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Overview

Look past the temples of Chiang Rai to discover a corner of Thailand filled with eccentric art, vibrant hilltribe villages and lush mountains. Mingle with the bohemian crowd at a unique art space, cook lunch with an Akha family and enjoy spectacular views at every turn.

Trip Highlights

Best of Chiang Rai

Delve into the Thai art scene

See the works of Thailand’s famous contemporary artists, visit a community-funded arts centre and meet with a local art expert.

Visit Doi Tung mountain

Travel to 2000 metres above sea level to visit the Mae Fah Luang Gardens and a fabulous handicraft centre.

Experience Akha culture

Spend a morning in Hloyo village, learning about Akha traditions, preparing typical cuisine and sharing stories with the friendly residents.

Itinerary

1

Chiang Rai Arrival

Chiang Rai Airport – Chiang Rai Hotel (9.1 km): 10 min

Upon arrival in Chiang Rai in the morning, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

In the afternoon, transfer sightseeing the ‘Art Scene’ of Chiang Rai town with the contradiction between heaven and hell since the famous Thai artist Thawan Duchanee, who was appointed as  National Artist in 2001, has opened his house “Baan Dam” to the public. While the famous “Wat Rong Khun” or The White Temple, a contemporary Buddhist temple, of another renowned artist Chalermchai Kositpipat represents the heaven, Baan Dam or The Black House is perfectly matched to represent the hell. Born in Chiang Rai, Thawan Duchanee is a Thai artist who is distinguished in international art circles, having created his own unique paintings for more than 40 years. He has regularly been invited to share his expertise and experience at international art conferences, and some of his works are on permanent displays in modern art museums and prominent public and private offices in Asia, Europe and the United States. He spent more than 25 years founding a folk art museum in his hometown of Baan Dam, Nang Lae, Chiang Rai Province, to exhibit folk art from the past to the present for the education of younger generations.

Continue to visit the ArtBridge, the art gallery and restaurant, which is a non-government funded community-based artist collective that seeks to further nurture and support the arts within Thailand. Here, you will find two different kinds of art that belong to both artists. Also, have an opportunity to meet with a local art expert who will give you a deep insight about arts. Dinner at the ArtBridge Restaurant.

Overnight in Chiang Rai.

2

Chiang Rai – Doi Tung – Mae Sai – Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai Hotel – Doi Tung (53.8 km): 52 min Doi Tung – Mae Sai (30.1 km): 32 min Mae Sai – Golden Triangle (28.5 km): 33 min Golden Triangle – Chiang Rai (70.3 km): 1.09 hr

After breakfast, depart your hotel to visit the Doi Tung region, 2000m above sea-level. The Doi Tung Development Project was established to eradicate the cultivation of opium and encourage farmers to use sustainable agricultural practices. Visit Mae Fah Luang Gardens and Doi Tung Temple. Continue to the Royal Handicraft Center to discover mulberry paper making, pottery, and weaving. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

After lunch, drive to Mae Sai to visit the market on the Thai-Burmese border. From here, drive to the Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Reach Chiang Saen on the steep banks of Mekong River, and visit its magnificent ancient ruins and temples.

Overnight in Chiang Rai.

3

Chiang Rai

After breakfast at the hotel, drive up the hill to explore authentic tribal lifestyle on the top of Mae Salong hill. Head towards a unique hilltribe village, “Hloyo Village”, a small community of Akha hilltribe to experience its real way of life and surrounding nature.

Upon arrival at Hloyo Village, receive warm greetings from the village headman and villagers of Hloyo, and the local host will give an insight story of Akha people which includes their believes, religions, traditions, and ways of life. Visit Akha Museum uniquely built in a mud house. Once entering, guests will feel the scent of the beautiful history of Akha people. Following this, take a tour exploring the community and their local lifestyle together with a local guide. See traditional bamboo house in Akha style where local people use their wisdom to build their own house. Then enjoy hands-on tribal crafts with locals and kids. Later, partake in cooking class for some signature Akha dishes. Get involved and help out in the kitchen! Enjoy home-cooked local lunch with local host while exchanging stories. 

After lunch, trek in the forest to see beautiful landscapes and formations of the pristine nature. Visit the local farms and speak with locals along the way. Learn how to make use of natural resources in the forest and appreciate how human, animals, and the environment co-exist. Finally, it is time to say goodbye to host family, the community and new friends. Depart Hloyo Village and return back to the hotel.

Overnight in Chiang Rai.

4

Chiang Rai – Departure

Chiang Rai Airport – Chiang Rai Hotel (9.1 km): 10 min

After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for your onwards flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Hotel accommodation with local breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements applied).
  • All entrance fees as indicated in itinerary.
  • Tips for driver and hotel porters
  • Drinking water

Our services do not include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately).
  • Meals other than mentioned above.
  • Camera/video entrance fees.
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc).
  • Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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