Nestled in the beautiful valley of Amphoe Mae Chaem, the Experimental Station is situated in an ideal site for agro-tourism. Its hill slopes have been developed into stepped plantations, which provide serene mountain panoramas.
Temperate plants researched in the area blossom alternately and produce fruits all year round. It is especially impressive in the cool season of December when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and when the area is covered in lovely pink and white petals.
Visitors will also enjoy exploring cool-climate flower beds, organic vegetable plantations, as well as fruit orchards of various kinds, such as pear, strawberry, passion fruit, chestnut and maccadamia.
Another highlight, particularly for tea lovers, are the tea plantations, with various kinds of tea growing, where visitors will delight in tasting premium quality Chinese and Green teas, while traditional tea brewing demonstrations are performed. Last but not least is Yam Bai Cha, or traditional Thai spicy sour tea leaf salad, a specialty available to visitors only here at this agricultural station.
Accomodation and Facilities – A big bungalow for 40-50 persons is available, as well as 2 separate lodging dorms for men and women, including cooking areas. In addition, two campgrounds for about 100 persons are available at the lookout point, which is situated on a well-developed landscape among the breathtaking mountainous scenery and is surrounded by colourful flowers and pine trees. Add to this the relaxing pavilions and beautiful eating places, and you have a vacation truly made to please. The accommodations and facilities are well-developed and blend into the natural landscape with a facility inherent only in Thai culture, offering natural ambiance without sacrificing comfort for atmosphere. Here at Mae Chon Luang you really feel a part of the natural environment. Meals will be provided by staffmembers with advance reservation, or visitors can also prepare food themselves (the station itself is a source of fresh ingredients such as vegeatable, fruit, etc) For more information, call 0 5343 2207.
At present, there is no public transportation to the station, which is located in the area of Ban Hmong Khun Wang (a Hmong hilltribe village), Mu 6, Tambon Mae Na Chon, Amphoe Mae Chaem, Chiang Mai. Visitors are recommended to use 4-wheel drive cars, or to rent a song thaeo (a pickup truck with two rows of bench seats down the sides) from Doi Inthanon foothill (at the base of Doi Inthanon).
There are two routes to the station:
The first route is about 120 kilometres long and takes 3 hours. From Chiang Mai town, take the Chiang Mai – Hot route, via Amphoe Chom Thong, and turn right towards Doi Inthanon till you arrive at km 31. Then, turn right and drive past the Royal-Initiated Doi Inthanon Development Project. Continue for about 16 kilometres. Visitors will arrive at the Chiang Mai Royal Agricultural Research Centre (Khun Wang). Turn left and continue for another 6 kilometres.
The second route is about 92 kilometres long and takes approximately 2 1/2 hours from Chiang Mai Town via Amphoe San Pa Tong. Take the right turn at San Pa Tong to Highway No.1013 to Amphoe Mae Wang. When passing Mae Wang, take the left turn, and this winding road will lead up through the mountains, via Ban Nong Tao, Ban Pa Kluai and Ban Pong Lom Raeng. Turn right and continue for another 9 kilometres.
Nearby interesting attractions are:
Mae Khun Wag, a Hmong hilltribe village – situated to the north of Mae Chon Luang Agricultural Experimentation Station, within a 20 min drive. Visitors can experience the Hmong hilltribe lifestyle and admire their finely intricate sewn cloths.
Sirirat Waterfall – From the station, drive westward. Visitors will find a separate turn to the Waterfall, which is accessible only by foot, and which requires only a 10 min walk from the parking area. The pleasurable walk along this developed trail will bring visitors to the waterfall which perennially has a heavy flow of water. Visitors are recommended to wear proper shoes because the trail is slippery and steep.