Wiang Kum Kam, the “Atlantis” of Chiang Mai
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel for your Wiang Kum Kam, Lamphun, and Doi Suthep Tour. Drive to Wiang Kum Kam. We will start our visit at the small but fascinating visitor center. The ruins of this sunken city have only recently been discovered and excavated. King Mengrai founded Wiang Kum Kam in 1282, 16 years before Chiang Mai. Wiang Kum Kam suffered from regular flooding and was ultimately abandoned. We will make a tour of the most interesting ruins of Wiang Kum Kam by horse cart. Only as recent as the 1980s the Fine Arts Department of Thailand initiated many of the ruins.
After this, we will continue to Lamphun, the ancient capital of the Hariphunchai Kingdom. This town is several hundred years older than Chiang Mai and is steeped in history. We will visit the highlights of Lamphun, including the temples Wat Hariphunchai and Wat Kukut.
Bicycle taxi tour of Lamphun
From Wat Kukut, we will drive to the Nong Dook fresh market where our samlors, the traditional bicycle taxi, are waiting. We enjoy a delicious snack, called Khanom Babin, at the market before we start our samlor tour. We follow the old city walls and moat to Wat Hariphunchai, one of the most revered temples of North Thailand. Along the way, we will stop at the former house of the Lamphun rulers, the Sampantawong Palace.
We will end the tour at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, which is the main attraction of Lamphun and draws many visitors, mainly Thai people. We walk through the attractive local handicraft market to the tiny but delicate Tai Yong textile museum. Many of Lamphun’s inhabitants are descendants of the Tai Yong, Tai Lue people from Muang Yong in Northern Shan State in Myanmar. They migrated about 200 years ago to Lamphun.
The Master Elephant Woodcarver of Chiang Mai
We will then drive back to Chiang Mai to visit Baan Jang Nak (The House of Many Elephants), the wonderful studio of Chiang Mai’s famous elephant woodcarver Phet Wiriya. Phet is not only a master woodcarver but also a very talented painter. His paintings depict the trek from the Tai Yong people from Muang Yong in Shan State to North Thailand. Phet’s craftsmen not only carve wooden elephants but also produce cement elephant statues in different sizes. They are made on order. Then it is time for lunch! Lunch will be at Huean Jai Yong, a well-known and popular restaurant specialized in delicious traditional local Northern food.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Wat Pha Lat
After lunch, we will drive up to Doi Suthep. Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. Along the way, we will stop at the Kruba Srivichai shrine. His followers constructed the road up to Wat Doi Suthep. They completed the construction in 1935. Walk up the 300 steps of the famous Naga staircase to the temple. Views from the temple over Chiang Mai are spectacular. With clear skies, you can see the Chiang Mai airport. Your guide will explain the history of this temple and answer all your questions about Theravada Buddhism. We will make a brief stop at Wat Pha Lat, a lovely forest temple on the way down, after which we will drop you off at the hotel. We hope you enjoyed our Wiang Kum Kam, Lamphun, and Doi Suthep Tour.