Gay Travel to Northern Thailand
Chiang Mai and the north could not be more different than Thailand you expect. If you have not seen Chiang Mai, you have not really seen Thailand. No Thailand vacation should be considered complete without at least a few days in the North. We have much more to experience "upcountry," including a leisure cruise to Luang Prabang, two different tours to the Golden Triangle, and Isaan, the fascinating northeastern "rice belt."
Our three-day Introduction to Chiang Mai, Thailand's Orchid of the North for first-time visitors. We include plenty of sightseeing, including a sample of the local nightlife. If you have time, stay longer to enjoy one or more of the extra activities shown below.
Been there and done that? Try this three-day Chiang Mai Basics Package for return guests. You get one of our famous guides for a day to see and do practically anything you like. Shopping? More obscure temples? Or how about that umbrella factory you missed last time?
Have fun learning Thai cooking! Our five-day Chiang Mai Stay includes three days (or more if you like) of cooking classes plus plenty of exploration with one of our famous private guides. If you are not traveling alone and your companion wants to do something else, we have plenty of alternative activities included in the package.
Experience the "other" Thai Culture in Isaan and the former Kingdom of Lanna. You can shop endlessly, hunt for wild orchids near spectacular waterfalls, visit ethnic minority villages, or sample some of Chiang Mai's legendary nightlife. We offer several private travel itineraries in Northern Thailand that take you to Chiang Mai (including a Thai cooking school), Chiang Rai and the sensational landscapes of the"Golden Triangle," where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. You can also travel to/from Chiang Rai or Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang on an overnight or two-night Mekong cruise. If you are not a newbie visitor to Thailand, Isaan, the vast rice belt of the northeast, is full of wonderfuly authentic things to see and do.
Me Tarzan, You James! Looking for adventure in Northern Thailand? You can swing through the treetops of pristine rainforest in one of our amazingly fun swinging day trips. Spend another day white water rafting through some of the most awesome scenery on the planet. Includes Chiang Mai sightseeing and nightlife.
Have a week or longer and want to save money? This is our long stay program in Chiang Mai. You get a guided introduction to the Orchid of the North, then you are on your own. We can hook you up with a Thai boxing school or meditation center if you like.
Overnight trip to the other Orchid of the North, with plenty of breathtaking scenery along the way.
Venture north towards the Burmese border. Using Chiang Rai as your base, you visit hill tribe villages that once thrived on opium farming, see a 14th century capital, and take a quick trip into Myanmar for some amazing shopping. three days and two nights.
Golden Triangle Quickie
Don't have enough time for our extended Golden Triangle program? We have a "quickie" version that packs a lot into three days and two nights, but you need to arrive early the first morning and depart late on the third.
One or more nights in Chiang Rai with or without sightseeing, followed by a one- or two-night trip on the Mekong River to Luang Prabang, Laos. (Can also be done in reverse.)
We have also designed unique optional day trips that fit easily into any holiday schedule. If you take any of our all-inclusive packages you get a special price for the optional sightseeing you decide to add. Have a look at these creative adventures:
Walking tour within the moat-ringed Old City to see some of Chiang Mai's oldest architecture and the greatest concentration of working temples of any small area in Thailand. Life has all but stood still in this part of the city, which is somewhat forgotten by tourists.
Travel leisurely by boat up the Ping River and stop for a healthful massage.
Step back in time on a half day visit Chiang Mai's nearby sister city.
A day trip to Chiang Mai's lush wilds to see forests, waterfalls and endless vistas.You have a choice of things to see on your day in the coutryside--ethnic minority villages, tea plantations, orchid farms, or even a national park.
See a giant chicken and an elephant hospital plus authentic architectural and cultural treasures in a town well known for its ceramics. If you like, we can also arrange an overnight trip for those who really want to spend time with elephants.
The Vast Northeast is Thailand's "cowboy country" rice belt with its own unique culture, music and cuisine. This is probably the most "little visited" part of the Kingdom, although it is home to some of Thailand's most fantastic scenery and history. This is a custom tour that we build around your interests and the amount of time you have. Never heard of Isaan? You can read one customer's memories of his own journey through Isaan in our August 2018 Newsletter .
An easy trip from Bangkok is Nakhon Ratchasima (more familiarly called "Khorat"), an outpost of the Khmer Empire that built Angkor Wat. It's a charming province that is home to some splendid Khmer temples and laid back country living. Khorat is the jumping-off place for the rest of Isaan. This is a two- or three-day trip round trip from Bangkok.
Purple Dragon pioneered LGBTQ travel to Thailand, but everyone is welcome on our tours!
Photos: Suradet Konopakarnsri, Matthew Downs