Choui Fong Tea Plantation: Unveiling 4 Aromatic Treasures

The verdant hills seem to go on forever with their countless rows of tea bushes. When you have had enough of the craziness of the city’s bustling markets and crowded tourist attractions, a trip into the countryside to Choui Fong Tea is a breath of fresh air. Wandering through the plantation and, of course, enjoying its tea and cake is a treat for the soul.

Choui Fong Tea plantation (Google Map) is a 40 km (25 miles) north from Chiang Rai in the Mae Chan district. The 192-hectare (1200 rais) farm sits at an elevation of 500 -1200 m (1640 – 4000 feet) above sea level, giving it the perfect climate and rich soil for cultivating the best quality teas. Choui Fong Tea has two sites, one in Mae Chan and another in the Mae Fah Luang area.

The Mae Chan site boasts two tea shops, where visitors can taste its teas, along with desserts and cakes made with various tea flavors. The tea shops look out over the plantation, providing a magnificent view while visitors enjoy their food. There are also some splendid spots to take photos of the farm from different angles.

The Story Of The Largest Chiang Rai Tea Plantation

With a vision of growing tea that would become world-famous for its flavor and quality, the founder of Chouis Fong Tea, Thawee Wanaspitaksakul, planted his first crop in 1977 at Doi Payapai Mae Fah Luang. To that end, he worked tirelessly, using a combination of time-honored cultivation methods and more modern expertise while studying the region’s climate and soil.

The original tea farm consists of 498 rais (79 hectares/197acreas) of land, thickly planted with terraced tea bushes. After almost thirty years of pursuing excellence at Doi Payapai Mae Fah Luang, Thawee Wanaspitaksakul opened another farm in Mae Chan in 2003. The plantation is still a family-owned concern and the largest tea producer in Chiang Rai province.

While there are no tours through the grounds, visitors are welcome to stroll through designated areas. Afterward, treat yourself to a tea-tasting session and enjoy some time in the tea and retail shops, where you can enjoy delicious foods, desserts, and drinks.

Although there are no restaurants at the original site, visitors can still drive to the top of Doi Mae Salong and follow the road to the right at the junction to enjoy the exquisite tea bushes cascading down the terraces.

The Thai Food and Drug Administration has recognized Choui Fong Tea plantation for its quality and safe production. It is certified in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). It has gained several awards for its excellent quality teas.

The History And Significance Of Thai Tea

Thailand’s tea culture is relatively new and has developed due to two influences; the Thai Royal Projects and the Chinese immigrants who moved to Thailand.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej wanted to eradicate opium cultivation in Thailand and found that the climate, elevation, and soil were ideal for growing tea. He realized he needed to create an alternative income for those depending on opium and initiated various Royal projects.

The king requested Taiwanese experts to identify tea varieties suitable for cultivation in Thailand. Thai Royal Projects then imported the Jin Xuan Oolong No.12 and the Ruan Zhi Oolong No.17 and gave them to the local farmers willing to switch from opium crops to tea cultivation. Tea is a sustainable crop that continues to bolster the economy of the local communities.

Thus, the king managed to provide the locals with an alternative form of sustainable income and eradicated the opium trade within a short period.

The second influencing factor on Thai tea production was the Kuomintang forces, who were pushed back into Thailand by Mao’s communist party in 1961. They planned to resume their struggle when possible, but it became impossible, and instead, they settled in Northern Thailand and brought their culture, language, traditions, and love of tea and its cultivation to the area.

While Thailand initially only produced tea for the country, the industry has studied its cultivation and improved production to now export excellent teas worldwide.

What Happens Between Leaf And Cup?

Choui Fong workers carefully handpick the leaves at harvest time, as it became clear that machine harvesters damage the tea leaves. Tea harvests happen twice yearly, in spring and summer, but workers constantly prune the tea bushes by picking only the buds and top two leaves.

The processing plant is on-site because leaves start undergoing oxidation immediately after harvest. All types of true teas (as opposed to herbal teas) are produced from the same plant, but the oxidation levels determine the type and flavor of the processed tea.

Oxidation happens when oxygen reacts with organic matter like tea, causing its appearance and taste to change. During tea production, the processing experts keep exact control over this process to make each type of tea. Depending on their type, experts can process the teas by withering, steaming, roasting, rolling, drying, and oxidizing them in various orders. All for a cup of tea!

Savor The Aromatic Choui Fong Teas

The plantation cultivates several types of organic tea, including Green, Oolong, Black, and Assam. You can buy these teas from the tea plantation website.

Green Tea

Tea aficionados describe it as having vegetal, floral, and grassy notes, with a good body and fruity undertones. Pair Choui Fong Tea’s green tea with light dishes like sushi, steamed fish, or vegetable stir-fries. The tea’s crispness and clean finish pair well with delicate flavors.

Brewing instructions: Allow boiled water to cool to 80 – 90°C (176 – 194°F). Infuse one teaspoon per cup (8 oz) for 2-3 minutes until it’s a golden yellow color. It should be served as is, with no additions.

Oolong Tea

Oolong teas can have a deep amber or light green hue. They offer a floral taste and smooth finish, providing a medium-bodied flavor. Oolong teas are only semi-oxidized and are milder than black teas. Oolong tea’s versatility pairs well with a wide range of foods, including roasted meats, grilled seafood, or mildly spiced dishes.

Brewing instructions: Use boiled water cooled to 85 – 90°C (184 – 194°). The steeping time should be 3 – 4 minutes. Use one teaspoon if the tea leaves are rolled into balls and as many as two tablespoons if the leaves are large and open.

Black Tea

Black teas are the most processed of all tea types. They go through a withering process, rolling, and oxidation before getting dried. Choui Fong’s black tea is produced from premium leaves, creating a full-bodied taste. It has a dark brown or amber color, and the strong, rich flavor lingers on the palate.

Brewing instructions: Steep one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea for about five minutes, using water just off the boil.

Assam Tea

While other teas come from the Camellia Sinensis var. sinensis, Assam tea is from Camellia Sinensis var. assamica. Assam teas are fully oxidized, resulting in a dark brown liquid with a malty flavor and earthy aromas.

Brewing instructions: Steep 1.5 teaspoons of loose-leaf Assam tea in a cup (8 oz) of water just under boiling point for five minutes.

Visiting The Verdant Tea Plantation

If you’re a nature lover or a tea lover, it’s easy to lose a few hours at the plantation. Operating hours run from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, so there’s plenty of time to stroll along the designated paths enjoying the aroma of the tea bushes and the fresh mountain air. You can spend time taking some photographs, end your visit at the tea shops for some refreshments, and purchase souvenirs.

The best way to get to the plantation from Chiang Rai is by hiring a car or taxi to take you there. Private tours that include a trip to Choui Fong Tea are more convenient as transport is included. To get from Chiang Rai to Choui Fong Tea, visitors only need to follow Route 1 for approximately 49 minutes before arriving. It’s impossible to get lost!

Entrance to the plantation is free. If visitors don’t intend to walk around the farm, the weather is unimportant. But if you plan to be outdoors, the best season is during the cooler, drier season, from November to February.

The Two Tea Cafes

In 2015, the plantation opened its first tea café, seating 150 people. It is situated on the hill on the left side of the plantation as you enter the grounds. It serves drinks and baked goods and boasts tea-making demonstrations and a souvenir shop. The architects designed this modern building to blend into the hillside while providing incredible views of the tea farm.

If visitors head to the rooftop, they can treat themselves to a breathtaking 360° view of the farmlands, something not to be missed. The architectural design of the Café has won many prestigious awards.

2019 saw the opening of the second café because the first could not adequately serve the vast numbers of visitors to the plantation. It is on the right side, close to the factory. It has 250 seats and serves hot food with many dishes made with tea grown on the property. One can order green tea cakes and quickly fall in love with their tasty green tea smoothies.

The architecture is similar to that of Café 1, incorporating pine wood, glass, steel, and stones from the mountain. Like its firstborn counterpart, Café 2 has also won several architectural awards.

Other Must-See Attractions Near Choui Fong Tea

When visitors make the trip to the tea plantation, they will find some less typical but equally fascinating attractions in the vicinity.

Doi Tung Royal Villa

Approximately 9.8 km (6.1 miles) from the Choui Fong Tea, visitors will find Doi Tung Royal Villa, the summer residence of Princess Srinagarindra, the late Princess Mother. The villa is open from 7 AM – 5.30 PM, and visitors pay an entrance fee of 90 baht.

Mae Sai

About 32.6 km (20 miles) north of Choui Fong Tea plantation lies the town of Mae Sai, marking the border between Thailand and Myanmar. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Mae Sai from the plantation. The area boasts many attractions that would appeal to visitors, including the lovely temple, Wat Phra That Doi Wao, Tham Luang Cave, and Khun Nam Nang Norn Forest Park.

Quick Facts

  1. Location: Choui Fong Tea Plantation is located in the picturesque region of Chiang Rai, Thailand.

  2. Spectacular Setting: Nestled amidst rolling hills and lush greenery, the plantation offers breathtaking panoramic views, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

  3. Tea Varieties: Choui Fong Tea Plantation specializes in producing a wide variety of high-quality teas, including green tea, oolong tea, and black tea.

  4. Cultivation Techniques: The plantation employs traditional and sustainable cultivation techniques, ensuring the production of teas with exceptional flavor and aroma.

  5. Tea Tasting: Visitors have the opportunity to indulge in tea tasting sessions where they can sample different teas and appreciate their unique characteristics. It’s a fantastic way to expand your tea knowledge and palate.

  6. Tea Appreciation Workshops: Choui Fong Tea Plantation offers workshops where enthusiasts can learn about the art of tea appreciation, including brewing techniques, proper tasting methods, and the cultural significance of tea.

  7. Scenic Tea Trails: Explore the plantation’s well-maintained trails that wind through the tea fields, allowing you to immerse yourself in the serene ambiance and experience the beauty of the tea plants up close.

  8. Tea Shop: There is a charming tea shop on-site where you can purchase various tea products, including loose-leaf teas, tea accessories, and souvenirs. It’s a perfect place to find unique gifts for tea lovers back home.

  9. Tea-Centric Cuisine: Choui Fong Tea Plantation also boasts a restaurant that serves delicious tea-infused dishes. Indulge in delectable meals and desserts that incorporate the flavors of tea, providing a delightful gastronomic experience.

  10. Photography Opportunities: The plantation’s picturesque landscapes offer ample opportunities for photography, from capturing the vibrant tea fields to the scenic vistas surrounding the area. Don’t forget to bring your camera and unleash your creativity.

  11. Cultural Immersion: In addition to the tea-related activities, Choui Fong Tea Plantation provides insights into Thai culture and traditions. Visitors can engage with friendly locals, learn about tea ceremonies, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s heritage.

  12. Relaxing Atmosphere: The plantation’s serene atmosphere and tranquil surroundings make it an ideal place to unwind and rejuvenate. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fresh air, and find solace in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Choui Fong Tea Plantation offers an immersive and enriching experience for tea enthusiasts, nature lovers, and travelers seeking a tranquil retreat. Immerse yourself in the world of tea, savor the flavors, and create lasting memories in this captivating destination.

Our Summary

Choui Fong Tea plantation provides a stunning alternative to the typical tourist attractions in Thailand. Visitors can inhale the fresh mountain air and the fragrant tea plantation by walking around the farm or viewing it from the popular cafes on the hills. A visit to this family-owned concern is the ideal way to leave the city behind and explore Thailand’s recently developed tea culture.


The best time to visit Choui Fong Tea Plantation is during the cool and dry season, which typically runs from November to February. The weather is pleasant, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures, allowing you to fully enjoy the plantation’s scenic beauty.

From Chiang Rai city, you can hire a taxi or take a private car to reach Choui Fong Tea Plantation. The journey takes approximately 1-2 hours, depending on the traffic conditions. If you’re arriving by air, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a private transfer from Chiang Rai International Airport to the plantation.

Yes, guided tours are available at Choui Fong Tea Plantation. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the tea fields, provide insights into tea cultivation, and offer information about the plantation’s history and practices. It’s a great way to enhance your experience and learn more about the tea-making process.

Choui Fong Tea Plantation produces a range of teas, including green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. Each variety has its own unique flavors, aromas, and characteristics. You can sample and purchase these teas at the plantation’s tea shop.

Yes, visitors can participate in tea tasting sessions and workshops at Choui Fong Tea Plantation. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn about different tea varieties, brewing techniques, and the art of tea appreciation. It is recommended to book in advance by contacting the plantation or through their official website to secure your spot.

Yes, Choui Fong Tea Plantation has well-maintained trails that wind through the tea fields, offering a scenic and immersive experience. You can explore these paths, enjoy the natural surroundings, and witness the tea plants up close. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and carry water for your hike.

Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit Choui Fong Tea Plantation. The fee covers access to the plantation, the tea fields, tea tasting sessions, and other facilities. The specific entrance fee can be obtained by contacting the plantation or checking their official website.

While there are no accommodations directly at Choui Fong Tea Plantation, there are several options available in the surrounding area. You can find hotels, resorts, and guesthouses in Chiang Rai city or nearby Mae Chan district. It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Yes, you can purchase tea products and souvenirs at the tea shop within Choui Fong Tea Plantation. They offer a variety of high-quality teas, including loose-leaf teas, tea bags, and tea accessories. Additionally, you can find unique souvenirs such as tea sets, teapots, and locally made crafts.

While participating in tea tasting or tea ceremonies at Choui Fong Tea Plantation, it is customary to show respect and appreciation for the tea. This includes following the guidance of the tea experts, using proper tea etiquette, and expressing gratitude for the experience. It’s a wonderful opportunity to embrace Thai tea traditions and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Yes, there are several attractions and landmarks near Choui Fong Tea Plantation that you can explore. Some popular options include visiting the Golden Triangle region, exploring the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), and experiencing the local markets and temples in Chiang Rai city. These attractions can be combined with a visit to the plantation to create a well-rounded itinerary.

Photography is allowed and encouraged at Choui Fong Tea Plantation. The picturesque landscapes, tea fields, and scenic views provide ample opportunities for capturing stunning photographs. However, it is recommended to be respectful of the surroundings, follow any designated photography guidelines, and obtain permission if you wish to take photographs of people or employees at the plantation.

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