Loy Krathong Immersion tour
Day 1: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Our guide and driver will meet you at the airport or hotel. If you arrive by plane, your flight has to come before noon.
It is the start of your Loy Krathong Immersion Tour. The nationwide Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most popular and colourful festivals in Chiang Mai. Today is the first day of the Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai aka Yee Peng. It is the day of the lantern festival.
Wat Prathat Doi Suthep
We will drive to Doi Suthep (Suthep Mountain). Visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. Walk up the 300 steps to the temple. Views from the temple over Chiang Mai are spectacular. Your guide will explain the history of this temple. On the way down we will stop at Wat Palad, also known as the “jungle temple” of Chiang Mai.
Return to Chiang Mai to check into your hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 1730. He will escort you to the Three King’s Monument to join the festivities. These will feature traditional dancing performances. This evening you will have to be flexible with your dinnertime. Your guide will recommend you one of our favourite restaurants. We will drop you off at your hotel.
Overnight booked on own.
Day 2: Friday, October 30, 2020
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Today is the Loy Krathong day. It is the full moon day.
Wat Chiang Man and Wat Phra Singh
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. They will transfer you to Thapae Gate where your samlor driver will be waiting for you. Start your Chiang Mai Temple Tour by samlor. You will visit some very famous but also some lesser-known temples within the Old City of Chiang Mai.
First of all, we will head off to Wat Lam Chang. This temple has an ancient brick chedi. Next up is Wat Chiang Man. This is Chiang Mai’s oldest temple. King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai, built this temple in 1296. We leave through the backdoor and head for Wat Phra Sing. It 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 Sing we make our way to Wat Phuak Hong, one of the lesser-visited temples with a unique Mon style chedi. We continue to Wat Phuak Taem where local people make ornaments for temple roofs by hand.
Chiang Mai Gate and Wat Chedi Luang
Next stop with be the Chiang Mai Gate market, the most popular market located within the moat. We taste some of the local delicacies on offer before we hop on the samlor to go 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. UNESCO and the Japanese government-funded the reconstruction. Next to Wat Chedi Luang is Wat Phantao, which is a beautiful wooden temple. Say goodbye to the samlor driver. We will visit both temples. After this, we will transfer you back to the hotel.
The afternoon is free at leisure. We will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to Horizon Village. It will be the highlight of your Loy Krathong Immersion Tour. Next to Horizon village is Taweechol Botanical Gardens. We will visit the fantastic gardens by tram. Admire trees, palms, ferns, cactus, bromeliads, orchids, both endemic and not endemic to Thailand.
Sky Lanterns at Horizon Village.
Outside Horizon village there will be a local market, known to Thais as “Kad Mua”. Enjoy just walking around on this market before a traditional Thai dinner will be served. During your dinner, you will enjoy Thai dances. Then the ceremonial part will start. After monk’s blessing and short meditation, sky lanterns will be released. You will release your lanterns. This video gives an impression of the event you will be part of. At around 2100 we will transfer you back to the hotel.
Overnight booked on own.
Day 3: Saturday, October 31, 2020
Our guide and driver will meet you at your Chiang Mai hotel for your Lamphun tour, the former capital of the Hariphunchai kingdom. This is a private tour, so we are very flexible today. We will drive to Lamphun along the old Chiang Mai-Lamphun road which is lined with giant trees but only halfway. You will hear the story of why the giant yang trees have only been planted until halfway. The Chiang Mai-Lamphun road has protected status. Continue to Ban Umong. Here we will stop at a shop for a taste of the famous Umong Longan wine*. Longan (Lamyai) is the dominant fruit of this area. We will visit a longan processing factory and a longan plantation. Drive to Lamphun.
Wat Hariphunchai and Wat Phra Yuen
First, we will visit Ku Chang, a chedi that contains the relic of the war elephant of Chamathewi, the first queen of the Hariphunchai Kingdom. Next stop will be Wat Phra Yuen, a quiet temple amidst exotic, towering palm trees. We will visit the tiny but delicate Tai Yong textile museum. Many of Lamphun’s inhabitants are Tai Yong. These people migrated about 200 years ago from Northern Shan State (now Myanmar) to Lamphun. It is a fascinating story. We walk through the “OTOP” (one district, one product) market to Wat Hariphunchai, one of the most revered temples of North Thailand. This magnificent temple is the main attraction of Lamphun and draws many visitors, mainly Thai people.
Wat Kukut and Doll Museum
Lunch will be in a local restaurant that serves dishes with, yes you guessed it right, longan! After lunch, we will continue to the local fresh food market of Lamphun where your guide will take you along and let you taste some delicacies and chat with the vendors. We will leave the market to burn some incense and candles at the statue of Queen Chamathewi before we visit Wat Ku Kut, one of the oldest religious structures in Lamphun.
Drive to Sanpatong where will visit the Chiang Mai Doll Museum. This museum is a hidden gem of North Thailand. Not only can you witness the most exquisite dolls being handmade here, there is also a stunning exhibition of dolls from all over the world. Drive back to Chiang Mai along the Ping River. Our last stop today will be the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. We will stop at Wat E-Kang, Wat Pu Pia and Chedi Liam before we drop you off at your hotel in Chiang Mai.
Parade of the Krathongs
It is the third and last evening of the Loy Krathong Festival. Join the festivities along the Ping River on your own. Usually, there is a parade this evening. You can float your Krathong on the river and release more sky lanterns if you want.
Transfer back to the hotel on your own.
Overnight booked on own
Day 4: Sunday, November 1, 2020
Free morning. Checkout time is noon. It’s the end of your Loy Krathong Immersion Tour.
We will transfer you to the airport for your flight.
End of the program