Green Attraction

Doi Mae Salong

Chiang Rai

       With nature within arm's reach and the altitude allowing the tranquility to survive, Santikhiri Village in Doi Mae Salong, Chiang  Rai province is compact, well structured and accessible to visitors who will not have a hard time landing an accommodation of choice on the main streets.


          A restricted area turned romantic holiday hideout, especially for tea lovers, was once a heavily deforested and highly militarized zone. Back in the 40s when General Chiang Kai-Shek fled to Taiwan from China along with his Guomintang armies, two regiments of Division 93 refused to follow suit, continued fighting and later on settled in the north of Thailand. Then came 1961 when the Thai government allowed 4000 soldiers led by General Tuan Shi-Wen to stay in Mae Salong on condition they help Thai army fight minorities and communist insurgents. The buffer zone was hence dubbed "Mountain of Peace" as a reminder of the prolonged violence.


        Division 93 not only brought the ammunition but the Yunnanese cuisine from the southwest region of China. This relatively spicy and greasy chinese cuisine has mushroom as a star ingredient. Of notable dishes being served in Santikhiri is "Khamoo Man Tow" or marinated pig leg served with bun that comes with steamed shitake mushroom. 


          Tea, which was replace by opium plantations, is the highlight of this area. Visitors will feel hypnotized by the tea aroma which permeates the cool fresh air from the array of teashops. If sipping tea is not enough, one can always indulge with the "Yum Bai Cha" or spicy tea leaf salad which is the local delicacy on most menus.


            The "Must Visit" attractions once there are the tomb of General Tuan and a temple dedicated to Princess Mother. The first is the white marble structure, built in 1980 on a hilltop, overlooking the village he helped developed and a perfect spot to enjoy the panoramic views of the landscape. The second is only 4-km away where you can see as far as the Burmese border and enjoy the breathtaking sunset.


For more information, contact TAT Chiang Rai office at 0 53 717 433 or 0 53 744 674-5.