Shopping for lunch at the Mae Malai Market
Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your one-day “Chiang Dao Cave and gentle trekking” trip. Our first stop today will be at the beautiful local market at Mae Malai. At this lively and interesting market, we will buy some of the ingredients for our lunch. Your guide with take you around and tell you about the herbs and vegetables used in Thai cooking. Please ask him any questions you have.
The sacred Chiang Dao Cave
After this, we will continue to Chiang Dao. For centuries, the Chiang Dao cave has been a sacred place for local people because of legends and stories related to these limestone caves. We will visit the main cave and one of the more adventurous sections. The cave is in Doi Luang Chiang Dao, approved as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2021. Apart from the cave, there are other structures of significance at the Chiang Dao Cave Temple, such as the assembly hall of Kruba Srivichai and the Buddha shrines behind it. They restored the Phra Chedi with the twenty-five spires recently.
Lunch at the Palong village
Our next destination is the Palong village Mae Chon, which borders the Sri Lanna National Park. After arrival, your guide will show you around the village. He will tell about the village shrine and the ‘huja rawl,’ the ‘village heart.’ We will walk through the plantations and agricultural fields of the community. The Dara-ang (Palong) people escaped from Myanmar and came to Thailand in the 1980s. We will also show you a traditional rice pounder (in Thai “trok tam khao”) at the house of Lung Bun, our host.
Learn to cook lunch on a wood fire
It is time for lunch at the house of Lung Bun, a Palong villager and one of our friends. Your host and your guide will teach you to cook a delicious lunch on a wood fire, which is more complicated than you might think. You will also learn to make a typical Palong chili paste. Yes, this might turn out to be a little bit too hot for your taste, but this is the food people eat here daily. After this short cooking class or demonstration, we will have lunch together, which is always special.
Gentle trekking through the countryside
After lunch, we will walk to the Palong/Red Lahu village Huay Pong. You will pass through the fields and plantations of the village. We hike through a hilly landscape with lovely views of Doi Luang Chiang Dao and the forests of the national park. We have plenty of time for explanations and taking pictures. Before we arrive in the village, we will stop briefly at the new village temple. Then we walk down to the village where we will meet the local blacksmith. After that, your guide will show you a Lahu spirit temple. Then drive back to Chiang Mai. We hope you enjoyed our “sacred Chiang Dao Cave and gentle trekking” tour.