วันพุธที่ 24 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2553
Doi Mae Sloang = Enjoy fine tea and sakura blossoms
Doi Mae Sloang in Tambon Mae Sloang Nawk, Mae Fah Luang district of Chiang Rai province is the site of Santikiri village, known formerly as Baan Mae Sloang Nawk. This is a hamlet of settlers from the 93" Division who fled the then Burma into Thailand. In 1961, members of two battalions relocated their settlements. The 3" battalion settled in Fang district in Chiang Mai, while those from the 5th battalion chose Mae Sloang Nawk.
From December until February, visitors to Doi Mae Sloang will be greeted by the pinkish white sakura blossoms that grow abundantly on the mountain slopes. This is the tiniest of sakura blossoms and it is very rare in Thailand since it thrives only in very cold weather. Another attraction atop the mountain is the Phra Thart Chedi Sri Nagarindra Sadhitmaha Santikiri. This pagoda, whose architecture is close to that of the Lanna style, was built as a dedication to the late Princess Mother. Seen from afar, and especially in the evening, the pagoda stands out distinctly - adding to the overallbeauty and elegance of the mountains.
The fact that Doi Mae Sloang is located 1,200 meters above the sea level gives it two distinct characteristics as an attractive destination. From the mountain top, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains - altogether a wondrously beautiful landscape. Also, with the altitude, the area enjoys an all-year-round mild weather. This makes it ideal for the growing of tea, and as a result, there many tea plantations where the local people work. Ulong tea, famous for its smooth fragrant taste is grown here. It makes an excellent gift and is available from practically every shop in the village.
How to get there: By car, follow the Chiang Rai - Mae Chan Route for 30 kilometers. From Mae Chan district, drive another kilometer, then turn left and continue the drive for 12 more kilometers to arrive at the Hill Tribesmen Welfare Development Center. This center was set up to help the hill tribes develop their skill in silverware making. Eleven kilometers from the Center is the Yao Doi Pha Deua Village, a scenic look-out point and where hill-tribe handicrafts are on sale. From Baan Yao, the road takes you to Baan I-Kaw. Turn right at the intersection for Terdtai Village, followed by another left turn into a new direction; Doi Mae Sloang is 18 kilometers away on this route. That makes the entire trip from Chiang Rai to Doi Mae Sloang a 42-kilometer ride.