Doi Mae Salong
Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai is very reminiscent of parts of China and much of the area’s history has a strong Chinese connections. When the Communists took over mainland China in 1949, remnants of the Nationalist Chinese army fled to the Thai-Burmese border. In 1961 they were driven into Thailand and some settled own on Doi Mae Salong Mountain and formed a Yunnanese. The Yunnese who settled here were involved in the opium trade until the Royal Thai Army resisted these activities.
Aside from Doi Mae Salong’s picturesque scenery, there is quite a bit to do here. If you wanted to you could quite easily stay two or three days. A tour of the Chokechamrern Tea plantation is worthwhile - the fact this brand of tea originally came from Taiwan underscores the area’s Chinese connections.
There is also a museum and the village market sells the fine teas produced around the village. There are also a number of Akha, Lisu, Mien and Hmong villages in the area, and the Hilltribe Development and Welfare Centre supports them with the sale of their handicrafts (mainly woven cloth and silverware).
Details: The museum opens daily from 08.30 a.m. to 04.30 p.m. The entrance fee is 30 Baht per person.
How to get there: Doi Mae Salong is located on Route 1089, 40 kilometers from Mae Chan. It is possible to get to the mountain by bus from Chiang Rai to Ban Basang where you can pick up a Songtaew to the mountain top.