Experience the Chinese Settlement on Doi Mae Salong with the All New Pajero sport
Thailand and China have had a close relationship for a long time but there are certain historical facts that you may have never been aware of. Did you know that Thailand provided humanitarian aid to the Chinese when the Kuomintang lost to the Communist Party in China and had to flee to Taiwan? A small group fled to Myanmar but were forced out and Thailand took them in and settled them on Doi Mae Salong. Nowadays, this Chinese settlement has become a key tourist attraction in Chiang Rai so let’s go visit the place with the Amazing Road Trips with All New Pajero sport.
Get to Know Our Destination
Former soldiers of the 93rd Division of the Kuomintang Party had to flee their motherland once the Communist Party gained victory. They fled into Myanmar but were soon driven out when Myanmar lodged a complaint with the United Nations in 1953. The 30,000 soldiers under the command of Generals Lee Wen-huan and Tuan Shi-wen seek asylum in Thailand and were granted asylum, with General Lee’s soldiers resettled in Tham Ngob in Fang District, Chiang Mai and General Tuan’s soldiers on Doi Mae Salong from 1961 onward. Initially, there were problems of the soldiers dabbling in illicit narcotics and remaining armed but the forces came under the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters and a Cabinet resolution in 1972 to officially take in the Chinese forces ended those activities. The Chinese took up agriculture with the Thai government supporting the planting of tea leaves and Khasiya Pine. The community on Doi Mae Salong was named Santikhiri and Thai identification cards were issued to its occupants in 1978.
The 800-household community is located 1,200 meters above sea level with livelihoods centered on the planting of Oolong tea leaves. The community has temples, churches, and mosques, electricity, telephone lines, and even a branch of the Thai Military Bank. Don’t miss paying respect at the Phra Tat Santitham Temple with the Thepnimittham Chedi and its spectacular panoramic view.
Fun in the Sun
- Now that you’re at a famous Oolong tea manufacturing site, don’t miss sampling the local tea. Tea is taken in the Taiwanese style and if you like the taste, don’t forget to buy some home. Tea plantations and tea leave picking are also available for viewing free of charge.
- Doi Mae Salong is another area where you can enjoy Sakura blooms. The trees are located at the entrance of the Santikhiri Village on the Kewsatai side and Ban Eko Sam Yaek side for an interval of 4 kilometers. The Sakura trees here have been planted since 1982 and the blooms can be seen from December to February.
- The weather on Doi Mae Salong is cool all year round but it can get chilly during the Winter so do prepare enough warm clothing.
- Doi Mae Salong has plenty of accommodations to choose from, whether it be resorts, guesthouses, homestays with the locals, or even camp sites. A lot of tourists also choose to stay in the city and visit Doi Mae Salong on a day trip.
How to Get There
There are two routes to Doi Mae Salong. The first route is from Muang District in Chiang Rai Province via Highway 10 to Mae Chan which is about 29 kilometers. Turn left onto Highway 1089 (Mae Chan-Ta Torn) once you reach the narcotics checkpoint at Kew Satai 3-way junction. At the 55th kilometer marker, you will come across the road up the hill from where it is a 15-kilometer winding road. The other route uses Highway 10 passing through Mae Chan and Mae Sai. Once you reach the 860th kilometer marker, turn left to Doi Mae Salong. This route is more narrow and has more turns but it will take you through the hill tribe village. Once you reach Ban Pa Mieng, turn left onto Highway 1234 for 25 kilometers. At the 9th kilometer market, turn left again and you will reach your destination.
Safe Driving Tips
For more information, please contact
Chiang Rai Tourism Authority of Thailand Office
Areas of Jurisdiction: Chiang Rai, Payao
448/16 Singhaklai Road, Muang District, Chiang Rai 57000
Tel: 0 5371 7433, 0 5374 4674-5
Fax: 0 5371 7434