Mon Cham A Super cool lookout from the top of a mountain top café/restaurant. Spend a day to just sit and chill out in their bamboo huts which are suspended over the hillside or to walk around the landscaped garden areas looking over the surrounding farmlands. Join the Thai tourists in taking photos in various locations or take a ride in the traditional Hmong wooden go kart. There are also tribal markets outside of the café area but the sellars are not persistant, and are not a problem in the slightest.The road is windy and passes some great views, terraced farms and hill tribe villages. It is currently a low key place with a few day trippers out to enjoy the countryside, however with heavy rains followed by no rains many farmers have decided to open their land as campsites. A great road trip destination, just over an hour outside of Chiang Mai. There are also waterfalls, botanic gardens and various other amusements that you may want to stop at on the way. Entrance is free, cafe is normal/a little bit higher prices than normal, depending where you usually eat!
Directions to Mon ChamThere are 2 roads up to Mon Cham. Both accessible from Mae Sa Valley, apx 15km north of Chiang Mai on the 107 main road.The first route – Turn left off 107(heading north), following signs to Mae Sa waterfalls. . Follow the road past the waterfall, keep going for about 15 mins and you will enter a quite big looking village/town. As you enter the village look on your right for a turning with lots of sign posts advertising various things, one sign does say Mon Cham if you look carefully! Turn right here. Follow the road up and up until you see a sign on your right near the top of the hill which says Mon Cham. Turn right and follow the road up to the café/Restaurant.
The second road – Turn left off the 107 (from Chiang Mai) as before, follow signs to Mae Sa waterfall. The first turn you need to look out for is just past the X-centre (on your left) then look for a road a few hundred meters later on the right, just before the petrol station. The road will have many signposts on it, including Tad Mok waterfall, and Eagle Track Zip Line. This road winds all around the valley. The mountains that you can see on your left is where Mon Cham is! After a long 10km (Past a waterfall, past Zipline, Past a few villages) look out for a side road rising steeply to your left, turn left here. Do not continue where it is signposted to Samoeng -You will notice the road drops steeply downhill and the road condition deteriorates in to holes, if this happens then turn around and drive to the top of the hill again (this time the road you need will be on your right). At the time of writing this road section is under construction, progress has been quick on the sections that have been completed, but be ready for some parts to still be mud. This is the most scenic of the 2 routes. It winds up the mountain through Hmong Villages and terraced farms which are set in to the steep hillsides. You will first come across a small village on top of a hill which has obvious camping places which also have restaurants etc. This is a great alternative to Mon Cham if you want to overnight up here as Mon Cham is often booked up. They are only about 1km apart. To get to Mon Cham follow the road down a steep hill and turn left at the bottom, follow the signs from here. Mon Cham is at the top of that road on the left. Food, drinks, soft and alcoholic are available. They have excellent Thai food and a (very) English option of “scones and jam” or ice creams!!!