13. Switzerland in Thailand? Nah, Doi Mae Salong

Mae Salong or Doi Mae Salong. This name represents out visit to Thailand and should go to the front page. If you have time to go just one place in China, make it Yunnan people say. If you have time to go just one place in northern Thailand, make it Mae Salong I say.

Some say it is a Yunnanese Shangri-la, or even Thailand’s answer to Switzerland, really? Yes you will eat Yunnanese food in any restaurant if you order one properly and see people talking Chinese in the street ,but one thing that colours this land different from Yunnan was that I could not read any China in the villagers’ eyes. They are just typical Thai who can speak two or more languages.

When the Chinese KMT(KuoMinTang, literally National Party) was defeated by MaoZeDung’s Communist army, the majority of the KMT army had retreated to the small island and built a new country(now Taiwan or Republic of China). But the small portion of KMT group led by general Duan didn’t surrender and crossed the border to the jungle of Myanmar(Burma).  These poor soldiers and their families had to sneak back into Thai mountain side as the Burmese army had a go at them to expel these JinHaws(galloping army). This is the story how the Mae Salong was born.

The main attraction of Mae Salong is getting there. No direct public bus, so we started the journey from Mae Chan by taking a green Songtaew.

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We don’t need a 4WD for this muddy crossing, do we?

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At Q-S-Thai(this is the closest town name I could recall),changed songtaew to another one.

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Mae Salong is so spread out that  moving from one to another is not as easy as most people think. The morning market area by the ShinSaen guest house could be most convenient to put your backpack down and search for a bed.

We got an en suite twin queen bed room(yes two queen beds in a room) at 300 Baht a night at ShinSaen.

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Mae Salong has very limited cafe scenes and once again they are so spread out. Have a look at these and be amazed.

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This unassuming coffee and tea shop is the best in Mae Salong, killer flavourful coffee and oolong tea from their farm straight to this outlet.

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No fancy names but simply ‘local coffee shop’ needs more explanation?

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Very friendly owner Sue brews coffee and tea in front of your eyes and will let you sample some teas if you order a coffee or other way around.

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Best coffee ever in north Thailand if not whole world.

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Another small eateries down the road.

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Typical tea house in Mae Salong.

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Every morning around 6 am the market is set around ShinSaen guest house, the scale is mini but the details are strong. Chinese oily stick or Pah-Tong-Koh and hot soy milk will remind you are in KMT territory.

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Need another glasses lady?

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Those are not buffalo horns, bamboo shoots.

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Coconut sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf then charcoal grilled. Only 5Baht.

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Little bit of indoor section too.

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This is my breakfast, a coconut, a water melon, a soy milk, five pork sates, some sticky rice, two golden mangoes and a bunch of sweet bananas.

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One and only Yunnan noodle Restaurant has got 30 Baht shredded pork noodle which can satisfy any fussy tongue.

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I thought the mountain village would be boring but my daughter and I were invited into the movie that doesn’t guarantee to be a block buster. Keep watching on Mae Salong, I will be a teacher of sort.

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