Day 01: CHIANG MAI – CHIANG RAI (L)
Early morning pick-up from your Chiang Mai-hotel or airport to start your trip north. Heading on into a wide river valley with forests on both sides. The lime stone hills are full of caves like near Chiang Dao where you will visit a temple complex was formed around one of the deeper caves you will explore. You could ask for an extra stop to see trained elephants demonstrating their formidable and valuable forestry skills, taking a bath and you could optionally experience a jungle tour on elephant’s back. Up a hill sits the Akha village of Ban Lorcha, a tribe well presented in these parts. The village is preserved authentically and worth a tour on foot. Learn the ritual of the ‘giant swing’ see the weaving techniques that produce their colorful cloth by hand and peak into a house and especially the kitchen. Higher up it gets cooler and different produce becomes possible. In the past this area was home to Chinese Kuomintang refugees who brought tea cultivation with them from China. Learn the process and smell the tea bushes on the rolling hills before continuing along the narrow back roads toward Chiang Rai. This town is the centre of tourism in the far north. It has a lively and tasty night market too.