Samoeng Loop: The Most Complete Travel Guide for Travelers
Table of Contents
- 1 Samoeng Loop: The Most Complete Travel Guide for Travelers
- 1.1 Tiger Kingdom
- 1.2 Mae Sa Valley
- 1.3 Mae Sa Waterfalls
- 1.4 Queen Sirikit Botanical garden
- 1.5 Mon Cham Camp + Viewpoint
- 1.6 Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint
- 1.7 Mae Sap Cave
- 1.8 Wat Phra That Doi Kham
- 1.9 Samoeng Loop Google Map + POI
- 1.10 Most popular questions and tips about Samoeng Loop
The Samoeng Loop is based off the Samoeng Forest, of which everybody on this route goes through. It’s about 100km long, takes you through many interesting sites, places and is home to many exotic animal farms, snake farms, orchards and temples.
This Loop too, like most loops in Northern Thailand, is in the Chiang Mai province. It starts and ends in the city of Chiang Mai and takes you around Doi Suthep and through the Samoeng forest. It is very rich, green, and is definitely a loop that showcases the best that Thailand has to offer.
The traveler of this Loop will be left with an authentic taste of Thailand’s nature, animal kingdom, and cultural heritage. Travelers tend to use motorcycles for this journey as it is under 200km and is the easiest way to get around, plus it typically takes about a day to finish the Samoeng Loop and the Mae Sae Valley.
First stop along the Samoeng Loop is the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai! The first Tiger Kingdom branch being located in Chiang Mai and the second branch located in Phuket. The Tiger Kingdom was started in 2008 when an Australian traveler asked to be closer to the big cats and since then, Tiger Kingdom has become a safe place where travelers can go and interact with the big cats of the animal kingdom. Depending on how brave the traveler is, there are different ticketed prices depending on the size of the cat the traveler would like to interact with.
The Tiger Kingdom is not just a place for people to go and take pictures with the king of the animal kingdom but also a place of learning. The people at the Tiger Kingdom run a couple of courses for people that are interested in how to handle the big cats and how to look after them.
Because the tiger is a very sacred icon of Thai culture, there is a tiger temple located on Tiger Kingdom’s ground where locals and travelers alike can go to pray and worship these beautiful cats. The temple also gives tourists an insight into the lives of these wild animals and lets them interact, socialize and understand the life that they lead. The Tiger Kingdom is also home to a lot of adult tigers that have been rescued and rehabilitated from being outcasted or separated from their pack to live the rest of their life under Tiger Kingdom’s care.
Another interesting part of the Tiger Kingdom is that they conduct classes, seminars, and lectures that are open to tourists and locals that talk about understanding their needs and their importance in the animal kingdom. A lot of the tourists can also pay to take close up photographs with the tigers, but depending on the age and size of the tiger, the price and time slot varies.
Mae Sa Valley
The Mae Sa Valley has one main road that goes through it connecting Chiang Mai to the town of Samoeng. The Mae Sa Valley is one of the key attractions along the Samoeng Loop for being heavily forested and including some of the most spectacular views. The Valley is heaven for anybody who loves to be one with nature and enjoys being among the green. The Mae Sa Valley is home to a lot of interesting birds and animals – a lot of nature enthusiasts camp out there in wait of them.
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is situated in the Mae Sa Valley along with one of the largest Elephant camps in the world. The Elephant camp is called Maesa Elephant camp and gets quite a few tourists every year. The Mae Sa Valley, other than being known for its outstanding beauty is famous for adventure sports including; ATV vehicles, bamboo river rafting, etc.
The Mae Sa Valley can be driven through as well as stayed at depending on your interests. If you are into adventure sports, this is a must go for you, but just make sure you book well in advance as these activities are quite popular and can get booked quite fast!
Mae Sa Waterfalls
The Samoeng Loop’s Mae Sa Waterfall is one of Northern Thailand’s treasures. It is an impressive ten-step waterfall that covers a very large area. The waterfall is set in the rainforest and is a little walk away from the main roads of Mae Sa Valley.
The Mae Sa Waterfall is one of the most visited waterfalls in Thailand and is supposedly one of the prettiest too! Being about a twenty-minute drive from Chiang Mai it’s not visible from the main road, but there are many signposts that show you the way to the waterfall. There is a well laid out path that will take you right up to the top of the waterfall and it also has many treks in and around it. The most popular treks are the eight-step treks that go right up to the summit of the waterfall.
At the foot of the waterfall there are some pools that you can swim in, but be warned that this waterfall is very popular and can get pretty crowded during the high season. To get away from the crowd, however, you can trek up to the fifth or sixth level of the waterfall where you find find less people.
Children – 50THB
Adult – 100 THB
Bicycle – Free
Motorbike – 20 THB
4 Wheels Car – 30 THB
6 Wheels Car – 100 THB
Over 6 Wheels – 200 THB
Over 10 Wheels – not allowed
Daily from 8:30 to 16:30
Queen Sirikit Botanical garden
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden was first opened in 1993 and is located in the Mae Rim Region. The Mae Rim Region borders the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park of which much of the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden lies within. Anyone who appreciates horticulture must visit the Botanical Garden along the Samoeng Loop!
The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden was named after Queen Sirikit herself for having such a fond interest in flowering plants. It hosts an assortment of unique flora and fauna species indigenous to Thailand.
The area of the Queen Sirikit Garden is used for scientific experiments and conservation, plus, it’s also part of the Royal Project to help farmers and planters find alternatives to the usual crop of the area; opium.
Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden Map
Children – 50 THB
Adult – 100 THB
Over 60 y.o. – free
Under 12 y.o. – free
Motorbike – 30 THB
Car – 100 THB
Daily from 8:30 to 17:00
Mon Cham Camp + Viewpoint
Mon Cham is among the lesser discovered areas of the Mae Rim region along the Samoeng loop. Mon Cham is quite of a hilly ridge that has a great view on both sides and is home to a very famous camping resort that goes by the name Mon Cham Camping Resort.
The Mon Cham Camping Resort is a popular camping and trekking destination in Northern Thailand that is set up as part of a resort, one of their main aims at the moment is trying to attract more tourists to these undiscovered parts of Thailand!
The Resort is on the foothills of Doi Mon Cham and the camping site gives a breath-taking panoramic view of the entire valley and mountain above. Its well known for its food and authentic camping experience which also boasts the exciting opportunity to interact with the locals of the area. There are no other options for travelers who do not wish to camp, but it’s also a nice area to take a break along the Samoeng Loop.
Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint
The Samoeng Forest Viewpoint is located in a high point between two mountains, and from the viewpoint, there is a beautiful view of the forest cascading off the mountainsides. It offers the best views during the Thai rainy season along with birds-eye views of the forest, which makes it an amazing place to take envy-worthy pictures.
There are quite a few eateries and coffee stands around the Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint and is one of the reasons that it’s a popular stop among travelers. A nice place to take a break and rejuvenate before finishing the rest of your journey.
The Viewpoint has a very famous bench that is featured in a lot of famous photographer’s work and is one of the most common places within the Viewpoint that tourists take pictures on for social media.
Definitely a recommended stop along the Samoeng Loop!
Mae Sap Cave
Thailand, especially in its Northern parts, is known for its large number of caves and caverns. The Mae Sap Cave is just another cave on the long list that Thailand has to offer. This unique network of caves is inside the Khun Khan National Park.
The caves have a large number of stalactite and stalagmite formations inside that reflect from the light through the day that the cave is colored in a pristine blue hue. These formations make for many very interesting pictures
Keep in mind that it is very easy to get lost in cave networks and it is always a good idea to go in groups or with a guide. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear while venturing into parts of the cave.
Wat Phra That Doi Kham
The Temple is more popularly known as Doi Suthep, which is also the name of the mountain that the temple is built on. In English, its name roughly translates to the Temple of the Golden Mountain and is one of the few Theravada Temples in the country. Theravada is the oldest, most ancient branch of Buddhism which makes Wat Phra That Doi Kham a very important and sacred site for many Thai people.
The Temple has a central stupa that is 17 meters high, made of gold which includes a large number of intricate carvings on it all of which being surrounded by a couple of brown roofed structures known as meditation halls. The biggest attraction of the Temple is the sitting Buddha statue at the entrance, while also boasting other smaller statues in front of it, each one being an exquisite work of art. The temple is lesser known amongst tourists which makes it quite peaceful. This temple, like most temples in Thailand, is situated on a hillock and provides a beautiful view of the surrounding areas.
The temple behind has two separate buildings and an atrium. There are a bunch of steps leading up to them, a sight that is unforgettable and is also only moderately popular among tourists.
The temple is located less than 20km away from the city of Chiang Mai and as the name suggests is built atop the mountain.
While making a trip to the Wat Phra That Doi Kham make sure that you are modestly dressed and covered as this is a place of pilgrimage and is one of Thailand’s most sacred sites for Buddhism.
Samoeng Loop Google Map + POI
Download the Samoeng Loop map with all the main stops and points of interest you need to visit here
Most popular questions and tips about Samoeng Loop
Can you cycle around the Samoeng Loop?
The loop has roads that are predominantly flat, but towards the end, there are quite a few steep roads that can be difficult to do on a cycle. The easiest way to go around the Samoeng Loop is by motorbike and it is also the least time-consuming way to do the Samoeng Loop.
Samoeng Loop – Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise? Which is better?
If you are on a motorcycle, clockwise is recommended for you because you don’t have to care too much about road conditions and how steep it may get. But if you are going to be cycling the Samoeng Loop, it is better to go anti-clockwise because you will be done with the steep parts first.
How long does it take to do the Samoeng Loop?
The Samoeng Loop can be finished in under one day if you are up for it. The entire loop takes about 5 to 7 hours with periodic stops at destinations along the way. It is totally doable within this timeframe irrespective of motorcycle or cycle.