5. Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao Cave, Den Sali Temple & Waterfall
Don't miss this exclusive nature and cultural tour from Chiang Mai. Your tour starts at Chiang Dao Cave, which will take approximately 1.5 hours to reach on a route that goes through beautiful rolling hillsides. As you approach the caves, you'll see the scenic Doi Chiang Dao mountain range. The cave itself was the place where the Bermese soldiers rested before attacking Chiang Mai in the mid 1400s AD. Explore inside its complex of 5 public caves and see the the natural forms of their stalagmites and stalactites. Then, descend into a large cavern to see Burmese-style images of the Buddha and many shrines. You can freely explore two of the caves by yourself, as they are lit with electric lights!
Continue on to Den Sali Teak Wood Temple, located north of the city. This is one of Chiang Mai's most remarkable temples - the complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn (retreat house), a meditation hall, the kuti (monks' living quarters), a drum hall, and several other buildings, which are all built in a gorgeous traditional architecture.
Finish the tour at Bautong Sticky Waterfall, where you can climb on the limestone rocks of the waterfall, and enjoy your time bathing in the cool waters of the pool below. The Sticky Waterfalls are an impressive sight - the rocks are cream-colored and bulbous, almost cartoonish, and contrast beautifully with the dark green forest. The multi-tiered waterfalls are also stunning - don't forget to bring your camera! If you don't plan on getting wet in order to see the rocks, there are a couple hundred steep stairs you could take instead to see the various levels of the waterfalls. In the evening, head back to Chiang Mai.