//Samoeng Loop and Mae Sa Valley
Samoeng Loop and Mae Sa Valley

Samoeng Loop

The route is a loop that is about 100km long in the Northern parts of Thailand. The Samoeng loop takes you through many interesting sites and places and ends in the city of Chiang Mai. The route is home to many exotic animal farms, orchards, and temples.

The Samoeng Loop takes you around Doi Suthep and through the Samoeng forest. It is very rich in green and is a loop that showcases the best that Thailand has to offer. This loop too, like most loops in Northern Thailand, is in the Chiang Mai province.

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. Typically travelers take about a day to finish the Samoeng Loop and the Mae Sae Valley.

Samoeng Loop google map

Tiger Kingdom

Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai

Along the Samoeng Loop is the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai. The one in Chiang Mai is the first branch of the Tiger Kingdom, the second branch is in Phuket. The Tiger Kingdom was started in 2008 when an Australian traveler asked to go closer to the big cats. Since then, Tiger Kingdom has become a 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 ticket prices decided on the size of the cat that the traveler would like to interact with. It is a safe space for people to interact with these big cats and understand their lives more closely.

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 interested people in how to deal with cats and how to look after them. The highlight is a temple that is dedicated to worshipping these wild cats. It allows the tourists a window into the lives of these wild animals and lets them interact, socialize and understand the lives that they lead. The Tiger Kingdom is also home to a lot of adult tigers that have been rescued and rehabilitated into the Tiger Kingdom’s area. These tigers are usually tigers that have gotten separated from their pack or have been outcasted.

The tiger is a very sacred icon of Thai culture and in some parts of Thailand, the tiger is worshipped. On the Tiger Kingdom’s ground, there is a tiger temple that locals go to pray and worship these beautiful cats.

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

Mae Sa Valley

The Mae Sa Valley is, as the name suggests, a valley. The valley has one main road that goes through it connecting Chiang Mai to the town of Samoeng. The Mae Sa Valley area is heavily forested and has spectacular views. It is one of the key attractions along the Samoeng Loop.

The valley is a heaven for anybody who loves to be one with nature and enjoys the little joys of 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. The Mae Sa Valley is also home 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. Like 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, you should book well in advance as these activities are quite popular and can get booked quite fast. There are places to camp in the Mae Sa valley as well and if you are into nature and adventure sports, this is a must go for you.

Mae Sa Waterfalls

Mae Sa waterfall

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 about a twenty-minute drive from Chiang Mai. The Mae Sa Waterfall is 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 takes travelers right up to the top of the waterfall. The Mae Sa Waterfall 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. The Mae Sa Waterfall is one of the most visited waterfalls in Thailand and is supposedly one of the prettiest too.

At the foot of the waterfall there are some pools that you can swim in, but be warned that this waterfall is very popular in the area and can get crowded during the season. To get away from the crowd, however, you can trek up the seven steps of the waterfall. The entrance fee to the waterfall is 200 baht and is open from sunrise to sunset.

Entrance fee

Children – 50THB
Adult – 100 THB

For vehicle

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

Working hours

Daily from 8:30 to 16:30

Queen Sirikit Botanical garden

Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden

Fountain with a height of 9-storey house

The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is a garden that is in the Mae Rim region. The Mae Rim Region borders the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park Region and much of the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden lies within the national park region. Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden or as known previously as Mae Sa Botanical Garden, is Thailand’s first international standard botanical garden. The botanical garden is a collection of all plant species that are indigenous to Thailand. The collection of flora and fauna there has a scientific purpose.

Anyone who appreciates horticulture and enjoys flora and fauna must make a visit to this botanical garden along Samoeng Loop. It is home to a lot of unique trees and plants that are not available anywhere else in the world. Another attraction in the botanical garden is a large number of birds that come flocking there.

The garden is a place that tourists flock to, to enjoy well-manicured lawns, relaxing surroundings and a huge selection of Thai fauna. The Botanical garden is home to many of Thailand’s indigenous plants, flowers, and trees.

The garden was named after and by Queen Sirikit. She had a particular interest and fondness for flowering plants and the garden is dedicated to her. It also does quite a bit of research into crop cycles and farming options for the farmers around.

The Garden is also a part of the Royal Project to help farmers and planters find alternatives to the usual crop of the area; opium. The Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is home to many indigenous species that belong to Thailand. And all of them there are there for scientific experiment and conservation. There is an entry fee for the botanical garden.

Entrance fee

Children – 50 THB
Adult – 100 THB
Over 60 y.o. – free
Under 12 y.o. – free

For vehicle

Motorbike – 30 THB
Car – 100 THB

Working hours

Daily from 8:30 to 17:00

Mon Cham Camp + Viewpoint

Mon Cham Camp Viewpoint

Mon Cham is a hilly ridge in the lesser discovered areas of Mae Rim on the Samoeng loop. The hill ridge 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 this of Northern Thailand. Is it one of the most undiscovered locations of Thailand and one of their main aims is to attract more tourists to these parts. The Mon Cham Camp is a camp that is set up as a part of a resort. It 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. The Mon Cham Camping Resort falls in the Chiang Mai Region of Northern Thailand.

The Mon Cham Camp is situated on a ridge near the mountain’s peak and is a very popular tourist destination. Most tourists stay for a night in the camps and is also a very interesting opportunity to interact with the locals of the place.

The resort is known for its food and authentic camping experience. For travelers who do not wish to camp, this is a nice spot to stop on the way to enjoy the view and maybe grab a bite.

Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint

Samoeng Forest Viewpoint

Huawei P10 Camera Shot

The entire Samoeng Loop is a loop around Doi Suthep. It takes you through heavily forested areas of Northern Thailand and shows you the best the undiscovered parts of Thailand has to offer. The forest that everybody on this route goes through is called the Samoeng Forest.

The Samoeng Forest viewpoint is a high point in between two mountains. From the viewpoint, there is a beautiful view of the forest cascading off the mountainsides. At the viewpoint, there is a bench for travelers to sit and take the entirety of the place in. The viewpoint provides a vantage above the forest and is an amazing place to take envy-worthy pictures.

The Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint is a pitstop that most travelers and tourists on the Samoeng Loop make. The viewpoint is so aptly located midway between the destinations that it becomes a sort of break that you can take as well as another tourist endeavor. The Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint offers the best views during the Thai rainy season.

There are quite a few eateries and coffee stands around the Samoeng Loop Forest View Point and is one of the reasons that it is a popular stop. It is a nice place to take a break and rejuvenate before finishing the rest of your journey. The Samoeng Loop Forest Viewpoint has a very famous bench that is featured in a lot of famous photographer’s works and is also one of the most common places that tourists click pictures for their social media.

The viewpoint itself is a stop on the way and there are many small eateries that are sold at the top along with steaming hot cups of tea and coffee. The viewpoint provides a beautiful vantage over the Samoeng Rainforest and is definitely a recommended stop.

Mae Sap Cave

Mae Sap Cave

Thailand, especially in its Northern parts, is known for its large number of caves and caverns. The Mae Sap Caves are just another on the long list of caves that Thailand has to offer. This unique network of caves is inside the Khun Khan National Park.

The caves have a large number of stalactites and stalagmite formations inside. The stalagmite and stalactite formations reflect the light that into the caves during daylight hours and the entire 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. Preferably with a guide as well. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate footwear while venturing into parts of the cave.

Wat Phra That Doi Kham

Wat 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. The temple 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 pilgrim site for many Thai people.

The temple has a central stupa that is made of gold. The stupa has a large number of intricate carvings on it. The central stupa is surrounded by a couple of brown roofed structures which are meditation halls. The Stupa of the temple is about 17 meters high and is made of gold. The biggest attraction of the place is the sitting Buddha statue at the entrance. The temple is lesser known in tourist circles and is 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’s entrance is adorned with a beautiful statue of a sitting Buddha. The entire temple is built around it in typical Thai style. There are many smaller statues in front of the sitting Buddha, each one an exquisite work of art. The temple behind has two separate buildings and an atrium. And has a bunch of steps leading up to them. The temple is a sight that is unforgettable and is also only very 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. From the hilltop, there are many breathtaking views of downtown Chiang Mai.

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

Samoeng loop motorbike travel

Download the Samoeng Loop google map with all the main stops and points of interest you need to visit – here

Most popular questions

Can you cycle around the Samoeng Loop?

For the most parts, cycling is an option on the Samoeng Loop. Because 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? What is much better?

If you are on a motorcycle, clockwise is recommended for you, because on a motorbike you do not have to care too much about road conditions and how steep they are. But if you are going to be cycling the Samoeng Loop, it is better to go anti-clockwise because then you will be done with the steep parts and will be going down them instead of up.

What about time on the road at 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 and pitstops on the way. It is totally do-able in 5 to 7 hours irrespective of motorcycle or cycle.

Any questions? Ask us in the comments!

Enjoy!

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