Northern Route, Highway 107 (Chiang Mai-Samoeng and Chiang Mai - Fang)
Mae Sa Snake Farm is situated at km 3 of Mae Rim - Samoeng Road. The farm displays snakes from all over Thailand, and studies snake breeding as well. Visitors can see snake shows, and see how venom is extracted from snakes. For daily showtimes: Tel. 053- 860719.
Orchid and Butterfly Farms and major flower nurseries are located along Mae Rim - Samoeng route (No 1096). These farms include Mountain Orchid, Tel. 053-297343, 053-299583; Mae Ram Orchid Tel. 053-297982; and Mae Sa Butterfly & Orchid Farm, Tel. 053-298605; Suan Bua Maesa Orchid, Tel. 053298564, Fax. 053-860365. Each provide opportunities for visitors to admire these exotic year- round blooms.
Mae Sa Waterfall, an 8-tiered tumbling cascade, is 26 kilometers from town and occupies a natural setting among gigantic towering trees. Travel on the Mae Rim - Samoeng road, turn left directly at km. 7 and enter the area of the national park. This waterfall is one of the most famous in Mae Rim district. The Mae Sa waterfall is divided into levels, rising in 8 stages up the slope of the foothills. The entire area is for ested with large trees which provide cool shade year-round. The fall is a favorite recreation spot for the people of Chiang Mai and visitors alike. Entrance Fee 200 baht
Elephant shows are very popular with visitors to the North. The usual format comprises elephants bathing and playing in the river, a display of elephants at work and an opportunity to take an elephant-back ride. There is usually a separate fee for riding the elephants in addition to the entrance fee. These shows are all - the more impressive as every effort has been made to minimize damage to the forest, creating a natural environment.
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is located at km 12 of Old Samoeng route and covers an area of 560 acres. It was established in April 1992 in order to gather, conserve, and strengthen studies and research on Thai plants and an extensive library in the main building. More than 700 species of plants, with the emphasis on Thai flora, have been collected. Tel. 053298171-5, 053-299753, Fax. 053-299754 during business hours.
The New Baan Hmong Mae Sa: Turn right directly at km 12. This is a Hmong hilltribe village located at 1,000 meters above sea level. The villagers continue to follow their age-old life-style wearing their costumes and selling handmade items as souvenirs to visitors. The steep terrain calls for mules to transport vegetables from the growing area to their communal market in their village.
The Thai Buffalo Training Camp is situated on 21 rai of magnificent farmland amid natural breezes and earthy fragrances. This is where honest and truthful buffalo work for steadfast farmers in Mae Rim. Visitors see the age old agrarian methods of sugar processing, ploughing the rice paddy and water wheel irrigation. A fascinating folk museum and traditional farm house illustrates rural life-style. Call for daily showtimes at Tel. 053-301628.
Richting Mae Hong Song
The pretty Mok (Morg) Fa Waterfall is just off the Mae Malai to Pai, route 1095. Take a left turn onto the gravel road after 20 kilometers, and proceed for another 2 kilometers. Although the volume of water is small, the river feeding the fall flows year-round. This is a shady and peaceful picnic spot.
Mon Angked is over 2 hours drive from Chiang Mai. The scenery there is stunningly beautiful and there are many other things to see, such as a mushroom nursery and an open zoo. Seven 'tree-house' style rooms are available for overnight visitors. Turn off the Chiang Mai -Fang Road (km 38) at Mae Malai market and follow the road to Pai, Rte. 1095, for about 30 kilometers. Turn off this road and then proceed a further 15 kilometers, following the signs posted at the road side.
Pong Derd Pa Pae is a hot spring in Mae Taeng District. It is the largest hot spring in Thailand with the main geyser shooting up to 4 meters in the air. There is an intense smell of sulphur in the vicinity of the spring as the surrounding dense forest cuts down the strength of the wind. To get there, turn left from the Chiang Mai -Fang road at Mae Malai intersection, (about 38 kilometers from Chiang Mai) and proceed on Mae Malai - Pai Road, Rte. 1095, for 44 kilometers. Make a right turn onto a laterite road and proceed a further 6.5 kilometers. A walk of about 500 meters leads to this impressive spring. It is best to visit the site during the dry season.
About 56 kilometers from Chiang Mai, on the road going to Fang, is the Taeng Dao Elephant Camp. There are 2 daily 1 hour shows, starting at 09.00 and 10.00, that include elephants bathing and hauling logs.
Entrance fee is 60 Baht and an elephant-back ride can be had for an additional 200 Baht per hour.
Doi Chiang Dao, one of Thailand's most impressive mountains, lies in the Doi Chiang Dao Wildlife Reserve. To get there, follow Route 107 from Chiang Mai to Fang then turn off to the left after 77 kilometers and drive to Chiang Dao Cave.
Tab Tao Cave can be found 3 kilometers to the left of the Chiang Mai - Fang road
at about km. 122. Although smaller than the better known Chiang Dao cave, Tab Tao cave '' matches it in beauty. In side the cave there are a number of Buddha images. The cave is divided into 2 smaller caves called Pa Khao and Pan Jek. At the cave's entrance is a Buddhist Monastery and a pavilion.
Doi Angkhang Mountain: On Royal Highway no 107 (Chiang Mai - Fang)
at approximately km. 137, there is a left-hand turning which enters into Yaang Village at Thada Market. Continue for another 26 kilometers. The road is paved it some parts and rises to a high elevation. This is the area o activity of Royal Project Doi Angkhang Agricultural Station whict conducts research on temperate climate fruits and flowers, conducts demonstrations of field crops, and oil-bearing crops of sufficient value for the hilltribes to plant instead of opium.
Doi Pha Luang Pha Hom Pok is about 180 kilometers from downtown Chiang Mai or about 5 hours drive. Famous for its flowers and the remarkable scenery in the forest and on the trail to the peak, this lovely mountain is also home to many hilltribes. By road, it can be reached by driving 20 kilometers from Fang towards Mae Ai, then turn left and continue for a further 20 kilometers.
Only 24 kilometers north of Fang, one arrives at Tha Ton (Thatorn) straddling the Mae Kok river. This river is regularly used by ferries plying the route from Mae Ai to Chiang Rai. Longtail boats can be hired for the journey from Tha Ton to downtown Chiang Rai for 160 Baht per person. Leaving at 12.30, the boat reaches Chiang Rai some four-and-a-half hours later.
Occupying an area of 60 hectares, and spread over several rolling hills, Wat Tha Ton sits high on the banks of the Mae Kok river. From the many ancient objects found in the temple grounds, it is assumed that this is a site of great antiquity. Amidst the beautiful scenery in the temple grounds are schools for both young boys and for monks, a drug treatment center and a hilitribe support unit. In honor of His Majesty the King's 50 years on the throne, the temple is building a hilltop glass stupa.