After morning pickup at your hotel, head to the Mae Ping River to see Wat Chai Mongkol. Walk through the grand temple with your guide and learn about the Buddhist tradition of offering alms to monks, gaining insight into the importance of Thai religious practices.
Next, hop on board a long-tail boat for a Mae Ping River cruise. The Mae Ping flows through Chiang Mai and provides irrigation for the rice paddies that surround the city. As you gently drift downriver, see classic teak houses and farms planted with soy, garlic and other crops.
Stop for lunch at a farmer's home and try a signature northern noodle soup: khao soi. The rich broth is flavored with coconut milk and curry, then served over Chinese egg noodles with chicken or beef, and topped with an array of garnishes: crispy shallots, pickled mustard greens, fiery chili, fresh cilantro and lime. Delicious!
When you have slurped your noodles, walk with your guide to a lush garden where you learn about favorite local vegetables and herbs, then visit fruit orchards and see rice paddies, strawberries, and coffee and tea plantations along the Mae Ping River.
After your walk, return by songthaew (a commonly used passenger truck) to central Chiang Mai. Stop at Warorot Market, a three-story building with stalls that overflow with all types of household goods, crafts, textiles and food. Sample some tasty bites and learn about dishes that are local favorites.
Finally, meander through Ton Lam Yai Flower Market where thousands of fresh-cut flowers make an excellent backdrop for photo ops. From there, return to Wat Chai Mongkol where your tour ends. Your guide can provide assistance with local transport to your hotel or next destination.