Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7pm with your local guide. An airport arrival transfer is included please advise your flight details at time of booking. If you arrive early, head out to explore charming Chiang Mai. The friendliness of the people, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. After the welcome meeting you will have free time tonight. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food in the vibrant night markets – the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Elephant Nature Park / Chiang Mai
Set off early this morning, around 8am, and drive along the Mae Taeng Valley to the Elephant Nature Park (approximately 60 kilometres), a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. You’ll be greeted by an expert guide, and then learn the stories of rescued elephants and understand the issues surrounding elephants in South-East Asia. After that you’ll have a chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform. Then, a buffet lunch is provided before you will see the elephants getting bathed in the river from the safe distance of large viewing platforms. It is such a memorable experience to watch these incredible creatures roam around in such beautiful surroundings. Return to Chiang Mai to soak up the atmosphere of this great city. Tonight is free for you to do as you wish. You could indulge in an authentic Thai massage at one of the many places on offer within walking distance from your hotel.
It’s an early start today (pick up between 5.30 to 5.50am) as you set off by songthaew for a scenic drive to Kad Ton Payom flea market. Here you’ll collect your offerings from the market and then offer these alms to monks to ‘make merit’. This region is famous for its cuisine and you’ll enjoy a traditional breakfast of local specialities such as rice soup, fried rice, and grilled pork. The next stop is Wat U-mong, a 600 year-old temple famed for its large painted pagoda and underground tunnel. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and take the opportunity to talk with the abbot about Buddhism and Dharma. Then it’s on to Wat Suan Dok, where you can mingle with monks to learn about their way of life, take some time to learn basic meditation, and also make an offering to the Sangkha (the Buddhist community). Your adventure concludes at apprioximately 12pm, and you are free to depart at any time. There is no accommodation included tonight. Perhaps stay in Chiang Mai and explore the city further.