Mae Sai....pottering around

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by DavidFL, May 14, 2015.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Mae Sai is at the top end of Thailand. A border town known for its black market & dodgy border business.

    Lots of people use it for border visa runs, pop up to the border, cross over, maybe pickup some duty free, then back into Thailand & for most move on elsewhere - Chiang Rai for the night life or the Golden Triangle / Chiang Saen / Chiang Khong for some fresh clean air beside the Mekong. Mae Sai doesnt seem to have much to keep you there. Although once upon a time - 25 years ago - I recall we used to party in Chiang Rai, then when the pubs there closed we rode on up to Mae Sai on our mighty 125s to party on at the the Cowboy Pub until 6am, owned by the then Bangkok Bank manager. Sadly that is no more.

    You ride around Mae Sai nowadays & it is a maize of sois, lined by high walls & dodgy looking establishments by the score. There's no doubt Mae Sai is a smuggling town & I reckon it deserves the name dodgy central.
    The two biggest disco night clubs in town are closed shut down, owned by bitter rival female business ladies. The old BM Pub is now a Kasemrad hospital such as the changes. Life goes on.

    Anyway...apart from the bridge & the Ruak river dividing Thailand / Myanmar, being the attraction, there is the famous Doi Wao market & Doi Wao temple on the hill.

    I always take a cruise down alongside the river upstream.

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    Just to see what is going on both sides of the river.

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    Then just by the police box I spotted a new sign for the Big Buddha View.
    What the hell is that I thought. Lets go take a look.
    Wow & up you go, a concrete road as steep as

    To arrive at a white Big Buddha

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    more to come.
     
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  3. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    I meet up with David in Fang while I was touring the North, and after a fun night in the fun town of Fang, its was an early morning start for a ride to Mae Sai, via Doi Mae Salong and Thoed Thai and riding some of the roads that run along the border of Thailand and Bruma.

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    The tea plantations around Doi Mae Salong.
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    The idea was to have lunch at Sweet Doi Mae Salong, but the cook had gone to Bangkok, so we rode to Davids favourite eatery Thoed Thai which was closed for a holiday.

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    Moto Ahka Rex
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    It was a really enjoyable days ride. No hurry, just taking it easy.
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  4. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    Great photos I can't wait to get over in October and see some of this well done😀
    Safe riding
    Paul
     
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Rex that was one of hell of a sweet day ride from Fang - Thoed Thai - Doi Tung - Mae Sai.

    Thanks for reminding me; but it was a shame about he missing cooks in both Sweet Mae Salong & Thoed Thai.

    AND NOW back to the Big Buddha View at Mae Sai....

    If you've ever been to Wat Doi Wao you often think you're up as high as you can go overlooking Mae Sai, but the Big Buddha view really is something else.

    Looking straight down on the Ruak River

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    Here again is the view riverside

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    The Tachilek view from up on top by the Big Buddha again.

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    + looking across & down towards Doi Wao

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    The back sois of Mae Sai

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    Tachilek - Mae Sai =

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    a lot bigger & more sprawled out than you think when at ground level.

    Some Tachilek chedis

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  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Downtown back sois of Mae Sai & 'bamee - spaghetti central."

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    You gotta love Thailand & the people when you come across this beside the road in a a public street.
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Back up on the hill - the other hill Doi Wao...

    Normally everyone heads straight for the viewpoint, & the 'giant crab": protecting Thailand, as you would expect, but there is another "chapel" with visiting.

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    Check it out sometime.
     
  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    In amongst the narrow cluttered sois it is not easy to see clearly or where the temples are.

    Wat Phu Sukaram to the east side of the main road - highway - is a beauty

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    GPS Waypoint: N20.43912 E99.88592
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Two more view pics from the Big Buddha view

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    Attached files [​IMG]
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Downtown Mae Sai, east of R1 & south of the border is Chaopho Kham Daeng shrine for a Shan prince.

    An interesting site it would be cool to have the history known..

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    If anyone knows anything please let us know, as I'm sure it is a good story & some interesting history.
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    At the far south end of town, before you actually enter Mae Sai, at the junction of the super highway & turn off to Doi Tung on the left & to the Golden Triangle on the right is a large expanse of green park land on the left hand side.

    The Tea Oil Development Centre Mae Sai

    it doesn't sound much but is indeed an interesting place to visit, plus it has a beautiful restaurant lakeside.

    [​IMG] Tea Oil & Development Centre Mae Sai

    The Tea Oil Development Centre Mae Sai is run by the Chaipattana Foundation to research & develop Chinese Camellia oleifera tea oil.
    Tea Oil has been well known in China for centuries & is often referred to as the “Olive Oil of the East.”

    [​IMG] Tea Oil & Development Centre Mae Sai

    [​IMG] Tea Oil & Development Centre Mae Sai

    TEA OIL

    Has special properties from a high HDH cholesterol & lack of trans fat, is helps the body absorb more vitamins A, D, e & K.
    In addition has a high level of anti oxidants such as vitamin E & Catechin which help to raise the oil’s boiling point to above 250C, which make it suitable for all types of cooking & food preparation.
    Together with the Mae Fah Luang foundation & under Royal Patronage the centre has been operating since 2005.

    IT AIMS TO
    •    produce high quality consumer oils & other products from Camella oleifera & other plants such as Moringa sesame, sunflower, pumpkin & other oil crops.
    •    Serve as a research centre for plant oils
    •    Serve as leisure place, for outdoor activities & as a tourist attraction.
    •    (The restaurant is an absolute winner!)

    PROPERTIES OF TEA OIL
    Tea oil has extraordinary health benefits due to low levels of saturated fats & a high level of unsaturated fats.
    The unsaturated fats include
    •    81-87% oleic acids (omega– 9 fatty acid)
    •    13-28% linoleic acids (omeg-6 fatty acid)
    •    1-3% alpha-linoleic acids (omega-3 fatty acid)
    With these compositions, tea oil helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol in the blood & prevent vascoconstriction, paralysis, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
    Tea oil can also be used
    •    in cosmetics for body lotion, sunscreen, soap & shampoo.
    •    for fragrance with other essential oils

    HISTORY

    In 2004 the Chaipattana Foundation got some seeds & young plants from the Botanical institute of Yunnan to grow at three experimental farms – Hang Dong, Mae Jo Uni & Sakaew.
    In January 2005 they acquired 200,000 oil seedlings + 200 kgs of seed from Hunan province to grow at Doi Tung.
    From 2005-2008 research was conducted on Tea Oil Plantations in Thailand, plus on other useful seeds such as pumpkin, Indian Moringa & Macadamia.

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    On 213 January 2009 construction of the Tea Oil & Plants Developments started.
    On 16th February 2010 the centre was officially declared open by HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

    The centre specializes in these natural health products & is well worth checking out.

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    It also has a beautiful restaurant serving absolutely delicious fresh food.

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    Check it out sometime.
     

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