Doi Mae Salong is the location of the village of Santi Khiri which was formerly named Ban Mae Salong Nok. It is a community of Burmese migrants from Division 93 in Myanmar. Two battalions have migrated from Myanmar to Thailand since 1961: the 3rd Battalion to stay in Amphoe Fang, Chiang Mai, and the 5th Battalion to settle in Ban Mae Salong Nok. From December to February, whitish pink cherry blossoms or Dok Nang Phaya Suea Khrong (Prunus cerasoides D. Don) which is the smallest variety of Sakura (Rosaceae) are in full bloom along the way up to Doi Mae Salong. It is a species rarely found in Thailand because it grows naturally in a very cold climate.
How to get there: By Car – 2 routes
Route 1 (new route):
From the provincial city of Chiang Rai, take the Chiang Rai – Mae Chan route for 29 kilometers. Then, turn left onto Highway No. 1089 (Mae Chan – Tha Ton) at Kilometers 856 before reaching the main entrance of Amphoe Mae Chan, passing the Pa Tueng hot spring, Lan Thong Village, the distance is 31 kilometers. At kilometers 55, turn right and follow the winding mountain path up for 13 kilometers, a total distance of 73 kilometers.
Route 2 (old route):
From the provincial city of Chiang Rai, the Chiang Rai – Mae Chan route takes you through Amphoe Mae Chan for a distance of 1 kilometre. Turn left and follow the signs to Doi Mae Salong. This path is quite narrow and winding about 23 kilometers through Ban Pha Duea – a stop for hill-tribe handicrafts, and then Ban Pa Miang. At kilometers 10, turn left onto Highway No. 1234 at the T-junction of the Hill-tribe Development and Welfare Centre (distance of 25 kilometers), and via Ban Iko Sam Yaek. At kilometers 9, take a left turn for another 12 kilometers (right turn takes you to Ban Thoet Thai). Hence, the total distance of asphalt road from Chiang Rai is 64 kilometers. From Doi Mae Salong a road leads to Tha Ton, Amphoe Fang of Chiang Mai province, a distance of 45 kilometers.
Activities on Doi Mae Salong:
- Visit a tea plantation and learn tea production methods. Tea is a community crop grown on Doi Mae Salong in thousands of acres. Here is a tea plantation, tea processing factory and tea shops lined up on the main road through the village, where visitors will enjoy buying tea and accessories. Oolong tea of Doi Mae Salong is famous for its fragrance and taste – similar to the original from Taiwan. Anyone interested can visit a tea plantation and try plucking as well. Appointments must be made in advance; Chok Chamroen Plantation and Tea Factory, Tel. 0 5376 5114/ Wang Phut Tan, Tel. 0 5376 5094/ Rai Cha 101, Tel. 0 5360 7500, 08 6912 1805.
- In the morning, enjoy sightseeing and shopping in the market of Ban Santi Khiri for a variety of traditional products, temperate vegetables and fruits, as well as, see hill tribes with varying indigenous decent.
- Enjoy a scenic horseback ride around Ban Chiang Cha Sai. Experience the lifestyle and culture of seven tribes, including Chinese, Shan, Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Mien, and Luo. Visitors can learn the history and understand how indigenous knowledge is particularly important to environmental management. See a variety of occupations like agriculture and community-based tourismeters Accommodation here is homestay and camping.
Contact the community coordination centre, Tel. 0 5360 7941, 08 5038 6362, Mae Salong Nok Sub-district Administration Organisation, Tel. 0 5376 5129, Fax. 0 5376 5409 www.maesalongnok.go.th.