Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, located approximately 700 kilometers north of Bangkok, is the second largest city in Thailand. It was established as the capital of the LannaThaiKingdom in 1296 AD. Chiang Mai is popular among Thailand travellers for seven centuries of beautiful temples set against gorgeous natural scenery. The most popular of these are Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Suan Dok and the Wat Jet Yot.

​Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

​Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the best-known temple in the area, stands on

a hill to the northwest of the city. Built by King Gua-Na in 1383, it

surrounds a large chedi (a Thai spired pagoda) that contains Buddhist

relics. According to legend, the site was chosen when a monk came

into the possession of the Buddha’s shoulder bone. He placed the bone

on the back of a sacred elephant. The elephant tramped over the hills,

then, coming to the future spot of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, trumpeted,

walked in a circle, then died. The onlookers took this as marking an auspicious place, ideal for a temple. The temple's location also affords Thailand tourists superb views over the city on clear days.

​Wat Chiang Man

Wat Chiang Man is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. It served as the

home for King Mengrai while he oversaw the construction of the city.

This temple houses two very important and venerated Buddha images:

the Phra Sila (a marble Buddha) and Phra Satang Man (a crystal Buddha).

​Wat Phra Singh

Wat Phra Singh, located within the city walls, was built in 1345.

Thailand travellers find it a good demonstration of classic northern Thai-

style architecture. The temple houses the highly-venerated Phra Singh

Buddha, an image transferred here many years ago from Chiang Rai.

​Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok (roughly “Field of Flowers Temple”) is a 14th century

temple located just west of the old city wall. The temple was built by the

King of Lanna for a revered priest from Sukhothai to spend the rainy

seasons. The temple is unique for its large, open-plan ordination hall, or 

ubosot. On site, a large number of chedis house the cremated remains of

past Chiang Mai rulers. This temple is the site of the Mahachulalongkorn

Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University, one of the most important monastic

universities in Thailand.

Wat Jet Yot

​Wat Jet Yot (or “the Temple of the Seven Spires”) was built by King

Tilokkarat in imitation of the MahabodhiTemple in India, the supposed

site of Buddha’s enlightenment. The Wat Jet Yot hosted the 9th world

Buddhist council in 1477.

Architecturally, the temple is celebrated for its adoption of "Indian style",

which might be recognized by Thailand tourists who have also taken India tours. Indian culture has had a huge

impact on Southeast Asia, and many Thailand travellers delight in drawing parallels between the religious, architectural and artistic forms of the two countries.

​Lisu hill tribe village

Lisu hill tribe villages are found near Chiang Dao, Pai, and Phrao. This

particular hill tribe originated from Yunnan and is divided into six

original patrilineal clans. Years of relative isolation have given rise to

unique customs, such as having a shrine for a guardian spirit set above

their villages. These spirit shrines can be dedicated to the sun, the moon,

water, trees and more, but most commonly they are made for ancestors.

The Lisu people of Thailand are known for their colourful clothing.

Elephant Training Camp at Taeng Dao

At the Elephant Training Camp, Thai tour packages let Thailand

travellers enjoy exciting football matches between teams of energetic

young elephants. Dedicated to showing the amazing intelligence of these

animals, Thailand travellers get to watch the elephants take playful baths

in the river and paint pictures. Visitors on Thai tours may also take an

optional elephant ride around the jungle.