Overview of Mae Sai
Mae Sai is the northernmost city of Thailand. It is 259 km north of Chiang Mai, 61 km north of Chiang Rai, and 850 km north of Bangkok. The town of Mae Sai is a major border crossing between Thailand and Myanmar. This town is home to an interesting temple complex called Wat Pha That Doi Wao, beautiful mountains, caves, or lakes… It is worth staying here for an overnight or a few nights if you have time.
1. Things to do
- Shop at Mae Sai Market:
This is a must-visit place if you love shopping and negotiating for some bargains. The market is big, open-air, and has many things for you to buy from garments for all age groups, shoes, sweaters or winter clothes, adult to children’s jewelry, toys, drinks, condiments, and any type of food.
Mae Sai market
- Visit Wat Phra That Doi Wao
It is a popular scorpion temple, which offers panoramic views of Mae Sai. The trees in this temple create shadows, making it a pleasant place to sit and meditate in the Buddhist way of meditation. The best time to visit this temple is on full moon day in the 5th month of the Thai lunar calendar. It is Songkran holiday when local people can be seen sprinkling water on the Buddha image, and the market also flourishes with various products and beautiful handicrafts.
Wat Phra That Doi Wao
- Visit Tham Luang Cave
It is one of the largest caves in Thailand, at a height of 3.7 meters. The cave has over 180 Buddha statues and relics and is a multi-chambered temple. The third chamber in the cave is home to a big statue of a reclining Buddha, which is a major iconographic and statutory pattern of Buddhism. The statue is 4.9 to 5 meters in length.
Tham Luang cave, Mae Sai
- Visit Khun Nam Nang Norn Forest Park
It is a protected area in Thailand. It covers an approximate area of 8 square kilometers, and at an altitude of 780 meters. There are strict protection laws in the park for the safeguarding and protection of the forest’s fauna, however, you can still have a chance to capture the shots of leopards, elephants, wild pigs, deer, and other wild animals here
Nam Nang Norn Forest Park
- Visit Mae Sai Border
If you are a long time staying in Mae Sai, do not miss your chance to visit eastern Myanmar by crossing the Mae Sai Border control post. You can deposit your passport at immigration and pay the requisite fee and wander around Tachileik and explore its beauty. The market at the border is also worth visiting as you can experience the Thai culture and taste the various types of Thai cuisine or purchase handicrafts there.
Mae Sai border
- Visit Doi Nang Non
Doi Nang Non is on the way from Chiang Rai to Mae Sai. Doi Nang Non, it is also known as the Mountain of the Sleeping Lady because the mountain looks like a reclining woman with long hair. Coming to visit this area, people can also see the numerous caves and waterfalls, or Naam Naang Non, a natural pond.
Doi Nang Non, Mae Sai
2. How to get there
From Chiang Rai: Bus departs every 10-15 mins, and costs 40 baht for 1 way. It takes around 1.5 hours
From Chiang Mai: The bus takes about 4 hours and costs around 210 baht for one way.
You can hire a car from Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai to Mae Sai