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 par¬≠take 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.
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‚Äôs most beautiful temples, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang in Lampang province.
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 ‚Äď many of which make fine gifts.
Explore Wat Umong, or the ‚ÄúTemple of Tunnels,‚ÄĚ 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.
Visit the Tiger Kingdom, where you can interact with felines ranging from six-week-old babies to full-grown cats in a com¬≠pletely unrestrained environment.
Visit Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple atop a mountain just nine miles from central Chiang Mai. Meet with the temple‚Äôs monks and receive a private blessing. On your descent, your guide will alert you to any beautiful tropical birds that are some¬≠times 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.