Depart in the morning or afternoon from your hotel in downtown Chiang Mai. If you booked the private option, you'll benefit from the services of a personal guide as you explore several centuries-old temples in the 'Rose of the North.'
Start with the crown jewel: Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located near the summit of its namesake mountain. Take a drive up the mountain’s winding road, then disembark for the final climb of 306 steps via a staircase designed as a magnificent naga (dragon-headed serpent). Inside the temple you'll find a copper-plated chedi (stupa) topped by a five-tiered gold umbrella, believed to contain partial relics of Lord Buddha. On a clear day, enjoy commanding views over Chiang Mai.
After your descent, continue on down a road into town, passing by Warorot Market before visiting two more impressive temples. First is the must-see Wat Chedi Luang, which towers 196 feet (60 meters) high and is the revered home of the Emerald Buddha. Next, visit the 14th-century Wat Phra Singh (Temple of the Lion Lord), which houses a sacred 1,500-year-old Buddha image and served as the principal religious center of the Lanna Kingdom. The complex is composed of several buildings of varying architectural and artistic merit.
Conclude your half-day tour with the return to your Chiang Mai hotel.