Mae Sa Valley – Chiang Mai

The Mae Sa valley is found just north of Chiang Mai. The valley makes a great day trip and offers a wide variety of attractions. Some more active activities are found relatively at the beginning of the valley and include e.g. quad drives. Further into the valley you find the Mae Sa waterfall, the Queen Sirikit botanic garden and some really special resorts that are even worth a visit for just dinner or lunch.

Mae Sa Valley
Mae Sa Valley

From Chiang Mai one has to drive just 15 km or so till you reach road 1096 to the left. Turn left into this road and here is where it starts. Just keep following this road and you will pass many beautiful places to visit. Not far and on the right you will find an orchid and butterfly farm followed by a monkey center as well as a snake farm. The orchid farm is not the only orchid farm. A little further you will find another one on the left called Suanbua Maesa Orchid (N18.9149, E98.9067). Further down the road you can also find Mae Raem Orchid Farm. We only visited the second one so I can’t compare these others with this one here. Suanbua Maesa Orchid was definitely worth it. You will find not only beautiful orchids but also a nice landscaped garden and orchid based souvenirs and jewelry that incorporate orchids.

Suanbua Maesa Orchid Farm
Suanbua Maesa Orchid Farm
Suanbua Maesa Orchid Farm
Suanbua Maesa Orchid Farm

Close to Suanbua Measa Orchid farm we stayed at a beautiful resort. This was a great base for various day trips such as the one to Pai. From this resort we used small roads through rural land and forest to get to Pai rather than using the very common highway. This is still one of my favorite trips. The resort, Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, offers a range of beautiful villas and a great view onto the green hills. You find it here N18.9252, E98.9100.

Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai
Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai
Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai
Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai

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Along road 1096 you can find small tiny roadside restaurants. By coincidence we found a beautiful one that was build right next to the river. The tables were located right next to a small waterfall. Just because we saw multiple cars parked next to the road without an obvious reason we closely looked what might be there. That is how we found this restaurant. They have beautiful grilled fish and chicken.

Mae Sa Valley street side restaurant
Mae Sa Valley street side restaurant
Mae Sa Valley street side restaurant
Mae Sa Valley street side restaurant

Continue further into the valley along road 1096 and you will find on the left hand side the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden. The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden was the first botanical garden in Thailand that was setup following international standards. Based on their website the goal of the botanical garden is to gather fundamental knowledge of Thai plants, to conserve their genetic diversity, and to strengthen studies and research on Thai flora. If you are visiting the valley don’t forget to visit the garden.

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

While travelling in this valley also try to explore some of the smaller side roads. You can run into some really beautiful views of the surrounding hills and even come across some nice terrace farming areas.

Mae Sa Valley
Mae Sa Valley
Mae Sa Valley
Mae Sa Valley

All the way far in the back of  the valley you can find another truly amazing resort. We did not stay here but just decided here for a dinner. This is the Panviman Chiang Mai Resort and Spa. This resort is located on a small hilltop. You park your car at the bottom of the hill and small cars from the resort will bring you up. From there you have an amazing view over the valley. Especially from the restaurant you get an almost 360 degree view. This is really special in this quiet and green area and evenly important the food is amazing as well. I definitely would recommend you to stop here even though prices for dinner will be a bit higher than what you find elsewhere in the valley. But hey, it is a special place and worth it.

Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort by night
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort by night
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa and Resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

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