Doi Mae Salong : ‘Have a sightseeing. Taste a cup of fresh tea.’
Beside of historic tourist attractions like temples or museums, there are also many natural tourist attractions in Chiang Rai. The province is located in northern Thailand, which is full of mountains and trees. Therefore there is no wonder why.
These natural tourist attractions are mostly national parks or mountain areas. If you visit any of them, you will totally forget about stuffy and polluted atmosphere of your big city life. You will be surrounded with sweet smell of greenery instead.
Now, if you’re interested in this kind of tourist attraction in Chiang Rai, but you still don’t know you destination, then here is your suggestion.
‘Doi Mae Salong’ is waiting for you.
Years ago, Doi Mae Salong started from being a community of Chinese soldiers from Kuomintang Party. But now, it is an important tourist attraction of Chiang Rai and the living area of Chin Haw people. The ethnic group has been living in the area for a very long time, until their village has got the name ‘Santi Keeree Village’.
Doi Mae Salong is a high mountain area. It is 1,200 metres higher than the sea level. Therefore you will see the stunning scenery all time. You can see houses and valleys from a great distance. Moreover, the weather around there is mostly cold. If you hate hot weather, you should go.
The most outstanding thing of Doi Mae Salong is ‘Oolong growing’. That is right! The villagers at Doi Mae Salong grow Oolong tea to support their lives. And, in case you don’t know, Oolong tea is a kind of Chinese tea.
Therefore, if you visit Doi Mae Salong, the activity that you can not miss is ‘Oolong tea tasting’, at least a small cup of it.
There are many many tea shops at Doi Mae Salong, probably dozens. You can choose any one you like. All cups of tea are guaranteed to be fresh and smell so good.
Beside of tea drinking, you will also have a chance of learning too. You can talk to the villagers about tea growing or tea making. On top of that, you can even visit their tea fields, which are millions square metres large and consists of millions tea trees. You can walk around, ask the villagers your questions, and learn about all these local intellect without having to pay for anything.
Choui Fon Tea Plantation is one of the most famous Chiang Rai Attractions. You will absolutely fall in love with it if you go. The scenery around Choui Fong Tea Plantation is really beautiful. You will see millions of tea plants being grown in descending lots. And you will also see valleys from a great distance.
101 tea plantation is another attraction where tourists love to visit. The tea trees are lined in staircase field. You can experience tea picking and production, tea brewing, and tea tasting. Of course, tea as souvenir are available for purchase.
After you finish your cup of tea, you may want to continue a little bit further, as there is also Sinakarintra Stit Mahasantikhiri Pagoda. The pagoda is located on the top of the mountain, about 1,500 metres higher than Santi Keeree Village. If you want to go there, you have to be extra careful, as the road is really curved and steep. However, when you reach your destination, you will see how beautiful it is. The pagoda is decorated in Lanna contemporary style. It was built in the year 1996, in order to be bestowed upon Princess Srinagarindra, the royal mother of King Bhumibol.
Next, you may want to take a sightseeing under Nang Phaya Sua Krong trees, or Thai Sakura. Just walk along the entrance of Santi Keeree Village and you will see them. They will bloom during winter. So beautiful! Don’t forget to get your camera ready.
Lastly, you should dress in thick cloths to go to Doi Mae Salong. Always remember, the weather there is cold, especially if you go up to the mountain top area.
How to get there
If you want to drive your car, you can start your trip from Chiang Rai downtown. Just reach Mae Chan County by following the Highway No.10. Then switch to the Highway No.1089(Mae Chan-Ta Ton) instead. After that, you should reach Kew Talai Junction very soon. Just turn right. Keep going along the curved road that will lead you to Doi Mae Salong.
Or, if you don’t have your own car, you can take a minibus instead. You can go to Mae Chan Market to hail a green minibus. Look for one that can take you from Mae Chan to Ta Ton. It will not give you a ride all the way to Doi Mae Salong. You will have to switch to another bus to complete your trip.
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