Cuddle by nature at Mon Jam, Chaing Mai
Mon Jam has become one of the hit destinations to visit in Chiang Mai with its friendly and charming scene that allows you to see both sunrise and sunset in one place, moreover you can see further to the Doi Luang Chiang Dao mountains in Chaing Rai province as well. At Mon Jam besides the natural beauty of view, step-farming and flower fields, it is also a good place to chill out at a nice café serving you with fine Arabica coffee and homemade bakery while you are enjoying the painting-like background.
About Doi Mon Jam
Mon Jam or Doi Mon Jam is located in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai and is part of Nong Hoi Royal Project. Previously, this place used to be a wild forest until there were villagers who came to reclaim and plant opium that caused a lot of side effects from life and infertile land in this area. Finally, the Royal Project decided to purchase the land to include as part of Nong Hoi Royal Project. With the development plan, the Royal Project implemented many activities to restore this land by encouraging and promoting the residents to have work and income for their better quality of life. Also, it developed this place to be a knowledge learning and research center of cold weather fruits and vegetables. Nowadays, Mon Jam has become more than a place to visit during cold weather but also is a significant agricultural intellectual center in Thailand, too.
Mon Jam is a beautiful landscape with pleasant weather and climate all through the year especially during peak month (October – early February) when there are plentiful lovely flowers and strawberries spread out over the mountains. Unsurprisingly, many people may think that Mon Jam is daintier during the winter period in particular on the days with a clear blue sky that you can see the heavenly view of a shady range of mountains layered a by cotton-like mist which is the scene you can’t spot in any other season. And in the evening when dust and dark is entering you can see starry sky above you. So this is just some sample of the cute little thing that you can experience here.
What to do in Mon Jam
1. Nong Hoi Royal Project
The charm of Mon Jam is definitely to chill out and indulge the moment among a nice and pleasant atmosphere. Mon Jam is an ideal place to escape from any hustle and bustle of life in the city, however that may be not the only thing you can do to know this place appropriately. So, having better quality time in Mon Jam even though it is your short trip we recommend you to visit “Nong Hoi Royal Project” which is the place operating to promote and develop agricultural occupation for dwellers who mostly are hill-tribe people around this area by introducing new economic crops mostly which are winter season crops and instructing proper technique and knowledge to them for better and sustainable life at last.
At Nong Hoi Royal Project, the visitors will learn local lifestyle together with agricultural way including a tour demonstrating winter season crops such as artichoke, lemon, thyme, mint, chamomile, rosemary, plum, seedless grape, strawberry bleed 80, as well as soilless culture and hydroponic farming like red oak, green salad, and Doi Kam tomatoes for example.
2. Chill Out Restaurants
After savoring the natural atmosphere then you can fill up your stomach with good dining at Mon Jam where there are a lot of restaurants serving you with fresh vegetables and fruits from their own farm. The menu changes regularly and is written on a white board in Thai. There is some English translation but there is also a basic English menu available. And you can enjoy some stroll after meal in a strawberry farm as well.
3. Shopping Handmade
Further, not far from Mon Jam there is a nature trail at Doi Mon Long where there are high limestone mountains and is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Chiang Mai. Certainly, you will enjoy to explore here, even though it is a quite tough and wilding trail.
Apart from the natural things, a local way of life at Mon Jam is also gripping. Astonishing that the residents here are able to get familiar well with the visitors which may be for the reason of their cordiality among them and toward the tourists, as well as a lot of activities that allow the visitors to join in with them e.g. sleighing, tribal dressing up, shopping handmade gifts and souvenirs – tote bag, scarf, accessory, fruit, vegetable, etc.
Where to stay in Mon Jam
There are various styles of place to stay at Mon Jam, including resort, guesthouse, and camping. Anyhow, camping one is the most popular according to the tourist who are able to get closer with nature and with a friendly price. However, as there is limited space for camping so it is recommended that you make reservation prior otherwise you have to find other neighboring accommodation located not too far from Mon Jam.
For camping at Mon Jam, there is a service called “Mon Jam Camping Resort” which is a part and operated by Nong Hoi Royal Project. With its advantage in location, of course it allows you a brilliant view and atmosphere that you can get the fresh cool air, spot a misty sea, dawn and dusk, stars upon the sky. So, this can be the most romantic and aesthetic scene for you ever.
For the facilities, all the necessary stuff for camping is provided for you in the tent, consisting of a mattress, blanket, lining sheet, torch, lamp as well as a private bamboo bathroom to give you the feeling like nature. And don’t worry no matter how cold it is. The hot water heater is available for you. Moreover, there are open spaces for you to sit leisurely or sip a cup of coffee while you are relaxing with the charismatic view in front of you.
The price for the camping tent is THB1,200 / night / 2 people, THB1,800 / night / 3 people and THB2,400 / night / 4 people. For cottage accommodation, the price is between THB2,500-5,000 / night. For further information, you can contact at +66 81 806 3993 or visit website www.thairoyalprojecttour.com
Transportation to Doi Mon Jam
Mon Jam is 40-minutes away from the city of Chiang Mai. To travel by car, drive along the highway number 107 (Chiang Mai- Fang) head to Mae Rim until the 17th kilometer and then turn left towards the highway number 1096 (Mae Rim-Samoeng) until the 15th Kilometer then turn right at Ban Pong junction and drive for more 6 kilometers and look for the signage to Nong Hoi Royal Project, then turn right towards along the road until you reach the destination. The road up to Mon Jam is paved road and is not too much slope, so it is fine for driving by car and van.
Extra for the trip
On the way to Mon Jam, there is a place that is very interesting and you should visit which is “Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden” where there is the most perfect botanical garden in Thailand with its international standard. At this place where is the location to collect any variety of plant with a focus on rare, endemic, and endangered species. Although the main focus is on the Northern Thai flora and surrounding regions, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden has an integrated program of research, education and amenity with at a global perspective. There are many interesting things to explore in this botanical garden which are;
1. The Glasshouse Complex:
A group of glasshouse buildings situated over the hillside. Encompassed within this area are gardens, glasshouses, trails and natural vegetation ranging from hill evergreen through dry dipterocarp forest areas. Within the garden you can wander walk trails, gardens and glasshouses all showcasing a rich diversity of plants either in their natural setting or arranged according to some theme or classification.
2. Nature Trail:
There are 3 routes are;
2.1 Waterfall Trail
This trail is passing by Mae Sa stream and Mae Sa Noi Waterfalls leads to the garden’s ornamental flower beds and onto the Thai Wild Orchid Nursery.
2.2 Arboretum Trail
This trail passes through Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden’s collection of trees and larger shrubs, you can see trees from more than ten families along this trail, including Banana Family, Palm Family, Pine Family, Cassia Family, and ferns and their allies.
2.3 Climber Trail
This 800-meter trail meanders through an area of Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden that focuses on vines and climbing plants, more than 200 species of these plants can be found along this trail.
Moreover, the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden also arranges “Canopy Walkway”, the longest walkway above the trees in Thailand with 400-meter length and 20-meter height. The walkway is designed to be compatible with the nature as much as possible, its structure made from steel and some parts are tempered glass allowing you to look through down under. An how this area is out of service during the rainy season.
The Gardens are open from 8.30am to 5pm daily. And the adult entrance fee is THB40 and child entrance is THB10.