High mountain Oolong tea is Doi Mae Salong‘s premium product. Annual production from tea plantation is approximately 200 tons, most of Chiang Rai province’s output.
Santikhiri is noted for its High Mountain Oolong, a high grade traditional Chinese tea, which makes up about 80% of all tea production in Chiang Rai. The province produces about 200 tonnes of tea a year. The combination of climate and soil conditions at Santikhiri is ideal for growing high quality Oolongs (“black dragon” in Chinese). Such teas are cultivated at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 metres (3,960–4,620 ft). In 2005, Santikhiri was selected by the Tourism and Sports Ministry as an OTOP (“One Tambon One Product“) tourism village in recognition of its fine oolong tea. The goals are to stimulate the grassroots economy, increase the number of tourists, and develop Thailand’s products and services. Taiwanese experts work alongside local farmers in tea processing plants which produce top-quality tea for both the local and export markets. The number of tea plantations in the village has increased significantly since the mid-1990s, and includes Choke Chamroen Tea, Wang Put Tan and 101 Tea. Source: Wikipedia
Akha ladies picking tea at Doi Mae Salong…
There are many stalls and shops devoted to selling excellent local oolong tea – packaged and ready to take home. The tea bushes here were originally imported from Taiwan, well known for its high mountain (gaoshan) teas grown in a very similar subtropical climate. As well as the tea itself, there are tea sets from China as well as candies, fruits, and everything else you’d need for enjoying tea in traditional Chinese style are also available.