Chiang Mai | BRUCE COOK | Bruce Cook

Chiang Mai

Sun, 24-Dec-2017. Morning flight to Chiang Mai. Hotel check in - relax. Afternoon trip to mountain top monastery Doi Sutep. Free evening for Night Market!
Mon, 25-Dec-2017. MERRY CHRISTMAS. We’ll spend the whole day at the Elephant rehab camp, bathing, swimming and interacting with the elephants!

Tue, 26-Dec-2017. More markets and take a cruise on the Mae Ping River. After lunch, we’ll visit the teakwood and celadon factories - they will ship to the USA!

Wed, 27-Dec-2017. We’ll take a morning flight back to Bangkok.

 

Day 4 – Sun, 24-Dec-2017. Arrive Chaing Mai, Free Afternoon, Late Afternoon tour Wat Doe Sutep Mountain Monastry, Night Market

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Take the morning flight to Chiang Mai by Air Asia Flight FD3435 Depart 1030 Arrive 1140.

 

The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave.

 Check into the hotel, relax, have lunch, get a massage and well meet in the afternoon as a group.

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 Starting Time: 15.00pm. Embark on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (approximately 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make this a most memorable experience. Finishing Time: 19.00pm.

 Meals: B
Accommodation: Imperial Meaping Hotel (Superior)

Day 5 – Mon, 25-Dec-2017, Christmas Day! All Day with the Elephants!

Elephant Nature Park. 

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Set off early, around 8 am, through Mae Taeng Valley to Elephant Nature Park. The drive is about 60 kilometres (approximately 1.5 hours). This unique project provides a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. Greeted by an expert guide, learn about the problems these creatures face in South East Asia. You'll have the chance to see these amazing beasts from the viewing platform. Enjoy some lunch before elephant bathing time. Then, after a safety briefing, you can join in to scrub and bathe the elephants (be sure to brings swimmers and a change of clothing). Finishing Time: 17.00pm. 

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Meals: B, L
Accommodation: Imperial Meaping Hotel (Superior)

 Day 6 – Tue, 26-Dec-2017. City tour, boat tour, Teakwood & Celedaon Factories

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Chiang Mai City Tour. Starting Time: 09.00pm Our Chiang Mai city tour adventure will begin by exploring the Warorot Market, one of the largest markets in Chiang Mai. Almost everything is for sale here from food to clothing to hill tribe crafts. At the market, you'll have plenty of time to taste and sample local specialties before moving on to the Ton Lam Yai Flower Market, overflowing with colourful, fresh cut flowers.

Next, we’ll take a songthaew to Wat Chai Mongkol, a magnificent temple that was built on the banks of the Mae Ping River. Take part in a local Buddhist practice by offering alms to monks and learning about other interesting religious traditions.

Then it’s time to take a cruise up the Mae Ping River, one of the main rivers in northern Thailand and the lifeline of Chiang Mai. Our Mae Ping River cruise will reveal villages and rural life played out on the river shores, and your guide will offer insight into local livelihood and history throughout the journey.

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Next on our Chiang Mai tour we'll enjoy a sumptuous Khao Soi lunch at a local farmer’s house. This noodle dish is often made with chicken or beef, served over Chinese egg noodles, and garnished with shallots, cilantro, pickled mustard greens, fried whole chilies, and a squeeze of lime juice. It's totally delicious, and a must-try food in Chiang Mai!

After lunch, we'll visit a garden to learn about local vegetables, herbs, and the medicinal properties of plants, before returning to Chiang Mai by cruise back.

Continue visit a village of wood sculptures and wood-carved products made.

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Baantawai is the renowned source of fine handicrafts of Chiang Mai. It has created numerous wood sculptures and woodcarvings both for domestic sale and export with which Baantawai earned reputation as the village of woodcarving.  

The handicraft products of Baantawai are meticulously hand-made with skilled craftsmen and its 40-year-long experience in wood sculpturing and Baantawai woodcarving expertise.

 Next stop is Celadon factory. The finest Pottery of the region is known as celadon, which has a distinctive glaze made with wood ash.

 Traditionally the glaze is designed to "run" (flow down the pot as the glaze becomes glassy) as well as "craze" and take on a crackled appearance. Though a light green color is considered ideal, old celadons could also be yellow and brown and the glaze matt and opaque if under-fired.

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Just when and how the considerable skills required to make this pottery came to Lanna is uncertain.

 It is generally accepted that production near Chiang Mai at San Kamphaeng began early in the 14th century, and, like other kilns, was helped by Chinese potters who had moved south away from the Mongols. However, there is also the possibility that the necessary skills came from a hitherto undiscovered kiln site and could be Thai in origin. These kilns may have produced fine wares, perhaps with help from earlier migrations of Chinese potters, long before the establishment of the San Kamphaeng kilns at the beginning of the 14th century.

 The local industry thrived until the fall of Lanna to the Burmese. The mid-17th century war and the competition from cheaper blue and white wares from China had put out the fires in Lanna kilns. Production began again at the beginning of the 20th century, bringing Lanna pottery to a new age.

 Finishing Time: 16.00pm

 Meals: B, L
Accommodation: Imperial Meaping Hotel (Superior) 

Next: Back to Bangkok for a day. Then on to Khao Sok Jungle Camp.