Book ahead for boat tours via phone if possible.

Mae Ping River Cruise. Various Mae Ping River cruises, including lunch and dinner sailings, depart daily from the landing at Wat Chai Mongkol, just downriver from the Iron Bridge. 133 Charoen Prathet Rd., Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, 50300. 053/274822; 01/885–0663;

Scorpion-Tailed River Cruise. For a taste of how the locals used to travel along the Mae Ping, board a scorpion-tail boat, so called because of the large rudder at the stern of this sturdy Siamese craft. Services run from the east bank of the river, between Nawarat Bridge and Rattanakosin Bridge. Scorpion-Tailed River Cruise operates several 90-minute trips daily between 9 and 4:30. English-speaking guides provide commentary. Charoen Rat Rd., Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, 50300. 081/960--9398;

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