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Founded by the ancient Lanna Kingdom in 1296, Chiang Mai was originally a heavily fortified citadel that stood as a bulwark against Burmese kingdoms and the Mongol Yuan Empire, which had conquered much of China and parts of Southeast Asia. While the Lanna kingdom would rule parts of Thailand for 500 years until the late 1700s, Chiang Mai was later abandoned and fell into a slow decline - which was reversed only in the twentieth century.
Today, Chiang Mai is the cultural center of northern Thailand, and a thriving city that hosts a number of outstanding temples, which are complemented by some of the best outdoors activities in all of Thailand - due to its proximity to nearby lush rainforests and the mighty Mae Taeng River. Notable attractions include the Tiger Kingdom, where visitors can get up close with the big cats, and Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a picturesque, beautiful mountain temple.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald enjoyed hugging baby tigers, and taking a helicopter flight over stunning Pha Ngan bay.
Visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple atop a mountain just nine miles from central Chiang Mai. Meet with the temple’s monks and receive a private blessing. On your descent, your guide will alert you to any beautiful tropical birds that are sometimes present at Doi Suthep mountain. At the foot of Doi Suthep is Huay Kaew Waterfall, which cascades over a 165-foot rock slope and is a good place to relax and take in the scenery.
Spend a morning with a scholar of Lanna culture and architecture. Your expert will explain the principles of Lanna design and the adoption of this aesthetic at the Rachamankha, a luxurious boutique hotel whose grounds reflect the architectural history of this diverse region and whose design is based on the viharn (chapel) of one of Thailand’s most beautiful temples, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang in Lampang province.
Temple of Tunnels
Explore Wat Umong, or the “Temple of Tunnels,” located in a forested, rural area a few miles outside Chiang Mai. Learn about the fascinating and mysterious history of this temple, which is believed to date from the late 14th century and was used by the Japanese as a base during World War II.
Participate in a khantoke dinner at a scenic spot, such as Wieng Kum Kam, an ancient city not far from Chiang Mai. Khantoke is an authentic way for honored guests to partake in traditional music and dance while enjoying classic Issan (northern Thai) dishes. After dinner, participate in a sky lantern release. The Thais in the northern part of the country are particularly fond of this tradition; it is considered good luck to release a sky lantern and symbolic of problems and worries floating away.
Visit the Tiger Kingdom, where you can interact with felines ranging from six-week-old babies to full-grown cats in a completely unrestrained environment.
Explore the Night Bazaar, a modern day version of a caravanserai, where you can choose from a vast array of handicrafts and other locally made items – many of which make fine gifts.
Thailand has it all – from towering mountains, vibrant corals, ancient ruins and powdery white-sand beaches. Enjoy a 10-day luxurious adventure through the diverse landscape of what’s known as the Land of Smiles. The hospitality along with the mouthwatering cuisine make this country a traveler’s favorite.
A quick but luxurious 2-day adventure in the Northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai, this itinerary is the perfect add-on to any Southeast Asia trip. Bike through vibrant green tea fields, explore the city’s revered temples and pay a visit to a Hmong Village. This is an active exploration of the ancient city.
Does the thought of simply relaxing on the beach bore you? This luxury bike tour of Northern Thailand is far from a lazy holiday. Bike through stunning mountain towns visiting small villages, ancient ruins and even the bewildering architectural marvel of the White Temple in Chiang Rai on this thrilling adventure.
See what Thailand has to offer aside from stunning white-sand beaches on this 9-day luxury biking adventure through the equally beautiful North. The region is full of bright green valleys, vibrant rice fields and jungle-covered mountains. Sleepy mountain towns, friendly hill tribes and challenging ascents await you.
Spend 4 days exploring the breathtaking North of Thailand on this luxurious trip. Float down the lazy Pai River, explore the only calcite cave in Southeast Asia, and chat with friendly, local Long Neck tribes about their culture’s unique neck-stretching practices. The North is both a natural and cultural hotspot.
Explore incredible ancient temples, sprawling ruins and rural villages on this luxurious 2-day trip in Northern Thailand. Sample and savor Northern treats as you step into another world in the massive night bazaar or the local market. It’s a holiday back in time with several ancient sites waiting to be explored.
From the bustling city of Bangkok to the cultural center of Chiang Mai, the rustic Chiang Rai to the luxurious Koh Samui - all while staying at luxurious Four Seasons hotels - this 10-day adventure-by-private-jet packages the best Thailand has to offer into a vacation that fits the bill.
Navigate Thailand’s rich past on this luxurious 4-day tour. Bike between beautiful temples in the fresh mountain air in the North. Enjoy a hot beverage inside a preserved Moungngwezin House. Feel just as ancient royalty must have felt as you stay in the area’s most luxurious hotels and dine at the finest restaurants.
Achieve a near-impossible feat of comfortably visiting 3 countries in 4 days on this luxurious trip. When you stand in the Golden Triangle, you are able to get a glimpse of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand simultaneously. Make the most of the area with a trip down the Mekong river and explore the area’s many markets.
Ghosts are rumored to be lurking in Phae Muang Phi, the Ghost Canyon, in Northern Thailand. See for yourself on this luxurious 3-day exploration of the area’s mystical past. Stroll through 15th-century temples and take a traditional horse-drawn cart through Lampang as you discover Thailand’s enchanting customs.
Explore nearly 200 ancient ruins and 26 different stunning temples at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai. The adventure only begins there, continuing for 7 luxurious days through Thailand’s magical North. See the culture, history and natural beauty beyond Thailand’s beaches.
Discover the differences between Thailand and Myanmar as the two countries are juxtaposed on this unique 11-day luxury voyage from Northern Thailand to Kengtung, Myanmar. You’ll go from petting tigers in Chiang Mai, to trekking through a Chiang Rai tea plantation, to meeting members of the Loi tribe in Kengtung.
Spend 3 days getting to know the exotic tribal culture in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai on this exciting luxury trip. Although just a short holiday, there’s still plenty of time to raft, trek and relax. You even get to visit the largest Hmong Village in Thailand that’s frequented by very few travelers.
Located in the heart of Wat Gate, an area in Chiang Mai that was formerly designated to foreigners by the government, 137 Pillars House sits idyllically along the Ping River, adjacent to Wat Gate Khar Rham Temple. Combining the regality of traditional Thai elegance with modern luxury, this boutique hotel offers amenities including high-speed wireless internet access, laundry service, a 24-hour on-call medical professional, babysitting services, a spa, outdoor swimming pool and a fitness facility. The Dining Room offers classic Thai cuisine, one of the many dining options offered at the hotel. 137 Pillars House is approximately 25 minutes by car from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).
Dhara Dhevi Hotel
A successful truck dealer with a taste for art, Suchet Suwanmongkol underwrote the $75-million dream of a young, unknown architect to build an ancient Asian city within the confines of Chiang Mai. The resulting 60-acre confection from the now-famous Rachen Intawong includes 142 suites decorated in a colonial mansion style, and individual villas built in various Thai vernaculars. At the heart of the resort is the sumptuous Dheva Spa, a multi-tiered Xanadu with 18 treatment rooms and five residences. Throughout, the bedrooms are huge: 16-foot ceilings are the norm in the colonial wing, as are private verandas and adjoining living rooms, all lavishly fitted with silk-covered chaise lounges and hill-tribe textiles. Superlatives extend to the two pools (enormous) and library (more than 5,000 books and 1,500 DVDs). Kids can also plant rice.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
The Four Seasons Chiang Mai blends with its natural surroundings seamlessly, with trees growing between and around the resort, overlooking terraced rice fields and the mountains of the Mae Rim Valley. The resort has 64 boutique pavilions, each with a private veranda, as well as 16 private luxury residences. The Sala Mae Rim serves Thai cuisine and offers sweeping views of the valley below, and the Terraces have international dishes with a view of the Doi Suthep mountain range. The hotel has a health club with state of the art equipment, including a sauna, herbal steam room, whirlpool, cold plunge pool, 20-meter infinity edge swimming pool, a business center and wi-fi access. There are also mountain bikes available for use, along with maps of trails through the surrounding forest. The Spa at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai has seven treatment suites with rain shower massage tables and private herbal steam rooms. Professional spa therapists can help you choose the best treatment package for your needs. The hotel is 25 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport.
Talk about exclusive: this luxury boutique villa is only offered to one group at a time, ensuring complete privacy, comfort, and care. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, the hotel sprawls over four acres of lush green space, magnificent gardens, and a trickling river. Seven residential pavilions dot the property, designed with custom-crafted bronze details, golden teakwood floors, and handcrafted furniture that complements the soothing landscape of Northern Thailand. Guests can spend their days relaxing by the outdoor pool or take part in a variety of local activities such as a visit to the Doi Suthep National Park, a trek through a local rainforest or even an adventurous afternoon of bamboo rafting. As well, luxury spas and top-rated golf courses are located nearby for those looking to indulge in a Thai massage or a round of 18 holes before returning to the hotel for traditional, authentic meals.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort
Formerly The Chedi,Anantara Chiang Mai Resort is a riverside hotel that offers private courtyards and balconies in each of its 84 rooms and suites. The on-site restaurant includes a selection of Thai, Indian and international cuisines in addition to the two bars on the main and second level. The resort facilities include a large swimming pool, fitness centers, a shopping boutique and a spa. Anantara is approximately 15 minutes from Chiang Mai airport.
Maekok River Village Resort
Welcome to the Maekok River Village Resort, located in the hilly northwest corner of Thailand, hugging the Myanmar (Burma) border. This comfortable resort provides a picturesque place to lay your head – and enjoy lush garden views – while soaking in the history and culture of the city of Thaton. Every room has its own patio or balcony to enjoy the fresh mountain air after a day of sightseeing. Guests can also spend their days participating in one of the many on-site activities, from archery to high ropes to rafting to Thai cooking. Enjoy fresh, local cuisine from the nearby Wa Wee hills and breathe in Northern Thailand – it is an experience to remember!