Mon Cham was the 2nd stop of our Day 1 itinerary after Huay Tung Tao Lake in Chiang Mai. I have read about how beautifully developed this local attraction has become and was determined to check it out. I was not disappointed. Mon Cham exceeded all my expectations. It is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been in Thailand and a true hidden gem. Not many tourists or foreigners know about this place as we did not see any when we were there.
Mon Cham is about 31 km away from Huay Tung Tao Lake with a driving time of 50 minutes. It is located on a mountain in the Mae Rim district at a height of 1,267 m. Therefore, the weather here is cool all year round. Certain parts of the road leading up to Mon Cham is steep and narrow, so do be careful if you decide to drive here.
What to See
1. Purple Lettuce
The first thing you will see upon arriving are the rows of big beautiful purple lettuce. They certainly look good enough to eat straight off the plant.
2. Mountains and Valleys
You will also get a 360° picturesque view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
3. Poppies & flowers
Mon Cham used to be an illegal poppy farm until it was taken over and developed under the Royal Project by Thailand’s most beloved king, His Majesty King Bhumibol. Besides the poppies, you will find other types of flowers planted here.
4. Vintage cast irons pots & broken down trucks
There’s more to Mon Cham than just vegetables and flowers. What makes it interesting is how they have incorporated vintage cast iron pots and broken down trucks into the setting.
Last but not least, do not miss the amazing sunset view.
What To Do
1. Have a picnic or eat at the restaurant
You can either bring your own food and have a picnic here or order food at the restaurant and have your pick of either an indoor or outdoor seating. Although the staff here do not speak English, they will be able to provide you with an English menu.
The food up here is slightly more expensive than what you can get on lower ground but it is still reasonable. We had a candlelight dinner here and although a bit chilly, it was still an amazing experience. Most of the dishes we ordered tasted delicious except for one vegetable dish which was too strong a taste for our liking. The restaurant opens daily from 7 am – 7 pm.
You can also choose to camp up here which is a popular activity during the summer months. The camping zone is located behind the restaurant past where the outdoor seating is. It would definitely be a nice experience to be able to camp up here but I decided to book a hotel at the foot of the mountain instead so that everyone can get a comfortable sleep. Click here for more information on the rates and facilities provided at the camping zone.
Next Stop: atNata Chiangmai Chic Jungle Resort