Mae Chan is a town and a district (amphoe) in the northern part of Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand. Neighboring districts are (from the north clockwise) Mae Sai, Chiang Saen, Doi Luang, Mueang Chiang Rai and Mae Fa Luang of Chiang Rai Province.
Mae Chan township is located 30 kms north of Chiang Rai city. By-passes to the south-west to Mae Ai, and Highway 1 to the east leave most travellers unaware of the extent of this rural town. It has some nice restaurants and several resorts, and is worth exploring. Route 1016 diverts east to Chiang Saen at the northern end of town.
Mae Chan serves as a trading post where the Akha, Lisu and Yao hill tribes sell their goods and buy manufactured items. Silver and other tribal handicrafts are available at local shops.
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Doi Nang Non (Sleeping Woman Mountain) is an unusual land feature. Located on the western side of the highway between Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. The silhouette of the mountain range takes the shape of a reclining woman with long hair when seen from certain angles.
There are a number of caves and streams in these limestone mountains; Tum Luang and Khun Naam Nang Non are popular local tourist attractions.
The Hill Tribe Development and Welfare Centre at Mae Chan, in Chiang Rai, promotes hill tribe handicrafts, including woven cloth products and silverware, and provides a retail outlet. The centre aids and administers local hilltribe settlements.
Location: 15 kilometers along Route 1089 towards Doi Mae Salong.
Mae Chan Winery is located in Mae Chan Valley, Ban Pamieng, Amphoe Maechan in Chiang Rai Province. Wine is made from predominantly “Shiraz” wine grapes, sedlings imported from Australia.
Wat Pra Archa Tong is located about 20 kilometers northwest of Mae Chan in Tambon Sri Kham. The abbot of this temple was a former Thai boxer, and he takes in orphaned children from near the Burmese border and teaches them the skills of life.
The Abbot has 200 sturdy Thai horses which the young monks use to collect alms in the early morning, and in the evening, they are all practicing their “Muay Thai” boxing skills in the boxing ring. At 06.00 am each morning, the young monks and their elders mount their horses and head off into the mountains to receive alms from local farms.
Location: 99 Moo 13, KM 12, Taton- Partung Rd., Tambon Partung Amphoe Mae Chan. The largest gong in the world, information on the history of the various ethnic groups of the Mekong Basin.
Location: Ban Par Tung Moo 11, Tambon Par Tung, Amphoe Mae Chan, Chiang Rai, approx 8kms along Highway No. 1089 (at Km marker 78) on the Mae Chan – Mai Ai road.
Phone: (053) 772-577
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