Araksa Tea Garden: Discover Its 5 Flavourful Charms

Araksa Tea Garden is a heavenly little tea plantation nuzzled on the foothills of the lush forest of Banchang in Chiang Mai. The area’s fascinating tea culture and traditions make it an ideal starting point for tourists and locals alike. And whether you’re a tea enthusiast, love nature, or simply crave a serene and picturesque getaway, know that this aromatic home has something magical to offer.

There is a remarkable renaissance in Thailand’s tea industry today, driven by a restoration in demand for artisanal teas. And Araksa Tea Garden stands at the forefront of this revival, using traditional techniques passed down through generations. The garden proudly holds organic certifications from both the USDA and EU and boasts an impressive range of teas.

With that in mind, this travel guide journies through the wonders of this tea-tantalizing haven. You’ll discover tea tastings and guided tours, learn about their workshops, explore nature walks and scenic viewpoints, and gain practical information for a seamless visit. So, read on to unveil this national treasure and learn about activities that will add an extra touch of magic to anyone planning a visit.

Journey To Serenity: Transport Options And Tips

Getting to Araksa Tea Garden (Google Maps) is an adventure in itself. It is located amidst the tranquil forested foothills of Banchang, Mae Tang district, about 50 km (31 miles) north of Chiang Mai city center. Public transit doesn’t reach the tea garden, but there are still various options for you to consider:

  1. One convenient choice is the tea tour, which includes the tea garden’s shuttle service. For around 650 baht per adult, you can enjoy a round trip from your Chiang Mai hotel to the garden. Three shuttles run daily (except on Mondays) at 9 am, 11 am, and 2 pm, so you can plan your visit.

Remember to book your shuttle service online or by phone at least one day in advance. The bonus? The shuttle service includes a delightful tea tasting and garden tour.

  1. If you prefer more flexibility and comfort, booking a private transfer or renting a vehicle might be the way to go. Hiring a driver, renting a vehicle for the day, or joining a private tour that includes the tour will give you greater freedom to explore.

Here are some highlights to help you navigate the garden and get around the area:

  • The drive from Chiang Mai to the tea garden takes approximately 90 minutes. So keep that in mind and allow enough time to fully experience the garden and return to Chiang Mai before nightfall.
  • The road leading to the destination is narrow and winding, so exercise caution and drive at a moderate pace. There are signs to follow, or you can rely on GPS navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze (Android or iOS) to guide you along the way.
  • Upon arrival, you’ll find a complimentary parking lot near the garden entrance for your car or motorbike.
  • Araksa Tea Garden welcomes visitors from 8:30 am to 5 pm every day except Monday. The best times to visit are in the morning or afternoon when the temperature is tea-tastic, and the lighting and heat are perfect for capturing all the colors and aromas.
  • Be prepared for a fair amount of walking, as the garden spans 10 hectares. Wear comfortable shoes and attire, and don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. You may also want to bring a bottle of water and some snacks to energize you throughout your exploration.
  • When hunger strikes, head to the garden’s restaurant, the Araska Tea House, and indulge in delicious Thai cuisine accompanied by their exquisite teas. The restaurant operates from 9 am to 4 pm, ensuring you have plenty of time to savor the flavors. Don’t forget to explore the gift shop near the restaurant, offering tea products and souvenirs to take home as cherished mementos.

Now that you know how to reach Araksa Tea Garden and navigate the area, get ready to embark on a remarkable journey filled with breathtaking beauty and tantalizing flavors.

Touring The Essence: Explore The World Of Thai Tea

Tea Tasting and Tours at Araksa Tea Garden are a delightful opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and flavors of this heavenly tea plantation. Founded in 2014 and now known as one of the top producers of tea known for its traditional growing techniques, this particular tea garden plays a crucial role and offers a selection of teas.

Fun fact: Despite challenges faced in the 20th century, such as political unrest and a shift toward coffee production, Thailand’s tea industry is currently experiencing a resurgence fueled by the demand for artisanal, high-quality teas. Thus, the tea touring scene took off!

Visitors can board a tea tasting and tour to delve deeper into the world of Araksa Tea Garden and its exquisite teas. Choose between a self-guided exploration or a guided tour, depending on your preference and availability. The options include:

  • Guided tea tours: The guided tour, offered directly from their official website, invites you to stroll through the lush tea garden, observe traditional tea-plucking techniques, witness the age-old leaf-processing methods, explore the factory, and savor a cup of tea with traditional Thai snack at Araksa’s Tea House. The guided tour costs 500 baht per person, lasting approximately 1.5 hours, and can be booked online or by phone in advance.
  • Self-Guided Tours: Alternatively, opt for a self-guided tour to leisurely meander through the picturesque garden and savor its tranquility at your own pace. Let the map at the entrance be your guide, leading you through the garden’s aromatic trails and allowing you to savor the entire experience like a true tea connoisseur.

The self-guided tour is available from 8:30 am to 5 pm every day except Monday and can be booked on their official website in advance for 200 baht per person.

Overall, you can unleash your inner tea enthusiast at Araksa Tea Garden, where an immersive tour invites you to embark on a captivating journey. The journey begins with the thrill of handpicking tea leaves under the guidance of expert tea connoisseurs as they unveil the secrets of the meticulous selection process.

Discover the artistry behind different tea varieties as you learn to identify and gather the youngest shoots or the tender leaf buds, crucial ingredients in crafting exceptional green and black teas.

Delve deeper into the enchanting world of tea as you witness the intricate processing techniques that transform these freshly plucked leaves into liquid wonders. Marvel at the alchemy of oxidation, which infuses black tea with rich flavors, or savor the delicate preservation of characteristics in green tea.

Amidst the serene surroundings of Araksa Tea Garden, allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty of the sprawling tea plantation, where each plucked leaf promises a remarkable cup of award-winning traditional Thai flavor.

Dive Into Tea Culture And Knowledge

Tea has been an integral part of Thai culture for over a thousand years, deeply rooted in national traditions and celebrations. Despite the Thai tea industry’s challenges, the demand for artisanal teas is rising. And at Araksa, you can dive into the region’s rich tea culture through tea education and workshops – they also cover much of Thailand’s fascinating tea history.

Araksa offers a variety of classes to expand your knowledge and appreciation of tea:

  • Tea Tasting: Brew your knowledge in the Tea Tasting class, where you’ll have the pleasure of sampling their exquisite selection of 20 hot teas and four iced teas or cold brews. This experience allows you to explore their teas’ diverse flavors and aromas and teaches you the art of brewing the perfect cup using different leaves and equipment.
  • Tea Blending: Unleash your creativity as you learn to create your own signature tea blends. Discover the flavor profiles of black, green, white, herbal, and blended teas, and experiment with combinations to achieve your desired taste. This hands-on class provides a unique opportunity to personalize your tea-drinking experience.
  • Tea Sensory & Tea Pairing: For a sensory adventure, the Tea Sensory and Pairing class will enhance your ability to appreciate the characteristics of tea. From color and clarity to aroma and flavor, you’ll learn to discern the subtleties of each sip. Additionally, explore the art of pairing tea with desserts, discovering the harmonies or contrasts that arise from combining flavors.

During your visit to Araksa Tea Garden, you’ll have the chance to explore various tea types, including White Tea, Oolong Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, and Blended tea, among more seasonal varieties. Each tea offers a distinct flavor profile and unique experience, allowing you to delve into the Thai-style preparation and enjoyment of these teas.

Immerse yourself in the world of tea at Araksa Tea Garden and unlock the secrets of Thai tea culture. Check their website for workshop schedules and book your spot in advance. These classes, priced at around 1,900 baht per person and lasting approximately 3 hours, are perfect for tea enthusiasts and those eager to expand their knowledge of this ancient beverage.

Discovering The Tea Garden's Wholesome Tea Selections

Araksa Tea Garden offers an array of tea varieties, each with its own distinctive taste and health benefits. And if you are looking for a bit of a sneak peek at what flavorful excitement awaits, then keep the teas in mind:

White Tea

  • Sayun White Tea: A golden infusion with toasted, fruity, and floral notes. Exceptionally high in antioxidants.
  • Arun White Tea: A pale yellow infusion with delicate honey, floral, and green notes. Rich in antioxidants.
  • White Tea Peony: A brilliant yellow infusion with honey, floral, and fresh-cut hay notes. Medium-bodied and pairs well with meals.

Green Tea

  • Preserve Green Tea: Amber cup with nutty, honey, green, and woody notes. Notable for its low caffeine content.
  • Thida Green Tea: Light, yellow-green infusion with fresh floral, honey, green, and nutty notes. High in antioxidants.

Black Tea

  • Silk Black Tea: Amber cup with sweet floral, honey, and fruity notes. It is known to capture the essence of Araksa’s tea garden.
  • Nin Black Tea: Amber infusion with warm woody, honey, and vanilla notes. A well-rounded blend of combined fruits.
  • Yarm Chao English Breakfast Tea: Dark amber infusion with vanilla, woody, malty, and spicy notes. Perfect with or without milk.
  • Than Kun Earl Grey Tea: Amber infusion with bergamot oil, fresh, zesty, woody, malty, and vanilla notes. Sweet and refreshing.
  • Araksa Thai Tea: Rich and creamy flavors of caramel and vanilla in an amber cup. A blend of English Breakfast, vanilla, and caramel.

Oolong Tea

  • Lhong Lai Oolong Tea: Deep golden color with exotic floral, honey, and green forest notes. Smooth and low in caffeine.

Herbal Tea

  • Bluefly: Sapphire blue tea with lemongrass and butterfly pea flowers. Citrusy, minty taste with fresh lemony notes. Naturally caffeine-free.
  • Pai Lin: Clear blue infusion with ginger and butterfly pea flowers. It is refreshing with a fresh green, zesty, and lightly spicy aroma. It can be served hot or cold.

Blended Tea

  • Season Greetings Tea: Sweet tea blended with cloves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black tea. Warm and soothing for the holiday season.
  • Gularb Rose Tea: Fruity, sweet, spicy tea blend of roses and black tea. Relaxing and restorative.
  • Joy Tea: Fragrant blend of champaca flowers and black tea. Sweet flavor with a calming sensation.
  • Kao Doi Tea: Blend of roasted Thai sticky rice and black tea. The aroma of roasted nuts, fruits, and honey. Smooth and low in caffeine.
  • New Moon Tea: Festive blend of Calamansi orange and black tea. Golden yellow infusion with citrus, fruity, and woody notes. Perfect with desserts.

A Feast For The Senses: Araksa Tea Garden’s Beauty

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the garden and its surroundings, Araksa Tea Garden provides nature walk options that include magnificent scenic views. Guided walks venture through the tea plantation and the adjacent forest. Your knowledgeable guide will unveil the secrets of the local ecology and culture, pointing out various plants, flowers, birds, and insects along the way.

The guided walk runs three times a day at 9 & 11 am and again at 2 pm lasting approximately 2 hours and costing around 500 baht per person –bookings can be made in advance online or by phone.

If you crave a more leisurely pace, opt for a self-guided walk. Pick up a map at the entrance and venture forth at your own rhythm, savoring the tranquil ambiance and breathtaking scenery.

Tip: Follow the signs that guide you through different sections of the garden and the surrounding forest. Don’t forget to visit the observation deck, where you can revel in a panoramic view of the garden and the sprawling valley below.

The self-guided walk, priced at 200 baht per person, includes a delightful cup of tea paired with a traditional Thai snack at Araksa’s Tea House. Book your self-guided walk in advance, available from 8:30 am to around 5 pm daily, except on Mondays.

And To make the most of your visit and fully embrace the scenic vistas, here are some recommendations:

  1. Dress comfortably, wearing appropriate footwear for walking. Protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses while warding off insects with repellent. Carry a water bottle and pack some snacks for sustenance.
  2. Capture the beauty that unfolds before your eyes by bringing along a camera or smartphone. The morning and afternoon present the best lighting conditions for stunning photographs, with cooler temperatures and softer sunlight.
  3. If you’re eager to explore more of nature’s wonders nearby the tea garden, consider visiting attractions such as Mae Ngat Dam, Mae Taeng Elephant Park, Mae Taeng River Rafting, or Huai Nam Dang National Park. Private tours are available, or you can rent a car or motorbike for a self-guided adventure.

Off-The-Beaten-Path: Unveiling Unique Experiences

If you’re craving unique experiences beyond the enchanting Araksa Tea Garden, several hidden gems and nearby attractions await your discovery. Here are four captivating options to consider:

Wat Ban Den

Just a scenic 30-kilometer (18-mile) journey from the tea garden lies Wat Ban Den, one of northern Thailand’s most vibrant and expansive temple complexes. This architectural marvel showcases a fusion of Lanna, Burmese, and Chinese influences. Immerse yourself in the intricate details of the halls, stupas, statues, and pillars, including a magnificent reclining Buddha.

Wat Ban Den offers a serene ambiance for spiritual reflection and relaxation. Open daily from 7 am -6 pm, entry to this awe-inspiring temple is free.

Wat Tham Pha Plong

Nestled at the base of Chiang Dao mountain, Wat Tham Pha Plong beckons with its ethereal charm. To reach this forest temple, ascend a steep staircase adorned with ornate naga sculptures and inspirational quotes—a journey of 500 steps that rewards you with breathtaking vistas of the surrounding jungle and valley.

Discover the cave where the revered monk Luang Pu Sim meditated, marvel at the golden pagoda and Buddha statues, and bask in the tranquility of the surroundings. Wat Tham Pha Plong welcomes visitors from 10 am to 6 pm, with no admission fee.

Mae Ngat Dam

Further your sense of adventure from tea leaves to scenic dams with a visit to Mae Ngat Dam, located within the Sri Lanna National Park and approximately an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai City. This hydroelectric dam forms a sprawling reservoir that offers an array of activities.

Kayak through the pristine waters, try your hand at fishing, take a refreshing swim, or simply relax on one of the floating houses. Surrounded by lush forests and majestic mountains, Mae Ngat Dam creates a serene and picturesque setting, inviting you to revel in nature’s beauty.

Huai Nam Dang National Park

Explore Huai Nam Dang National Park, spanning the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. Discover the park’s rugged mountains, verdant forests, and cascading waterfalls across its extensive 1,252-square-kilometer expanse.

The park is renowned for its breathtaking sea of mist, particularly at sunrise when the valleys are blanketed in ethereal beauty. Engage in thrilling activities like hiking, camping, birdwatching, and indulging in soothing hot springs. Encounter diverse flora and fauna, including pine trees, orchids, elephants, tigers, bears, and macaques.

Finally, Araksa Tea House is an excellent spot to enjoy a delicious meal before venturing further into these captivating attractions. Savor the authentic flavors of Thai cuisine amidst the cozy ambiance of the tea house. Indulge in their homemade ice cream, scones, cakes, and cookies, or opt for mouthwatering home-style cooked Thai dishes prepared with locally sourced organic produce.

Araksa Tea House provides the perfect culinary fuel for your off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Our Summary

Araksa Tea Garden is a haven that transcends its role as a tea plantation. It offers a gateway to immerse yourself in the vibrant tea culture of Thailand, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. From engaging tours to enriching workshops and serene walks, the garden’s charm captivates all who visit.

Indulge in the delectable teas and snacks at Araksa Tea House, allowing the flavors to linger on your palate. With unforgettable memories and a sense of tranquility, Araksa Tea Garden beckons as a sanctuary whenever life becomes overwhelming.

FAQ

Araksa Tea Garden is open to visitors from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily, except on Mondays. Make sure to check their official website for any changes or updates in the operating hours due to holidays or special events.

Tours of Araksa Tea Garden can be booked directly through their official website. They offer several tours throughout the day, including a self-guided tour that you can take at your own pace and guided tours where experts teach you about the tea cultivation process.

Araksa offers a variety of tea-related workshops such as tea tasting, tea blending, and tea sensory & tea pairing. Each workshop is priced at around 1,900 baht per person and lasts approximately 3 hours.

At Araksa Tea Garden, you’ll have the chance to taste various types of tea, including White Tea, Oolong Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, Herbal Tea, and Blended tea. Each tea offers a unique flavor profile, allowing you to delve into the Thai-style preparation and enjoyment of these teas.

Araksa Tea Garden is approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Chiang Mai city center. You can opt for local taxis or hire a private car. Alternatively, you can rent a scooter or motorcycle if you’re comfortable navigating Thai roads.

Yes, there are numerous accommodations near Araksa Tea Garden ranging from budget guest houses to luxury resorts. Some popular options include the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Mae Sa Valley Garden Resort, and The Pavana Chiang Mai Resort.

It’s recommended to dress comfortably for a visit to the tea garden. Wear clothes suitable for a tropical climate and sturdy shoes for walking. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen to protect against the sun, and a light jacket or sweater as it can sometimes get a bit cooler in the mountains.

The tea workshops are designed to be enjoyed by all ages. However, younger children might find some of the technical aspects challenging. It would be best to check with Araksa directly about their age recommendations for each specific workshop.

While Araksa Tea Garden is beautiful year-round, the scenery can be particularly breathtaking during the rainy season (May to October) when the plantation is lush and green. Tea harvesting typically occurs year-round but peak periods can vary based on the specific type of tea.

Several attractions nearby include Wat Ban Den, one of the most vibrant and expansive temple complexes in northern Thailand, the serene forest temple Wat Tham Pha Plong, the scenic Mae Ngat Dam in Sri Lanna National Park, and the expansive Huai Nam Dang National Park.

Araksa Tea House offers a variety of delicious meals ranging from traditional Thai dishes to homemade ice cream, scones, cakes, and cookies. They cater to different dietary needs, and many of their dishes are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, it’s advisable to contact them in advance about specific dietary restrictions.

Yes, Araksa Tea Garden has a shop on-site where you can purchase their various tea products. You’ll find everything from their own homegrown teas to teapots, tea sets, and other accessories. These make great souvenirs or gifts to bring a piece of your Thai tea journey back home.

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