Wiang Kum Kam, the “Atlantis” of Chiang Mai
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Wiang Kum Kam. 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. The town suffered from flooding and was abandoned. Some of the ruins are impressive. We visit some of them by horse cart.
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.
The Tai Yong of Lamphun
Wat Kukut aka Wat Chamathewi is one of the oldest structures of Lamphun. We continue 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. We walk through the “OTOP” (one district, one product) market to the very small 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.
The Master Elephant Woodcarver of Chiang Mai
Drive back to Chiang Mai. Depending on the time visit Baan Jang Nak, the wonderful studio of Chiang Mai’s famous elephant woodcarver Petch Viriyah. Petch is a master woodcarver but also a very talented painter. A series of his paintings depict the trek from the Tai Yong people from Muang Yong in Shan State to North Thailand. Petch craftsmen do not only make wooden elephants but also cement elephant statues in different sizes. They are made on order. Time for lunch! Lunch will be at Huan Jai Yong, a well-known restaurant specialized in traditional local Northern food.
Wat Doi Suthep, Wat Palad and Wat Umong
After lunch, we will continue to Doi Suthep. Visit Wat Prathat 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. The road was opened in 1935. 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. Drive down the mountain and stop at Wat Palad, a lovely forest temple. Our last stop will be at Wat Umong, an unusual and serene forest temple. “Umong” means tunnel in Thai language.
We will drop you off at the hotel. We hope you enjoyed our Wiang Kum Kam, Lamphun and Doi Suthep Temple tour.