Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai Explorer

This 7-day Thailand vacation takes you to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north of the country. It features first-class accommodations, private tours, and is a great add-on to a stay in Bangkok.

Your journey begins in Chiang Mai, the nation’s unofficial northern capital, known for its good food, quiet atmosphere, and wealth of beautiful temples left over from the Lanna Kingdom during the Middle Ages. You’ll tap into the city’s religious history with a half day temples tour, which takes you to many of the most notable temples in the city. Along with your guide, you’ll see Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple, Wat Phra Sing, known for its intricate woodcarvings at Lak Kham Chapel, Wat Chedi Luang, with its massive pagoda, and Wat Suan Dok, which was a royal garden in the past and now houses one of the city’s famous monk schools. The next day, delve into the city’s culinary scene with a trip to Chang Purk Market, where you’ll have a chance to try some delicious local foods, including noodles, soups, spicy meats, and desserts. Once the sun is down, head to the night market to try your bargaining skills with vendors selling handicrafts and Thai silks.

From Chiang Mai, head northwest to Chiang Rai, one of the hidden gems of Thailand, which is known for its temples and gorgeous architecture. While based in Chiang Rai, you’ll spend a day meeting the hill tribes of the northwest. Start with a visit to Akha and Yao tribes in the mountainside, who trace their heritage back to Tibet and are among the poorest minorities in the country. Continue to Chiang Saen, the crossroads market town on the Mekong River, where you can gaze out over the Golden Triangle that connects Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. End the day at Mae Sai on the Thai-Myanmar Border, where you can catch a glimpse of life in Myanmar and peruse some flea markets before returning to Chiang Rai. You’ll have another day at leisure in Chiang Rag to tour its temples such as Wat Phra Sing and What Phra That Chedi Luang, or gaze upon the elaborate, bizarre stylings of Wat Rong Kun, the dragon-scaled, whitewashed temple known as the White Temple

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