Fodor's Expert Review Mae Salong Village
Visit this remote mountain village northwest of Chiang Rai, and you could be excused for believing you'd strayed over a couple of borders and into China. The one-street hamlet—the mountainside leaves no room for further expansion—is the home of the descendants of Chinese Nationalist troops who arrived here in the 1960s after spending a dozen or so years in Burma following the Communists' ascension to power in China. The settlers established orchards and tea and coffee plantations that now drape the mountainsides; in December and January, visitors crowd the slopes to admire the cherry blossoms and swaths of sunflowers. Call at any of the numerous tea shops for a pot of refreshing oolong. A local bus service runs from Chiang Rai to Mae Salong (the village's official, Thai, name is Santikhiri), and most Chiang Rai travel agents offer day tours for about B3,000.