Photo: Enjoy the views.

Mae Sa Valley

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The picturesque Mae Sa Valley lies just a short distance north of Chiang Mai and is something of a microcosm of Chiang Mai's tourist industry, covering everything from the sublime to the ridiculous.

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The sublime is the stunning scenery and landscapes; the ridiculous is the tacky array of overpriced roadside attractions lining the valley. Some attractions are worthwhile, such as the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens, while others such as the Jungle Coaster decidedly wacky and others like Tiger Kingdom downright abhorrent. Here’s a brief rundown on what to expect.

Riverside cafes in the Mae Sa valley. Photo taken in or around Mae Sa Valley, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Riverside cafes in the Mae Sa valley. Photo: Mark Ord

The valley of the Mae Sa—an oversized stream rather than river—leads off the Fang highway, Route 107, in Mae Rim district, and winds its way around the north side of Doi Suthep, Doi Pui National Park. Sealed Route 1096 follows the valley to a crest, before dropping down to Samoeng village. Combined with the descent to Hang Dong this route also forms our suggested one-day Samoeng Loop ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,700 words.)

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Popular attractions in Chiang Mai

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