PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Chiang Mai Trip

Chiang Mai Trip

By
Trip Plan Tags: 
budget,
food,
shopping,
spa + wellness
Destinations: 
Asia,
Chiang Mai,
Thailand

wanted to relax

ITEMS

ALT HERE

See + Do

Festivals, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wear drip-dry clothing for Songkran. The mid-April Thai New Year celebration is a blow-out splash party throughout the kingdom, but Chiang Mai's water festival is less hysterical—and more mindful of history and ritual—than Bangkok's. The celebration kicks off when Wat Phra Singh's sacred Buddha statue is paraded through the streets and sprinkled with lustral water. The following day, the devout also deliver handfuls of sand to build small chedis at various temples, symbolic of the dust they carry away on their bare feet throughout the year. The most magical event, however, is November's Loy Krathong. On the full-moon night, tens of thousands of Thai launch small banana-leaf boats containing candles, flowers, and incense on the Ping River in thanks for the life-giving waters or release paper lanterns into the sky to carry away bad luck.

ALT HERE

See + Do

Elephant Camps near Chiang Mai

For centuries, timber elephants played a crucial role in northern Thailand's economy. The Thai government banned commercial logging in 1989, but the skills of these huge yet graceful animals are still displayed at tourist-oriented elephant camps scattered around the province. Pang Mae Sa, about 15 miles northwest of town, is the closest—and most commercial—operation (66-53-297-060). At Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre, 35 miles north of Chiang Mai on Highway 107, the mahouts and their charges demonstrate more traditional forest talents (66-53-298-553). You can also clamber atop a howdah, or elephant saddle, for a rumble through the jungle. Tour companies usually include hotel pick-up and round-trip transport in their packages.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.