Join us as we visit Chiang Mai’s most sacred and revered temple before visiting a hill tribe village.
08:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 17:00
Visit the legendary Wat Doi Suthep, considered by many Thai People to be sacred. It’s set high in the mountainous jungle region overlooking the ancient walled city of Chiang Mai. This Temple was built in 1383 by the then reigning Monarch King Gue-Na. After searching far and wide for a suitable location to build this temple as a house for a religious relic which was said to be the shoulder bone of the Lord Buddha and possess magical powers, he chose to tie it to an Elephant and trust the Elephant’s spiritual enlightenment to determine the most auspicious place for the new temple to be built. The Elephant was allowed to wonder around as it liked, until eventually at the top of Doi Suthep it started turning around and did this three times, trumpeting, and then knelt down. Many people consider Wat Doi Suthep to be the most sacred Wat in the north of Thailand.
There are 306 steps leading to the Temple and legend has it that it brings good luck to those who walk up them. However there is a tram available to take you to the top if preferred. The Temple and surroundings provide a truly spiritual atmosphere with ornately designed statues, pagodas and bells of which, the themes have been drawn from both Buddhism and Hinduism. There is an Emerald Buddha statue and a statue of the Hindu God Ganesh.
It’s easy to understand how the legend of good luck comes to those who climb the stairs to the top, as the astounding panoramic view of Chiang Mai surrounded by jungle clad mountains gives the impression of a real oriental paradise.
Meet the people and experience the beauty of life as lived in this traditional Hill Tribe Village. The Meo Hill Tribe people are part of an ancient civilization and one of the largest Hill Tribes in Thailand. They believe that their ancestors migrated to northern Thailand from western China, Vietnam and LAOs during the 18th century. This Village is only about 4 km from Wat Doi Suthep so only a short trip after first visiting there. Many of the tribespeople still live a very traditional lifestyle wearing their traditional hand woven costumes, and their huts are made of bamboo with thatched grass roofing. Visitors can meet and mingle with the people and tribal elders of the village, try some of the rare Asian delicacies available in the market place, and there is, of course, the obligatory souvenir shops where a huge variety of handmade cloths, carved wooden instruments, trinkets, silverware, gemstones, and the famous Oolong Tea are available.
Another attraction is the museum where visitors can explore the history of the Village and view relics such as tools and pipes used for the manufacturing and consumption of opium during the Golden Triangle era. The area is also well known for its flowers, particularly the pink bloom of the Wild Himalayan Cherry, which grows wild at certain times of the year, some tourists have even reported finding the occasional wild opium poppy growing in the village. While only a short drive from Chiang Mai this trip takes you on an unforgettable journey back in time through the centuries.