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Doi Mae Salong, Thailand

The lesser known Mae Salong
My friends and I stayed in a small guesthouse in the Chinese settlement called Mae Salong in northern Thailand in the Chiang Rai province. We used that as our base for a 2 day trek to visit the local hill tribes.

We stayed for one night in Mae Salong, an area that reminded me of a hill station with its cool climate and tea crops which have replaced the growing of opium poppies.

Climbing the hill to overlook the village was the highlight of our stay in this small town. At the summit is Phra Boromathat Chedi and you can explore this complex that houses many beautiful structures like the one pictured here. The climb up the stairs takes about 30 minutes to the top and you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the town.

Staying with the Lahu hill tribe
My highlight of a northern Thailand trip was staying with my hosts - the Lahu hill tribe. My guide, Addy, arranged for me and my friends to spend a night with the Lahu hill tribe in the Chiang Rai province, on the outskirts of the town called Mae Salong.

Our hosts spoke no English and we spoke no Thai. The village was powered only by solar panels. Our hosts cooked us the most delicious Thai meal for dinner with a single light source and we ate in their 'porch' along with them and our guide Addy. They had graciously prepared our 'beds' which were setup in their own bamboo hut, complete with mosquito nets that covered each individual bed, which was something like a sleeping bag.

In the morning we got to meet the rest of the people in the village and learn about the local handicrafts that were made in the village. The entire village was solar powered and made of bamboo. I have never eaten such delicious Thai food again. Not even in Bangkok. And definitely not in the United States.

To visit a hill tribe, or this particular one, please email the guide Addy at addy04@ymail.com

Doi Mae Salong, Mae Salong Nok, Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai 57110, Thailand