1. From Chiang Mai: Lamphun and Lampang Temples Tour
Begin with complimentary hotel pickup from Chiang Mai for a day spent in the less-crowded historical cities of Lamphun and Lampang. The tour's first stop is Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, said to be one of the best examples of Lanna-style architecture in the country. The temple complex houses a historical museum, massive brick gate, intricately-painted viharas, a sand-filled courtyard, bronze and copper stupas, all in a tranquil setting. Next, choose to jump on a horse cart — after all, Lampang is known throughout Thailand as "Horse Cart City." It is the only town in the country where these carriages are still found. A 15 to 30-minute tour around town will take you along the Wang River or past the city's quintessential sights. After lunch, head to Wat Prathat Hariphunchai, a fantastic 9th-century temple complex by the river. Said to be Lamphun’s largest, oldest, and most attractive temple compound, Hariphunchai Temple got its name from the Mon Kingdom city that ruled this part of northern Thailand from the 9th to 13th centuries. The final stop is Wat Chammathewi Temple, home to a stupa surrounded by arches holding 60 Buddha statues; Queen Chama Devi’s ashes are said to be found inside. The unusual square "stepped pyramid" pagoda is the oldest surviving example of its kind from the Dvaravati period, the family of which ruled much of Thailand from the 6th to 11th centuries. After the day is completed, relax on a transfer back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city.