.  We are looking forward to an amazing festival!

The Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Tour

Day 1: Sunday, November 26,  2023

Wat Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain

Our guide and driver will meet you at the airport (morning flight) or hotel. It is the start of your Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Tour. The nationwide Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most popular and colorful festivals in Chiang Mai. Today is the first day of the Loy Krathong Festival aka the Yee Peng Festival in the north.

Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat

We continue to enjoy lunch at a wonderful restaurant that specializes in northern Thai food. After lunch, we will drive to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the magnificent “must-see” temple on the mountain. Your guide will explain the tenets of Buddhism while you will participate in a religious ceremony. The view deck of the temple offers a great view of Chiang Mai and its surroundings. We will descend the mountain and visit Wat Pha Lat, a beautiful temple complex in the forests of Doi Suthep Mountain. Of particular interest is the colonial-style building Ho Prachao Rim Nam, which has been restored by the Fine Arts Department.

The Lantern procession

Return to Chiang Mai to check into your hotel for the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 1730. Walk to the Three Kings Monument and join the festivities. There will be dancing performances and probably a lantern procession. This evening you will have to be flexible with your dinnertime. Your guide will advise you of one of our favorite restaurants.
Return to the hotel. Overnight at De Lanna Hotel or a hotel of your choice.

Day 2: Monday, November 27, 2023

Celebrate Loy Krathong in Lamphun

Visit Wiang Kum, the “Atlantis of Chiang Mai”

Today is the full moon day of the wonderful festival of lights which we chose to celebrate in Lamphun, about 30km south of Chiang Mai. Prepare yourself for a long day. We start the day with a visit to Wat Phra Singh. This is probably Chiang Mai’s most revered temple. Wat Phra Sing currently houses Phra Chao Thong Tip, the most venerated Buddha statue in northern Thailand. From Wat Phra Singh, we make our way to Wat Chedi Luang with its giant chedi. An earthquake in 1545 damaged the chedi. In the early 1990s, the Fine Arts Department reconstructed Wat Chedi Luang, partially financed by UNESCO and the Japanese government.

Next to Wat Chedi Luang is Wat Phantao, which is a beautiful wooden temple.

Then, visit the ruined city of Wiang Kum Kam. King Mengrai founded Wiang Kum Kam in 1282, just 14 years before the foundation of Chiang Mai. The location of Wiang Kum Kam was prone to flooding so the king decided to move his capital to another location, further away from the Ping River. They excavated most of the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam in the 1980s. We will tour the most interesting temple ruins by horse cart and learn about the fascinating history of “The Atlantis of Chiang Mai”.

Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat

We continue to enjoy lunch at a wonderful restaurant that specializes in northern Thai food. After lunch, we will drive to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the magnificent “must-see” temple on the mountain. Your guide will explain the tenets of Buddhism while you will participate in a religious ceremony. The view deck of the temple offers a great view of Chiang Mai and its surroundings. We will descend the mountain and visit Wat Pha Lat, a beautiful temple complex in the forests of Doi Suthep Mountain. Of particular interest is the colonial-style building Ho Prachao Rim Nam, which has been restored by the Fine Arts Department.

Enjoy the Loy Krathong Festival tour in Lamphun

After this, it is time for our Loy Krathong Festival Lampun Tour! We will slowly make our way to the small town of Lamphun, which predates Chiang Mai. Its oldest religious structure is Wat Ku Kut aka Wat Chamathewi with its two brick towers with Buddha images. We will try to be there around sunset. We will have to be flexible.

Dinner tonight will be a walking buffet on your own costs around Wat Hariphunchai and the Mae Kuang River where most of the Loy Krathong action will take place. There will be many food stalls in front of the temple and on the Mae Kuang River. Wat Hariphunchai is decorated with hundreds of colorful lanterns, a fantastic sight. Even though there will be many people in the festival area it never felt crowded and oppressed.

We will spend time in this area and also will watch the parade that starts at 2000. During the festivities, you will see sky lanterns go up and we will invite you to release one of these and join local people to float a krathong on the Mae Kuang River as well. When you are ready to go back to Chiang Mai, which is a 30km drive. We will drop you off at the Hotel De Lanna or the hotel of your choice.

More images of this great festival are below!

I shot this video during the Loy Krathong festivities on the Mae Kuang River close to Wat Haripunchai in Lamphun on November 9, 2022

Day 3: Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Doi Inthanon, the Roof of Thailand

The summit and the short Angka Nature Trail

This is a private tour. Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 0700 for your trip to Doi Inthanon National Park. Today you will hike the famous Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand (2,565 m). It became a national park in 1972. The park has the highest diversity of forest types and bird species of all national parks in the country. Doi Inthanon National Park is famous for its many, spectacular waterfalls.

We will drive up to the summit of Doi Inthanon, where we will first visit the Shrine of King Inthawichayanon after whom the mountain has been named. Very close to the shrine is the short but beautiful Angka Nature Trail. At this elevation of the mountain evergreen forest is prevalent.

The fantastic Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail

After we have hiked the Angka Nature Trail we descend towards the nearby Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail. This trail is only open in the dry season. It is the most popular trail in the park and for good reason. A local guide of the Hmong tribe will accompany us because they manage the trail. You don’t need a guide but it gives the local people some extra income. The trail starts with a lovely walk through the evergreen forest to a view deck. From this viewpoint, the trail continues along a steep ridge with magnificent views over Mae Chaem and the Mae Pan River valley. Don’t worry, the trail is very safe. We will hike at a leisurely pace so we have plenty of time to enjoy the amazing views.

After we have finished hiking the Kew Mae Pan Nature Trail, we will briefly visit the two Royal chedis. They constructed these chedis to honor the 60th birthday anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1987, and the 60th birthday anniversary of Queen Sirikit in 1992, respectively. After this, it is time for lunch which we will enjoy at a local restaurant.

Baan Mae Klang Luang and thundering waterfalls

Having finished our lunch we will continue to the Vachirathan waterfall. Along the way, we will stop at the Khun Klang market where the Hmong people sell products from the Royal Project. The Royal Project (1969) is a non-profit organization, founded by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. It aimed to solve the problems of deforestation, poverty, and opium cultivation by promoting alternative crops in Thailand. We will also briefly stop at the Karen village Baan Mae Klang Luang to taste their delicious coffee. The Karen and the Hmong have been living in this area for a long time.

Last but not least is the thundering Vachirathan aka Wachirathan Waterfall, which is the most famous waterfall in the park. After this, we will drive back to Chiang Mai. Overnight will be at Hotel De Lanna or the hotel of your choice.

Day 4: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Free morning. Checkout time is noon. It’s the end of your Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Tour.
We will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight.
End of the program

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At this moment, this tour is on request. It will go on sale soon. If you are interested, please send us an email: info@chiangmai-alacarte.com