Spread over 50 Rai in the Khun Mae Ya Water Resource Conservation Centre in Huai Nam Dang National Park, Doi Khun Mae Ya, is home to 94 hilltribe families and was once a vast opium poppy plantation.
Around 30 years ago, the United Nations teamed up with the Thai government to teach villagers about cultivating cash crops. Their efforts paid off and today visitors can delight in the sight of shady Sakura orchards, terraced paddy fields and arabica coffee plantations while they explore the mountain.
The reason being that in 1974, under the guidance of the Conservation Centre, the villagers planted Thai Sakura, whose long roots suck up the abundant groundwater.
If you’re looking to experience the very best that Northern Thailand has to offer then travelling to this majestic mountain, affectionately named Pinky by many locals is something that should not be left of the itinerary.
To complement Doi Khun Mae Ya, you’ll also visit Huai Nam Dang national Park where you’ll be amazed as you look down from the mountain top, high above the Pai River Valley, at what appears to be a huge inland sea. The reality is that the sea is actually low lying cloud banks that cover the valley with fiery hues of red, orange, yellow and purple lighting the dawn sky above. This really is a photographers dream as you absorb one of the most spectacular vistas you’ll ever experience.