Heli-Hiking at Doi Mae Salong
Doi Mae Salong is a mountain to the north of Chiang Mai province, close to the border with Burma. The area has a fascinating history and culture. It was once opium country, but now it is the premier producer of Oolong tea in Thailand.
As well as being home to a number of indigenous hilltribes, the mountain also became a haven for renegade Chinese soldiers, who came over from Burma in the 1960s. These soldiers created their own community, producing a unique culture which is still very much alive today. In some of the villages, locals still speak in Yunnanese (a Chinese dialect) and the cuisine is often more Chinese than Thai.
After travelling to the closest heli-pad, a 20-minute (approximate) helicopter ride will take you up the mountain. This being the centre of Oolong production, you will be able to sample some of the tea at a family tea house before hiking through the lush plantations and along hilltribe paths.
Enjoy a delicious picnic of local dishes whilst you learn more about the lives of the indigenous tribes. After lunch, visit the beautiful shrine dedicated to HRH the Princess Mother. Perched on the hillside, the shrine is a wonderful example of Thai-Burmese temple architecture. Before you go, receive a blessing from the resident monks to ensure a safe onwards journey. The helicopter will then take you back down the mountain and you will be transferred back to your hotel.