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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 24, 2018
Headline for Things to do in Mae Salong – Exploring the Little-Known Town in the North of Thailand
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Mae Salong – Exploring the Little-Known Town in the North of Thailand

Mae Salong, an ethnically Chinese town nestled in the northern mountains of Thailand is a far cry from the fast-paced capital of Bangkok. Here are the top things to engage in while you are there.

1

Visit the town

While Mae Salong is a tiny town, it serves as the market town for the surrounding region and so it has a wide number of markets that are well worth visiting. The first market opens at six in the early morning which is mainly aimed at fulfilling the locals' grocery needs. Another morning market can be found towards the west of the town, although it is only open on Saturdays. You can often see people of surrounding hill tribes visiting this market. While you are in the west, you will also likely see two other markets which are aimed at the tourists rather than the locals. Visit them, have a tea by the roadside stalls and take a moment to view the rural lifestyle of theThai people. Regardless of which Lanna hotel you are residing at, a visit to these markets is the best way to capture Thailand's culture and heritage.

2

Opt for a tea tasting session

The town's past rubs shoulders with the opium trade in the country, but the locals have now ditched the poppies to grow tea. Fast forward the decades and Mae Salong is now referred to as the tea capital of the north of Thailand. If you are in the area, a tea tasting session is an absolute must. Most hotels such as Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort would be able to organize a tea tasting session. For photographers, the hills and mountains covered in sprawling tea plantations make for wonderful photography opportunities.

3

Drop by to the Wat Santikhiri

If you can endure walking up seven hundred and eighteen steps up the hill, you are guaranteed to witness one of the most tranquil locations in the region. Sometimes shrouded in mist, the Wat Santikhiri is encompassed on all sides by a thick jungle which adds to the wild and serene nature of the location. The best times to visit Wat Santikhiri is during the mornings or afternoons. It's a tricky path to navigate at night. Oh and do not forget you have another seven hundred and eighteen steps waiting for you on your way back!

4

Consider going on a hike

With plenty of lush greenery and mountains around you, Mae Salong is the perfect place to opt for a hike or two. While most of the greenery is from plantations and orchids rather than thick jungles, it is still a memorable experience. Mae Salong is perched on a ridge so whichever direction you opt for, you will have plenty of climbs and descents that make for a grueling yet rewarding experience, exactly what some might be looking for. You can also hire a pony or horse to go on some hikes. They cost around five hundred baht and the trek is around four hours in total.