Visit Chiang Mai Thailand, Outside the old city walls

Thailand, Your morning cultural tour starts as you jump aboard the songthaew, an iconic Thai passenger vehicle, and take a scenic drive down Suthep Road……. Along the way, stop by Kad Thon Payom, a market renowned for its northern Thai cuisine and fresh fruits……. See a variety of fascinating foods, from herbs to live fish to exotic fruits…… Join in on the tradition of offering food to monks before enjoying a delicious Thai breakfast……..Continue on to Wat Umong, a six hundred-year-old Buddhist temple built in the foothills of Suthep Mountain and surrounded by forests…… The most unique features of the temple are the tunnels that give the `wat’ its name…. `umong’ is the Thai word for “tunnel”……. Inside the temple, you’ll see an impressive image of a fasting Buddha along with a large stupa, a mound-like structure filled with Buddhist artifacts……. Keep your eyes open for the hundreds of Buddhist proverbs in English and Thai posted on trees throughout the grounds……. an ancient temple in the forest, King Mengrai had built this shrine for a highly respected forest monk who liked to wander in the countryside, some of the walls of which still have the original paintings of birds and animals visible….. The large stupa is magnificent, and there is an eerie statue of a fasting, emaciated Buddha next to it….. You can also take a break by the ponds, where you can feed the fish and turtles… has a meditation centre open to foreigners and tourists…….Then visit Wat Suan Dok, which contains a large open-sided hall with a jumble of roughly hewn Buddhas and a huge dazzlingly whitewashed chedi behind… is a fourteenth-century temple built in a forest grove….. striking and white bell-shaped….and is special because of its large prayer hall which has the sides of the chapel open instead of completely enclosed…….. Learn more about Buddhism by chatting with a Buddhist monk through the temple’s Monk Talk program.

It would be imperative to mention here that the hub of Northern Thailand is much greener and quieter than the capital and has a cosmopolitan air…..temples dating back to the founding of the principality, in a combination of Burmese-, Sri Lankan-, and Lanna Thai-styles, decorated with beautiful wood carvings, Naga staircases, leonine and angelic guardians, gilded umbrellas and pagodas laced with gold filigree…….it is a well-known fact that you haven’t experienced Chiang Mai until you’ve seen the view from Doi Suthep, eaten a bowl of kao soi and purchased an umbrella from Bo Sang….. Of course, just as you might find this inviting… but kao soi, Bo Sang umbrellas and Doi Suthep are important cultural icons along with the most salient physical feature displaying the remains of the wall surrounding the old city. You must explore the soul and spirit of Chiang Mai on this small-group cultural tour.

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