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In 2019 the Yi Peng Festival celebration will probably fall on November 11th, and we shall make sure you are there on the day. Note that travel dates listed below are fixed for each destination! Secure your seat as soon as you can, since the early bird reward will be due on June 30, 2019.
Welcome to Thailand: the land of smiles, the land of joy!
Today your professional local guide will greet your group at the hotel in the evening, briefing about the entire trip, including information about the Yi Peng Festival.
Note: If you need private transfer from airport to hotel, just let us know when you make your inquiry and you will receive a quotation.
Your guide will pick you up at the hotel lobby after breakfast, then head to Thailand's most sacred place, The Grand Palace.
Once a royal residence, the Palace is best-known for Wat Phra Kaew, with the greatly revered Emerald Buddha, dating back to the 14th century. Thai kings stopped living there around the turn of the 20th century, but the palace complex is still used for all kinds of ceremonies and auspicious events.
Not far from the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, regarded as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. It is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, with the largest single Buddha image, the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas).
Take a break and have lunch at a local restaurant, before taking a water taxi to visit the legendary Wat Arun, also known as The Temple of Dawn. This is one of the best-known landmarks of Bangkok and one of its most published images.
After exploring Wat Arun, board a long-tail boat on the Chao Phraya River and you will pass by temples, riverbank markets and ordinary neighborhoods.
Return to your hotel for a good night’s rest.
Floating markets and railway markets are special sights you can only witness in SE Asia! This morning, you will visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, known for its size and fascinatingly chaotic vibes; and Maeklong Railway Market to see how locals shop even as trains pass by. .
After lunch at a nearby local restaurant, you will be taken to the airport. Take an hour-long flight north, to Chiang Mai. Sit back and relax on the way from the airport to your hotel downtown. Enjoy some leisure time in this lovely graceful town.
Depart at around 08:30 to visit some local Meo hill tribe villages. The Meo, a subgroup of the Hmong, still wear traditional costumes and maintain a lifestyle unchanged in centuries.
Notice how Meo houses sit right on the ground (not on stilts), with the main floor resting on an open space for food storage. Interact with villagers, as your guide serves as interpreter.
Drive approximately an hour to Doi Suthep Mountain, enjoying spectacular views of northern Thailand as you head past mountains and forests, towards Wat Phra That, one of the north’s most sacred temples.
Founded in 1383 AD, the temple is reached by climbing 309 steps (though for the less fitness-oriented, a tram is available for a small surcharge). The climb is rewarded by a superb panoramic view over the city. Return to Chiang Mai, stopping en route for lunch at a local restaurant.
Dress code: out of respect for the local culture, ladies should cover their shoulders with a short-sleeved top and full-length trousers or a knee-length skirt. Gentlemen should wear trousers and a short-sleeved shirt.
You will be picked up in the early morning from your hotel and will drive for approximately 1.5 hours for the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. Meet your English-speaking guide there and learn a little about the elephants, before changing into traditional Karen clothing.
You will spend your whole morning with the elephants. Activities include feeding, applying a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to elephants’ skin, bathing, brushing, interacting with the elephants at your leisure while learning about their lifestyle and behaviors. There are lots of good photography opportunities as well.
Around lunch time, eat some snacks and seasonal fresh fruit, before enjoying once again the impressive rural scenery on your way back to the hotel.
Yi Peng Festival celebration, Mae Jo location
In the afternoon around 3:30 pm, you will meet with your guide and driver at the hotel lobby. Drive to the festival venue (Mae Jo University) and enjoy VIP access to your seats.
After the celebration, your tour guide and driver will escort you back to the hotel at around 10 pm (the exact time will be advised).
Asia Highlights Exclusive VIP Experiences
If you book this trip with Asia Highlights before June 30, 2019, you will receive an early bird reward worth US$399 for a VIP ticket to the Yi Peng Festival at Mae Jo, with VIP seats, plus you will have:
- Round-trip transfer between your hotel and the event venue
- 1 sky lanterns for each traveler
- A VIP souvenir
- Buffet dinner (all kinds of Thai cuisine and soft drinks, water and juice)
Chiang Mai, regarded by some as the best city in the world to live, deserves more time for you to explore it. Your guide will give you plenty of suggestions about what to see.
May the free day in Chiang Mai be a happy conclusion to your holiday! Arrange your own flight to leave, either back to your happy home, or on to your next destination. Thanks for creating a beautiful journey together with Asia Highlights!
Thailand never goes short of hotel choices yet it is not an easy task to find a nice hotel that fits your tasts, interests and budget. Here's a list of Asia Highlights' picks for great value hotels; selection is made on a balanced mixture of traditional style and modern comfort, easy access to everything yet quiet enough for a good night's sleep.