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Mae Chaem

Travel Guide

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Up until recently one of the remotest spots in northern Thailand, the small town of Mae Chaem is now proud possessor of no less than three sealed roads: the 100 km windy mountain route 1263 to Khun Yuam, the relatively straight and flat 45 km route 1088 linking up with highway 108 near Ob Luang National Park and the scenic route 1192 passing along the foot of Doi Inthanon to Chom Thong. Mae Chaem is now connected to the outside world and tourists are beginning to trickle through.

The small town itself, quite busy as the market, and now transport, centre for the numerous surrounding villages, is inhabited by mostly northern Thais though the surrounding villages include, Karen, Lawa and Hmong settlements. There is a busy little market, a couple of interesting Lanna style wats and some handicrafts in the form of woven north Thai style sarongs for which the village is famous.

It's certainly a good spot to break up long journeys and though at present there are few opportunities for organised trips into the surrounding area this may soon change. Though for organised trips and treks during high season you could try calling Yai in neighbouring Mae Na Chon village.

The views are stupendous with the north western slopes of Inthanon overlooking Mae Chaem and the scenic river of the same name passing through the valley. If you do have your own transport then it might be a good place to base yourself for exploring nearby Inthanon whilst avoiding the more touristy area around the Park itself.

Regular songthaews leave from the market heading down to Chom Thong where you can change for transport to Chiang Mai or Hot.

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Text and/or map last updated on 4th November, 2009.

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