Photo: Pretty valleys around Mae Salong.

Hiking and trekking

Our rating:

There are hiking opportunities around Mae Salong, but bear in mind that most of the surrounding landscape is plantations and orchards, not wild jungle.

Photo of Hiking and trekking

As well, all nearby villages – mostly Akha and Lahu – are connected by sealed roads and municipal electric cables, so don’t expect anything too traditional. Finally, since Mae Salong lies atop a steep ridge any where you go involves arduous climbs and descents.

Your guesthouse should be able to advise, and even provide you with maps, but if you stand on most town cafe terraces you can see all the villages, paths and roads laid out in front of you anyway.

A convenient hike you can do on your own, though it is along a sealed road, takes you from the T-junction by the hilltribe market up and down an undulating valley past Lahu and Akha villages to rejoin the main highway on the east side of town. The total distance is around 13 kilometres. This can also be done by motorbike and is also the usual route for the horse treks you may see advertised. Note that these are actual Yunnanese ponies, not horses, and have a weight limit, including your gear, of 80 kilograms. The pony trek takes around four hours and costs 500 baht per person but we’ve come across mixed feedback about these rides.

Taking the road leading out of town from the morning market leads you to a series of Akha villages at the one, four and eight kilometre marks, but there is no easy circular route available so you’d have to return by the same route. There are good views though and the villages are interesting. If more vigorous exercise is required, then try the 1,436 steps up and down the hill to Wat Santikhiri!

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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 other 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.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

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