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Wiang Haeng to Mae Ja

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The road trip from Wiang Haeng to Mae Ja takes you through classic North Thai scenery.

Photo of Wiang Haeng to Mae Ja

Range after range of forest-clad mountains stretch in every direction as Route 1322 slices through Pha Daeng National Park. You’ll catch glimpses of high Ang Khang off to the northeast and the rugged peaks of Doi Chiang Dao to the south.

Route 1322 branches west off Route 1178 from Chiang Dao to Arunothai, just short of a village called Mae Ja (or Cha), where there’s a bridge over the Taeng River. If you’re coming from Chiang Dao it’s around 16 or 17 kilometres before the turn off. There are direct buses from Chiang Dao, and even Chiang Mai, but if you’re travelling under your own steam from Fang you will need to take the right turn at Ping Khong village on Route 107. The Wiang Haeng road is very good; it’s ideal for motorbikes and we’ve even heard of people cycling it -- but beware, like the road to Pai it closely resembles, there are a lot of hills!

There are few villages along the road and those that you see are all Lisu. The largest village on route, Khun Khong, has petrol and a grocery store and is situated at around the half way mark. (Distance is around 55 kilometres in total.) Just a kilometre or so before the village you’ll come across a welcome little coffee shop at the side of the road, set in a fruit orchard.

Past the village, a steep climb takes you up to a spectacular viewpoint with another handy little coffee shop going by the name of Tiger Hill. The coffee shop owners, a Shan woman married to a local Lisu man, have built wooden lookout points where you can sip your coffee (if you haven’t spilt it all climbing up the ladder) and gaze at the tremendous vistas. You’ll also usually find a few local Lisu vendors up here selling whatever fruit is in season. It’s a good stop!

From here the road winds down, passing more Lisu villages until hitting the bowl-shaped valley housing Wiang Haeng. On the flat section, just before entering town, you’ll see the famous Naresuan shrine on your right.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Wiang Haeng.
 Read up on where to eat on Wiang Haeng.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Wiang Haeng.
 Read up on how to get to Wiang Haeng, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Wiang Haeng? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

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