Mae Fah Luang Garden
If you’ve a deep affection for nature and floral meadows set in the backdrop of an azure blue sky, yet also itching for a greater adventure, Mae Fah Luang garden and its very own Doi Tung Treetop walk may just be the right fit for you.
Spanning over 10 acres of land, I’ve long heard that Mae Fah Luang garden is a popular tourist attraction in Chiang Rai where natural beauty abounds. It houses over hundred different kinds of flora from romantic red salvias and cheery yellow daisies to the rare lady’s slipper orchids.
On the exterior, Mae Fah Luang garden seemed like nothing out of the ordinary – with a pretty simple ticket reception area and an unassuming open entrance that you’d likely walk past, if not for the bunch of bright-yellow flowers adorning it. If you expect an exclamation of “Wow!” immediately upon entering, you might be slightly saddened. But fret not – this garden, widely acclaimed as the most visually stunning botanical park in Thailand, is more than meets the eye.
Venturing deeper into the heart of the garden, surprises slowly unfolded. In every corner, you’d find a plethora of bright, subtle colours and sweet floral scents wafting through the cool breezy air. You’d be surprised to see how immaculate these garden displays are!
There’s also a garden dedicated to lady’s slipper orchids, an ornamental garden, an alpine garden and many more. Mae Fah Luang garden is truly a sight to behold. If you’d like to take a break, enjoy a cup of chilled Macadamia nut coffee while people-watching.
Address: Mae Fah Luang Garden, Doi Tung Villa, Amphoe Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai 57240
Operating hours: 7:00 am – 5:00 am
Choui Fong Tea Plantation
Prepare for sensory overload. Whether it’s feasting your eyes on the boundless green landscapes, inhaling in the green-tea infused air, or savouring the mouth-watering matcha desserts, Choui Fong Tea Plantation has it all.
Having been to the BOH tea plantation at Cameron Highlands and O’Sulloc’s tea plantation at Jeju, South Korea, Choui Fong Tea Plantation certainly comes close enough as one of the most beautiful tea plantations I’ve ever seen. Very much unspoilt by development, the tea plantation is filled with neatly manicured tea scrubs set on picturesque terraced hill slopes. And if you’ve a keen eye, you’d be able to spot the heart shaped tree.
All in all, if you’ve a soft spot for everything matcha, you’ve to check out Choui Fong Tea Plantation!
Address: 97 Moo 8 | Pasang, Mae Chan, Chiang Rai, Mae Chan 57110, Thailand
Operating hours: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Doi Tung Royal Villa
In Doi Tung, ordinary civilians can gain access to the Doi Tung Royal Villa built for Her late Royal Highness Princess Srinakarindra and the Princess Mother, with just 80 baht!
Unlike most lavish palaces with gold-plated furniture and chandeliers, Doi Tung Royal Villa is a modest royal residence built in the 80s with simple Lanna and Swiss architectural designs. Its exterior may be plainly concrete and wood slabs, but what’s unique about the villa is its basic and understated interior. Panelled with recycled pine wood and gold teakwood flooring from the Forest Industry Organisation, the villa is a perfect epitome of elegance and functionality, reflecting the disposition of its owner.
The light-brown natural finish in its interior reminded me of an industrial style that seemed to have drawn inspiration from a warehouse. Albeit being amazed at the sense of unfinished rawness, my favourite was the hand-crafted wood inlay of constellations on the main hall’s ceiling. Designed by the Astronomy Society of Thailand, light bulbs representing stars in the constellation were installed on the ceiling.
Address: Doi Tung Development Project, Tambon Mae Fah Luang, Amphoe Mae Fah Luang, ChiangRai
Operating hours: 7:00 am – 5:30 pm
Akha Tribal Village
Your travel itinerary to Taiwan will never miss out Alishan, you’re constantly dreaming of an exotic travel to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, and you’re intrigued by the ancient history of Asia’s indigenous tribes – you’re an explorer of tribal villages. Well, then you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s an Akha Tribal Village right smacked in Doi Tung, Chiang Rai.
Like many hill tribes, the Akha is an indigenous hill tribe who live in small villages high up in the mountains. As of now, there are around 80,000 Akha living in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, where they constitute one of the largest hill tribes in Thailand. Unfortunately, due to the deteriorating ecological and economic situation in the Doi Tung mountains, the Akha has declined in size since the 1930s.
How to go: Similarly, from Chiang Rai town, take Highway No.110 for about 48 km and turn left onto Highway No. 1149 and go on for 15 km. You will pass by some Akha tribes along the way.