Day 1 Chiang Mai
History of Chiang Mai: start of our Chiang Mai Educational Tour
Your guide will meet you at the hotel at 0800 for your Chiang Mai Educational Tour. Transportation today will be a songtaew, which is Chiang Mai’s public vehicle. First, we will drive to Wat Loi Kroh where are our samlors are waiting. The samlor is the traditional bicycle taxi that was introduced in Chiang Mai in the 1930s. Meet your driver. Each person will have his/her samlor. After the short introductions and taking photos, we will take off on our Heritage & History Tour. We ride past the former outer city wall to our first stop: the Lanna Ancient House.
Kad Luang: the Warorot and Ton Lamyai Markets
Then we cross the famous Iron Bridge to the east side of the Ping River. Next, we will pass the First Christian Church, founded in 1867 by American reverend Daniel McGilvary. We continue our ride through backstreets to Wat Ket Karaam, a temple that houses a fascinating museum. We say goodbye to our samlor drivers. After having visited the museum, we will cross the Ping River via the Chansom Anusorn Memorial Bridge.
Next, we will visit the colorful Warorot Market and Ton Lamyai markets. These are Chiang Mai’s oldest markets, known under the name Kad Luang (big market). Your guide will explain the typical Northern specialties that are for sale here. You will visit a Chinese shrine and hear the story of the Chinese settlement in Chiang Mai. Kad Luang is now the center of Chiang Mai’s Chinatown. A devastating fire destroyed Kad Luang in 1968. After this, it is time for lunch.
McKean Senior Center and Wiang Kum Kam
We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we continue to McKean Senior Center. American missionary Dr. James McKean founded this center in 1908 as a leper colony. McKean Senior Center has many historical sites and an interesting museum. Over time McKean has become a rehabilitation center for elderly and physically disabled people. After some explanation, it is time for our bicycle trip. McKean is excellent for cycling as there is almost no traffic on a compound, blessed with many 100-year old trees. After a while, we leave McKean and ride our bikes to the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. We cycle from ruin to ruin and visit some of the Major sights before we head for the Wat Chedi Liam, a magnificent temple. Here our tour ends. We will board our songtaew that will bring you back to the hotel.
Overnight at the Eco Resort Chiang Mai
Day 2 Chiang Mai
Learning about Forest Restoration on Doi Suthep
The second day of our Chiang Mai Educational Tour. Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800. We will drive to Doi Suthep, the mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai. The first stop will be the shrine of Kruba Srivichai, the monk whose followers constructed the road leading to the Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in 1935. After this, we will continue to the nursery of FORRU, the Forest Restoration Research Unit of Chiang Mai University. The nursery of FORRU in Doi Suthep – Doi Pui National Park is only a short walk from the temple.
A representative of FORRU will introduce us to their work and the Framework Tree Species Method. Then you will learn about the design and function of the nursery. After this, we will embark on an educational nature trail on Doi Suthep. The highlight of the hike is one giant fig tree.
Wat Doi Suthep
We will enjoy a delicious Thai lunch before we walk up the naga staircase of more than 300 steps leading to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most famous temple. Your guide will explain Buddhism and the importance of this temple for the Chiang Mai people. Enjoy the fantastic view of Chiang Mai before we descend to Wat Phalat, the so-called jungle temple of Chiang Mai. Then we will drive back to Chiang Mai.
Overnight at the Eco Resort Chiang Mai
Day 3: Chiang Mai – Pang Daeng Nai – Mae Chon
Tribal Immersion in Chiang Dao
In the coming two days of our Chiang Mai Educational Tour, we will spend time in the countryside. You will learn about the history, language, traditions, and lifestyle of the hill tribes of North Thailand. We will depart from Chiang Mai at 0800 by local truck and drive to Chiang Dao district. We will first briefly visit the Lisu and Akha people who also live in this district. After a short explanation and demonstration of traditional dress, we will start our hike at the Dara-ang village Pang Daeng Nai. This village has a royal project office that we will visit. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, has initiated these projects in improving the lives of the tribal people.
Hike to Mae Chon village
Then we will walk from Pang Daeng Nai to another Dara-ang village, Mae Chon. This hike takes between one and one-and-a-half hours. After our arrival, you will engage in several activities such as traditional weaving, helping to prepare dinner, and pounding rice. The village shaman will welcome us with a short ceremony. After dinner, there will be language lessons, fun games, and cultural exchange with young people from the village. We will also discuss the pros and cons of hill tribe trekking.
Overnight will be in a bamboo house in the village.
Day 4: Mae Chon – Huay Pong – Chiang Mai
Engage in agricultural activity
After breakfast, we will meet with local people in a question-and-answer session. The people in this village are farmers. After this meeting, we will go into the field where we will work for an hour. This agricultural activity depends on the season, but it could be rice planting, corn planting, or corn harvesting. After a visit to the local church and Buddhist temple, we will walk for an hour to Huay Pong, a village where Dara-ang and Red Lahu people live together. At the house of Lung Keng, we have lunch, after which we will take half an hour to evaluate the trip.
Finally, we will visit a traditional blacksmith workshop and a fascinating Lahu spirit temple. Then it is time to drive back to Chiang Mai, where we will drop you off at the Eco Resort Chiang Mai. Last overnight at the Eco Resort.
Day 5: Chiang Mai
End of the Chiang Mai Educational Tour
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. They will transfer you to the airport or railway station for your onward trip. We hope you learned a lot on our tour. We offer more educational tours. You can read more about our educational tours on this page.
On this page, you can find sources of information on ethnic minorities in North Thailand.