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Doi Mae Salong

Doi Mae Salong (Thailand)

Practical information about Doi Mae Salong

  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
1 hour from Chiang Rai by bus
When to go
From November to May
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Doi Mae Salong

Travel writer
193 travel articles

Doi Mae Salong is a mountain in the extreme north of Thailand. Once a stronghold of the opium trade, the area is now an important tourist site.

My suggestion:
These days, most of the poppy crop has been replaced by high quality tea, especially Oolong, the "black dragon". I recommend going to visit one of the plantations where it's grown.

Doi Mae Salong mountain and the area around it offer some very beautiful views, due, in particular, to the tea crops, which lend the mountains a distinctive appearance. The landscapes and scenery here are fashioned by the hand of man.

Santikhiri, the village created by Chinese soldiers of the Kuomintang army, enabled me to understand the region's history and learn about its inhabitants. The mixture of Chinese and Thai cultures is to be found everywhere here, especially in the local cuisine. After clambering around the hills, what a treat it is to enjoy a dish of Yunnan noodles at the village's market. I personally adored it!

Discovering Thailand by visiting Doi Mae Salong is to discover a little-known aspect of this incredible country's history.

The area around Doi Mae Salong
Aurélie Chartier Travel writer
45 travel articles

Doi Mae Salong (or Mae Salong) is a small village nestling in the mountains in the north of Thailand, just a few kilometers from the Chinese border.

My suggestion:
Get up at 6 a.m. and go to the local ethnic market. Then follow the Akha grandmothers back to their village. This way you can explore their village without getting lost and even try to have a conversation.

Doi Mae Salong is the ideal place to go if you want to meet some locals during your journey around Thailand. In the heart of the mountains, Doi Mae Salong is surrounded by villages, most of them Akha. With a population that is mostly Chinese by origin, this little town is a real change of scenery.

Despite its size, Doi Mae Salong has lots of things to do. I loved the ethnic market, which was like nothing else I had seen in the rest of Thailand, and the crafts market which was a bit more touristy. Exploring the ethnic villages in the surrounding area gave me the chance to "chat" with the locals who, obviously, try to sell everything they can to travelers. But it doesn't matter. This way you learn a bit more about their customs and way of life.

And if you haven't walked enough already, you can climb the 719 steps that lead to Wat Santikhiri. You'll feast your eyes on the amazing view from the temple.