A Morning with the Monks
You will need to start early this morning to head out of Chiang Mai to Doi Suthep Mountain, where you will arrive in time to see the monks leave their monasteries and begin their walk along the streets for the daily alms collection. Should you wish, you may offer alms; otherwise, it is still a fascinating cultural experience to see the brightly robed monks collecting the offerings and blessing those who have made donations.
You will then continue up the mountain to Wat Doi Suthep. This famous temple was built in 1383 as a shrine to house a Buddha relic. Your driver will take you up the winding mountain road, and then the temple is reached by either a steep 306-step staircase or a tram. As well as admiring the temple, visitors can also enjoy the panoramic views over Chiang Mai and the lush surrounding countryside.
On the way back to Chiang Mai, you will stop at Wat Umong. This temple is tucked away in peaceful woodlands and is over 700 years old. The forest setting and the 13th-century tunnels that wind beneath the Chedi give the site an air of mystery, particularly as no one is completely sure as to why the tunnels were built or what they were for. Should you wish, while at Wat Umong, you can also receive a blessing from a monk.
Back in the city, you will visit a local restaurant for lunch. Why not try some Khao Soi, a well-known Chiang Mai dish that has crispy noodles and a coconut curry soup.
Please note that as you will be visiting religious sites, you will need to cover your shoulders and knees. You will also need to remove your shoes at certain parts of the temples.