Excursions

Our retreats are structured with meditation and study in the morning, and guided excursions in the afternoon. Two excursions are included in the base price of the retreat. Optional excursions are listed below.  

 

Chiang Mai

December 12 - 17

 

Thursday Dec 13

Evening Bike Tour 3.5 hours

$60.00 to add excursion.

Subject to Price change and availability

 Exploring the city on a bike tour through Chiang Mai.

Exploring the city on a bike tour through Chiang Mai.

Spend a magical evening cycling the maze of small back lanes exploring Chiang Mai’s old city and famous temples. Wrap up the evening sampling street food at the night market.


Friday Dec 14

Hidden Temple Hike + Doi Suthep

Hike  is moderate about 45 minutes. Van is available. 

Included in base price.

Dinner at the gallery restaurant not included.  Trip Advisor rates as $$ - $$$. Casual to fine dining. 

 Original Hidden Temple shrine

Original Hidden Temple shrine

Hike the Monk's Trail to The Hidden Temple, then we will take a van up the mountatin to Doi Suthep. You can also take a van to the Hidden Temple if hiking is not your thing. 

The Hidden Temple, also known as Wat Pha Lat, is a secret jungle temple in Chiang Mai nestled in the forest a few kilometers down the road from Doi Suthep.

Built on top of a rock, this Buddhist temple is completely out of sight, lost in the lush jungle. The Hidden Temple was originally used as a resting place for people on the Monk's Trail pilgrimage to meditate at the mountain top temple Wat Doi Suthep.  The location developed into a meditation retreat and a monks’ residence, and is still active today.  

 306 steps to Wat Doi Suthep

306 steps to Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, also known as Doi Suthep, is one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in north Thailand. It is nestled on the highest ridge overlooking the city of Chiang Mai, with spectacular views of the city.  The approach to the temple is a 306 step staircase intended as a walking meditation.

 

 

We will end the evening with an early dinner at The Gallery Restaurant, which is an art gallery and restaurant with a classic setting for casual fine dining. This beautiful restaurant is located next to the Ping River and specializes in Thai, Chinese and International food. Enjoy the superb ambiance of The Gallery. The refined décor, along with a multitude of dishes and drinks that will ease you into the perfect Thai experience. The Gallery Restaurant offers a quiet respite to dine by the Ping River. 

 The Gallery Restaurant, next to the Ping River

The Gallery Restaurant, next to the Ping River

Saturday Dec 15

Elephant Nature Park

$100 to add this excursion

Subject to price change and availability

 Educational eco-tourism day trip to the elephant nature park.

Educational eco-tourism day trip to the elephant nature park.

Take an all day excursion to an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center on a 250 acre reserve 46 miles (1½ hour drive) outside Chiang Mai. As part of their educational ecotourism program, we will be picked up at the hotel, visit the park, hang out and feed the elephants, learn about their history, and observe them bathing in the river. Lunch is provided at the sanctuary. Return to hotel by 5:30pm.


Sunday Dec 16

Wat Umong + The Silver Temple + Sunday walking market.

$45 to add this excursion, please note that women are not allowed inside the main Silver Temple. 

Subject to price change and availability

 Silver Temple

Silver Temple

We will start this optional excursion by visiting  Wat Umong. This 13th century temple is built in a wooded area of SuThep mountain and has unique meditation tunnels that were built so the monks could meditate during the rainy season in Chiang Mai. 

After Wat Umong, we will visit the Wat Sri Suphan (the Silver Temple), one of the oldest in Chiang Mai, built originally between 1495 – 1515. The main temple building is covered inside and out with silver bas relief panels depicting the life of the Buddha. The silver represents Yin energy which is linked to the moon which is a symbol of wisdom. 

Every evening from 6-9pm the monks at the Silver Temple offer a program called Culture Night. The evening includes Monk Chat, a time to talk with the monks and ask questions, 5:30-7:20pm, and from 7:30-9:00pm they offer a meditation program. The charge for these monk-led programs is 250 Baht, about $8 U.S. which is not included in the excursion price. 

 Locals enjoying the Sunday walking market

Locals enjoying the Sunday walking market

In the evening, you are on your own for the Sunday Walking Market which comes alive with street entertainers, musicians, puppeteers, Thai dancers, and bands all performing under the beautiful colored lights. There are a number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars in the market area where you can opt out of the crowd and sit and enjoy a meal or a drink and people watch.  The whole place has a very festive nature which makes the Sunday Market a must do on any visit to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Chiang Rai 

December 18 - 22

Tuesday Dec 18

Spa Day & Afternoon bike tour

Spa treatment costs vary and require reservation  Please inquire with us upon booking

Bike Tour $20 per person to add excursion

 Last year's participants on bike tour of farms and villages near Museflower.

Last year's participants on bike tour of farms and villages near Museflower.

Visit the Museflower Spa and get a massage, facial or other relaxing spa treatment.

After the spa, take a guided afternoon bicycle ride along the country lanes surrounding Museflower Retreat Center.  Visit sleepy villages nestled on the hilltops and the sloping hillsides and ride past farmers working in the rice and lotus paddies.


Wednesday Dec 19

The White Temple + Kuan Yin + Night Market

$40 to add this excursion, includes admission fees to temples

Dinner at Night Market not included

Subject to price change and availability

 The White Temple

The White Temple

The White Temple is a contemporary, unconventional, Buddhist temple designed, built, and owned by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The artist intends for the area adjacent to the temple to be a center of learning and meditation and for people to gain benefit from the Buddhist teachings. This is one of the most famous temples in Chiang Rai. 

 Giant Kuan Yin statue in Chiang Rai.

Giant Kuan Yin statue in Chiang Rai.

Kuan Yin Statue at Wat Huai Pla Kung Temple. This 226 foot white statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion stands high on a hill overlooking Chiang Rai. The view from the top through her third eye of the surrounding hills and nearby temples is worth the visit. At the nearby 9 tier pagoda, the ground floor has a big wooden Kuan Yin, and one can climb up all the way to the highest tier with different statues of Kuan Yin on each level.

Chiang Rai Night Market. Behind the clothing and carved wooden elephant stalls are a multitude of stands selling a range of northern Thai delicacies including ‘khao soi’ (curried noodles)  and grilled river prawns. This is a great place to enjoy a truly Thai experience.


Thursday Dec 20

Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai

$40 to add this excursion

Subject to price change and availability

 

 Oub Kham Museum in Chiang Rai

Oub Kham Museum in Chiang Rai

Known throughout Thailand as the original home of the translucent green Buddha which adorns the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok's Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha was situated at Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai for 43 years (1934-1977) before its discovery. A new Emerald Buddha image was carved out of Canadian jade in 1991 and installed at Wat Phra Kaew. We will also visit the Lanna Museum which is located on the temple grounds.

The Emerald Buddha

The Oub Kham Museum in Chiang Rai houses an extensive and remarkable collection which brings to life the history and culture of the different Tai and hilltribe groups of Laos, Vietnam, Southern China, and Thailand. The entrance fee includes a guided and very informative tour.


Friday Dec 21

Day trip to Chiang Saen and the Golden Triangle

Guided excursion and dinner included in base price

 View of the Mekong River.

View of the Mekong River.

We will go by private minibus with an English-speaking tour guide for the 1 ½  hour ride north to the Golden Triangle and the Mekong River town of Chiang Saen. We will stop at the ancient Wat Phra That Chedi Luang with its beautiful open air prayer hall and newly painted red columns and high roof.

Golden_Triangle_1.jpeg

We will then head for the Hall of Opium, a modern museum displaying multimedia exhibits describing the 5000 year history of opium. We will then view the “Golden Triangle” which is the meeting point of the three countries of Laos, Thailand, and Burma (Myanmar) and take a boat taxi over to a market on the Laos side of the mighty Mekong River. We will end the day with a group farewell dinner at the Imperial Golden Triangle Resort in Chiang Saen.