The Sky Lanterns of Loy Krathong
Day 1: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Our guide and driver will meet you at the airport or hotel. This is the start of your Skylanterns of Loy Krathong 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. It is the day of the lantern festival aka Yee Peng.
Wat Prathat Doi Suthep
Drive to Doi Suthep/Doi Pui national park. 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. 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 and will escort you to the Three King’s Monument to join the festivities. There will be 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.
Chiang Mai Food Tour by Samlor
Meet your guide and samlor drivers at 0830 at Wat Loi Kroh for your Chiang Mai Food Tour by samlor. Without much further ado, we start our tour. It will be a mouthwatering trip. This morning we will entirely focus on traditional food and drink. Nothing else is on our mind than eating and drinking. Our traditional bicycle taxis will bring us to markets, food stalls and restaurants that offer a bewildering variety of snacks and drinks. We have selected several snacks and drinks for you to taste but also made sure that you will not feel stuffed after the tour. Walks are included on the markets and at other places to make it an active trip as well. You will not only be sitting in your samlor!
Bewildering variety of food and drink
We are in Chiang Mai but some of what you will taste this morning has its origins in India, China, Vietnam and Burma. In that respect, this tour is also a bit of a history lesson. Over the centuries migrants brought their favourite specialities to Chiang Mai. More than anything else, the local food scene shows Chiang Mai’s diversity.
There is a story behind each snack or drink. Of course, typical Chiang Mai snacks are also on the menu. At each stop, we take our time. At some places, you will see delicious snacks being prepared in front of you. There is plenty of time for interaction with the sellers and for pictures. Before we finish the tour at Thapae Gate, you will enjoy a glass of Burmese medicinal tea from a shop that opened its doors more than 100 years ago. The samlors will drop you off at Thapae Gate at around 1230. Transfer back to the hotel by local taxi.
Sky Lanterns at Wat Doi Ti
The afternoon is free at leisure. Transfer on own to the meeting point at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center. After registration, you will be transferred to Wat Doi Ti, just south of Lamphun (about 35 km from Chiang Mai). Here you will witness a mass sky lantern release. Wat Doi Ti has an eye-catching giant statue of Kruba Srivichai, the most revered monk of North Thailand.
At the foot of the temple, 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, the lanterns will be released. Release your lanterns. This video gives an impression of the event you will be part of. We have reserved tickets in Zone A for you.
At around 2100 board the shuttle bus that will take you back to Old Chiang Mai. From there, you can take a local taxi (on own) back to the hotel.
Overnight booked on own.
Day 3: Sunday, October 31, 2020
The Thai Elephant Care Center
Your guide and driver will pick you up at 0745. Drive to the Thai Elephant Care Center. After arrival, staff will introduce you to the Asian elephant. If you want, you can into traditional Thai farmers clothes. You will spend the morning with the elephants of the Elephant Care Center. The centre takes care of elderly, retired animals. You will feed them. If you want, you can also join them for a bath. Elephants enjoy playing in the water. It is fun. Be careful, though. After a fantastic morning, say farewell to the elephants of the Elephant Care Center.
Now it is time for lunch. We will enjoy a delicious Thai lunch at one of our favourite restaurants. Next stop will be Mon Chaem. It is an area where the Hmong people live. We will stop at one of the Royal Projects that were initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to improve the livelihood of these tribal people. Mon Chaem also has vast flower fields and magnificent views. It is a stunning area. Because it is so beautiful, it also attracts many visitors.
After Mon Chaem we will continue to the Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park. There are no elephants at the Poo Poo Paper Park. During an excellent self-guided tour, you will see all the stages of the production of paper from elephant dung and learn about the history of papermaking. Drive back to Chiang Mai.
We will drop you off at the hotel.
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.
Day 4: Monday, November 1, 2020
Free morning. Checkout time is noon. It’s the end of your Sky Lanterns of Loy Krathong.
We will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight.
End of the program