The samlor, Chiang Mai’s living heritage
Your guide will meet you at your hotel for your Chiang Mai Handicrafts tour. This is a private tour. You will be the only guests on this tour. Transfer to Wat Loi Kroh where your bicycle taxi (samlor) is waiting for you. Our tour today will focus mainly on a neighbourhood outside the old city. About 200 years ago people from Chiang Saen and the Chiang Tung area (now Kengtung of Kyaingtong in Shan State in Myanmar) settled. It is an interesting story.
Start a relaxing ride through the backstreets of Chiang Mai. First stop will be Wat Loi Kroh, an interesting temple not very often visited by tourists. Chiang Mai used to have an outer wall which is called Kamphaeng Din (earthen wall) by locals. We follow the outer city wall for a while and then head for Wat Nantharam. This temple is in the centre of the old lacquerware area. It houses a small lacquerware museum.
Authentic lacquerware shops
We will also visit a shop where lacquerware is still being produced in the traditional way. From here we continue to Wat Muen San, the lesser-known “silver temple” of Chiang Mai. We are now in the silver neighbourhood. Two centuries ago these craft artisans came from Shan State. We visit a silver crafts shop and the small museum in Wat Muen San which will have some surprises for you.
From there we continue to the magnificent Wat Srisuphan with its silver when. If you are lucky you can see silver craftsmen at work. Continue to the interesting Chiang Mai Gate Market. Here the samlor tour ends. We say goodbye to our drivers. It is time for a refreshment and some exploring of this bustling market before we continue our Chiang Mai handicrafts tour.
Wooden elephants at Baan Jang Nak
We will continue our tour on four wheels instead of three…..Drive to Sankamphaeng district where we will have lunch in a typical Northern Thai restaurant, Huen Jai Yong. After lunch, we will visit Baan Jang Nak, the workshop of the most famous carver of wooden elephants. In Northern Thai language Baan Jang Nak means “House of many elephants”. It really is an amazing place. You will elephant statues in all sizes, of wood and concrete.
Phet Wiriya’s family originally hails from Muang Yong, now in Shan State in Myanmar. After this, we will visit a factory where bronze statues are being produced. These are statues of historical persons, monks as well as of Buddha. Bor Sang is famous for parasols and umbrellas. We will visit one of the smaller establishments that produce beautiful, colourful parasols and umbrellas. Last stop will be a sa paper factory where the paper is produced from the bark of the mulberry tree. It is the last stop of our Chiang Mai Handicrafts tour. We will drive back to Chiang Mai.