Mae Sa Valley is one of the greatest experiences of Chiang Mai. Less than an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai, amid thickly-forested hills, the road of Mae Sa Valley takes you to numerous touristic activities, resorts, waterfalls along with natural trails. Visiting Mae Sa Valley you can : take a picture with tigers, try your hands at elephant dung paper making, relax at a spa, shoot guns, discover snakes and insects, walk in botanical gardens and so much more.
Here is Chang Puak Magazine’s introduction itinerary to a refreshing day in the area: First, start the day with a cup of coffee at Tiger Kingdom. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with adolescent tigers and baby cubs. You can do everything from bottle-feeding the baby tigers to bravely posing with and petting the big guys.
Feeling green? Stop next door, at the Elephant PooPooPaper Park, an environmentally conscious company based in Chiang Mai which specializes in turning elephant dung into paper goods and stationery. It is a wonderful place to go with kids. The park is big and beautiful and it shows you the different steps in the making of dung paper and offers all sorts of paper products, including journals and envelopes made of elephant poo.
It also has products made from cow, horse and donkey poo. And, if you were wondering about smell, then be assured that poo paper has no smell at all. But we were told that customers still find themselves sneaking a quick sniff at the stationery, just to make sure...
Visitors can also enjoy the exotic orchid farms located along the route. Orchid plantations plays host to almost every species of orchid that grows in Thailand. This includes one of world’s most beautiful and rarest varieties - the Vanda Coerulea “pure white” orchid. In addition to fresh orchids, which can also be exported, farms offer a variety of souvenirs, such as gold-gilded orchid and butterfly ornaments.
By this time of the day, you will probably be very hungry. Try a local lunch of papaya salad and barbecue chicken at the little Thai restaurant located opposite the PT Gas Station (prices start from 25 Baht).
For the adventurous, another top attraction of the area is the snake show. King Cobra Show has an amazing track record of using humour and amazingly beautiful snakes to break down barriers, enabling audience members to conquer their fear of snakes.
Did you know that there are approximately 1 million species of insects known to science on the planet and there are still millions more waiting to be discovered? Wander through a unique changing ecosystem at Siam Insect Zoo, a place for breeding, rearing and displaying insects and arachnids including: butterflies, beetles, leaf insects, stick insects, mantis, giant scorpions, and spiders. There is also a butterfly garden zone where visitors can walk through or sit for a rest.
Shooting is another famous activities in the area. Mae Rim Shooting Range provides a safe and attractive open air environment where both paper and metal silhouette targets can be shot. The place provides guns for visitors and free instruction about correct and safe methods of shooting.
If you are the kind of traveller who loves spas, don’t miss visiting Chiida Spa, located on the way to Tad Mork Waterfall. This spa is located in the unique Sukantara Resort, recognized as “one of the world’s five best hotels by waterfalls” by London’s Independent Newspaper. Sukantara Resort is open for outside guests to enjoy purifying spa treatments and delicious Chiang Mai cuisine along the waterfall cascade. Chiida Spa is a true sensory treat in Chiang Mai!
Located in the Mae Sa Valley area, the Mae Sa Waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfall in the area. A winding path can take you up the stream and the various tiers of the waterfall. Mae Sa waterfall is very popular with Thai picnickers on the week ends, but be very careful during the rainy season as it is slippery. Mae Sa Waterfall is located in the Doi Pui/Doi Suthep National Park, so there is a fee to pay when entering the national park. Nature lovers will also enjoy Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden, a manicured natural garden with so many birds and different flowers and trees. Lately, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden has launched a canopy tour.
On the way back to Chiang Mai, why not stop at the Four Seasons Resort for a cocktail or dinner? Nestled amid terraced rice paddies and mountains, the rustic-luxe property offers a taste of Thai countryside life with lily-dotted ponds, resident water buffaloes and dining and cooking classes in al fresco settings.
Mae Sa Valley is the perfect destination when searching for serenity, charming beauty and great activities.