Photo: This is how you do it.

Tea tasting

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While their parents and grandparents may have dealt in opium, today’s Sino-Thai inhabitants of Mae Salong deal primarily in tea and where Akha villagers in the surrounding hills once grew the infamous pink and white poppies, they now cultivate high-grade oolong.

Although native to this area, tea production didn’t really take off until the 1980s as a crop substitution scheme in the Thai government’s opium eradication programme. Whereas many upland areas in northern Thailand went for coffee, Mae Salong, with its close connections to the KMT and Taiwan (home of the renowned Formosa oolong), went for camellia sinensis instead. Today Mae Salong is the tea centre of Thailand and a tasting session is an essential part of any Mae Salong visit.

Prettier than palm oil. Photo taken in or around Tea tasting, Mae Salong, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Prettier than palm oil. Photo: Mark Ord

You have various choices for your tea tasting experience. You can just pop into one of the many little roadside tea shops—particularly numerous up by the T-junction—while some of the larger hotels such as Flower Hills, Osmanthus and Khumnaiphol have their own in-house ones as well.

Alternatively, you can go directly to one of the nearby plantations all of which provide visitors’ facilities and sampling opportunities. Tea 101 is a relatively large and award-winning producer with well-placed tasting rooms overlooking the hillside plantations and a location just a short distance east of town aside route 1234. They also offer tours of the establishment where you can see the production and preparation ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular hotels in Mae Salong on Agoda

Tea tasting
Tea 101, 88 Moo 6, around 3 kms east of town aside Highway 1234
Mo–Su: 07:00–17:00
T: (053) 602 043, (088) 805 5939
Admission: Free

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Popular attractions in Mae Salong

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Mae Salong.

Best places to stay in Mae Salong

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Mae Salong.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mae Salong.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Mae Salong.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Mae Salong.
 Read up on how to get to Mae Salong, 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 Mae Salong? Please read this.
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See below for more sights and activities in Mae Salong that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Mae Salong? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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