Mae Salong, Thailand

Area Code 053 $1=38B, June 16, 2006

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NE part of the N.Thailand, about 2000m above sea level, there is a settlement for Chinese community, descendants from Chinese anti-communist army which fled from China when the communist army won the civil war about 50 years ago. Main group of the people are Chinese and hill-tribe groups are also living near by. It is a village surrounded by tea plantation and mountains and very quiet, relaxing and cool place, an ideal place to escape from the heat of SE Asia.
It is accessible from Chiang Rai and Thaton, 2 hour by bus and songthiaw. Total distance is 76km from C.R.

Access:
From Chiang.Rai:
There are two routes.
1. Take a bus to Maesai and get off at Pasang (pronounced Basang). Then change to a minibus(small truck bus)
60B to Maesalong.
2. Take a bus to North(Mae Sai or Chiang Sean) then get off at Mae Chan. Then take a minibus to Kewsatai, then take another minibus to Maesalong.
From Thaton: Take a minibus to Kewsatai, then take another minibus to Maesalong.

Arriving:
If you come from Pasang, you come to the village passing through Maesalong Villa. If you come from Kewsatai, enter the village passing through Khum Nai Phol Hotel. The both minibus will stop at 7 Eleven. The most guest houses are near 7 Eleven.

Warning: If you come to this village for a day trip, the last minibus to either to Kewsatai or Pasang stops early, at least before 15:00. If not enough passengers from either direction, the minibus will not come to the village. So you may expect to stay this village over night or take hitchhike to Pasang.

i Information: You can get some information at TAT in Chiang Rai.
Map: Very useful copy of map available at Aka GH. 10B
$ Bank and ATM: near the evening market and Kum Nai Phol Hotel./GH 10min walk from the super market. M-F 8:30-15:30, ATM for Visa/Master card.
M Post Office: ?
P Police: From the super market, go back toward Pasang(north) about 5 min. on the right side.
m1 Morning Market::near Aka GH. Morning only. You can see a few Aka people. Most of the villagers come and buy the food for breakfast and food material for the day. Steamed sticky rice with beans wrapped with banana leaves. 2B, Hot soya milk 5B are excellent breakfast for you.
m2 Evening market: near the bank/Khum nai Phol. Mainly souvenir shops of the hill-tribe villages and Chinese tea shops.
s 7 Eleven: in the center of traffic, near the songthiaw stop. 7:00-19:00 or later.

Festival
End of Jan Sakura Flowers Blooming Festival(Cherry blossom): Tea Exhibition and Demonstration and Beauty Contest and Hilltribe performances.



Hotels
LOW MID HIGH

HOTEL CODE
h1 Gold Dragon Inn: Take the left road from the T section after the songthiaw stop. The first GH on the left. 13/4 Bansan Tikeepee T053-765009 ab f d300, TV(L) d400B HW R C4
h2 Aka GH: 45 Moo 1, Doimaesalong, after Gold Dragon, turn right. The first GH on the right. T765103 sb HW f s50-100, d100-150 C2 Very useful map on sale 10B, very big clean rooms. Rec.
h3 Shin Sane GH: next to Aka GH, T053-756026, sb d 100B C2, ab f TV(L) s200 d300R HW C4. Very basic small rooms Rec.
h4 Maesalong Central Hill Hotel: 18/4 Doi Maesalong T053-765113 just next to the Songthiaw stop, opp from the super market. ab f s/d500B HW TV R C5 The rooms are relatively small but good facility. Good view from the room. Rec
h5 Maesalong Resort: T053-765014, From the minibus stop in front of Maesalong Central Hill H, take a right road to climb up the road. ab f 500-2000B HW TV(Thai Chinese) At the end. you can see a beautiful garden and facilities.Rooms are expensive. (2004 info)
h6 Hui Chin Hotel: a bit down the road to Pasang from 7 Eleven. right side. T053-765298, ab HW f d250B C3 comfortable bungalows but no view.
h7 Maesalong Villa: 1 km E on the road from the songthiaw stop to Pasang. So if you want to stay here and coming from Pasang, you should get off before you reach the center(super market) T053-765114, maesalongvillaothai.mail.com ab HW f TV(L) d800-1000B HW C5 large and clean rooms with large balcony. View to the valley.
h8 Khum Nai Phol Hotel/GH: 58 Moo 1, Doi Maesalong T765003, T01-4935242. about 500m from the songthiaw stop. You songthiaw may take you to the evening market which is opp from this hotel. f ab HW d 500B, TV(L) bungalow d800B C5 R cheap units are small and nice units but the expensive ones are bungalows on the hill side with the beautiful view of the valley. If you can afford it. Highly Rec
h9 Maesalong littehome GH: 31 Moo1 T053-765389, www.maesalonglittlehome.com sb d200B

Restaurant
Only Chinese food is available. But very few choices. Some GHs serve food but the quality is lower. If you want to eat basic food, such as fried rice, there is no difference in prices between at hotels' restaurant and guest houses's one. You may try the hotel restaurants.
Many tea shops in town offers Chinese tea, with
30-50B. per pot or often free. You can share with your friend. You can enjoy talking about tea with Chinese tea sellers. It is very enjoyable to learn how to drink tea in Chinese way. Speciality is Yunnan noodle and wanton. Chinese buns(breads) with meat/sweet beans are also sold in few shops. 5B/piece
r1 Yunnan nood and wanton shops: There are several restaurants. Walk a few mins N(toward Pasang) from the super market.two on the right and one on the left. They all serve similar food with same price. 20B for noodle, 20B for a ball of wanton. Rec
h3 Shin Sane GH: Chinese food, 30B+, basic food.cheap
h8 Khum Nai Phol Rest. See Hotel section. Food start from 30B to 200B. we have not tried yet but menu looks very good and cheap food is also available. Drinks are available with normal price.
h6 Maesalong Resort: see hotel section. Chinese tea 50B, food is also available

Transport
MiniBus: songthiaws(minibuses) stop opp from 7 Eleven.
The last ones leaves around 15:00 to either direction. They may not come to this village if they do not get enough passengers.
If there is no sign for a minibus, consider to travel by hitch(easy).
To Pasang(Basang): 40min,
60B This songthaw may leave from the evening market via the 7 Eleven.
You can travel to Chiang Rai via Kewsatai, Mae Chan. If you cannot get one to Pasang, you may consider to go to Kewsatai.
To Kewsatai then Thaton/Maechan:30min
30B, from the 7 Eleven passing through Evening market. Then Thaton 30B. From Kewsatai, you can go to Mae Chan then Chiang Rai
Take a pill if you get sick on a bus easily.

Sight
Get a map at Aka GH(10B) or at your GH and walk around the village.
Famous for cherry/ plumb blossoms Dec-Jan.?
But the best thing is just enjoy nice scenery and cool climate
S Tea: most famous product. Many shops selling tea. At most of the shops you can ask to taste some for free. 3-400B for Good tea 200g. Coffee is another product but quality is low.
S Buddha pagoda: on the top of the mountain. You can climb up Take the right road from the songthiaw stop. It may takes 15-20min. on foot. Very hard. You can get very nice view to all the valley.
S Trekkng on house is available. Ask at GH. half day 300B Also Shin Sane GH offers trekking with riding a horse 300B

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