"The Rose of the North"
Hotels - Excursions
Chiang Mai, the second city of Thailand, capital of the North, was founded in 1296 on the River Ping by king Men Rai as the new capital of Lanna Thai. Weakened by internal struggles for the throne and by oppression, the city fell to the Burmese forces of King Bayinnaung in 1558. For over two centuries (1558-1774) Chiang Mai was under Burmese control. The fortunes of the city declined for the Burmese exploited the city-state for military purposes in their wars with Ayutthaya. Eventually northern Thai forces allied with the Siamese king Taksin, king of Thonburi, drove the Burmese out in 1775. But the city was so weak that it was totally abandoned. Allied to the Siamese Thai, Chiang Mai gained strength. During the 19th century increasing Western interests in the teak forests of the north, however, forced King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Siam to take over the administration in 1892.
Chiang Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai. Handicrafts of silk, silver and wood are timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe.
Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Meng Rai and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Ricefields). The province contains Thailand's northernmost point at Mae Sai, is well known for its crisp mountain scenery, and hill tribes, and falls within the region known as the Golden Triangle, the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge.
HOTELS IN CHIANG MAI & CHIANG RAI AREAS
Pictures and full description of hotels
Hotels in Chiang Mai
The Park Hotel
Bohdi Serene Boutique Hotel
Hotel in Mae Taeng
Royal Ping & Resort
Hotels in Chiang Rai
Wiang Inn Hotel
Legend Boutique River Resort & Spa
Phu Chasai Resort & Spa
Hotel in Chiang Saen
Imperial Golden Triangle
We can propose these excursions and many others, "à la carte" with your private guide, speaking your language, minibus and driver. Please contact us for more information.
Doi Suthep & handicrafts factories
DOI SUTHEP – Wat Phrathat
According to legend, the temple site was chosen by an elephant carrying a holy relic. Originally the relic was to be enshrined at Wat Suan Dok in 1371, but it split in two. The second piece was placed on the back of an elephant which proceeded to climb Doi Suthep, stopping twice. After three days the elephant finally reached a level piece of ground, circled three times, knelt down and then died. A hole was dug at the site for the relic, which was then covered with a chedi over seven meters in height. Until the road was built in 1935, pilgrims had to walk up the mountain and then up more than 200 steps on the long naga stairway to reach the temple. This stairway was originally constructed in the mid-16th century.
The inner walled sanctuary is surrounded by a lower terrace. From this level there is an excellent view over the city and valley. The faithful like to ring the bells and gongs round the base of the sanctuary. A statue of the elephant commemorates the founding of the temple. The inner sanctuary is one of the classic sights of Chiang Mai. A gold plated chedi lies in the middle of a square marble tiled courtyard. The chedi reached its present height of over 16 meters in 1525. A railing surrounding the square base of the chedi encloses a walkway for devotional rounds of the chedi (women may not enter this). Parasols, symbols of royal regalia, have been placed at the four corners of the chedi. The courtyard took its present shape in 1805.
It is lined by a cloister which contains Buddha images and murals depicting the life of the Buddha. In the middle of the east and west sides of the cloister are two ornate viharn. The inside walls of both are covered with murals. The murals of the eastern viharn show the legend of the elephant and the relic, while those of the western hall show the Vessantara Jataka. Devotees go to the western viharn to receive blessings and lustral water from monks sitting on a dais. On the south and northern sides of the cloister, smaller shrines are the subject of much veneration. Thais prostrate themselves and then shake a holder with 28 sticks to see which one falls to the ground first. A fortune reading for each of the numbers may be found in a cabinet nearby.
Discover the making of Thai handicrafts: silk, umbrellas, lacquer ware, silverware , teak sculpture and furniture, jade sculptures and jewelry.
Elephants, chiang dao caves, meos
Trekking, rafting & elephant
3 days/ 2 nights & 4 days/ 3 nights
Going on a Trek with a guide is the best way to see the hill tribes. Experienced guides will take you through the maze of tracks in the hills to villages where there is a good chance of seeing something of the traditional way of life. Good guides will also be able to explain the tribal spirit world and associated rituals. Overnight in the villages (very basic). Treks include an elephant ride and a bamboo rafting trip
See our detailed trekking programs and maps
Tours to Mae Hong Son : 1, 2 et 4 days
Mae Hong Son, The City of Three Mists, is well known as a refuge to the Pa dong, tribe of the Long-necked women. But it is also a very beautiful mountain province, with its National Park and many caves and waterfalls. An ideal place for nature lovers.
Tours from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son