Doi Tung

A popular detour on the way to Mai Sai is Doi Tung ('flag mountain'). Part of the attraction of this mountain-top is the drive up through forests and Shan, Akha and Lahu tribal villages. At the top of the mountain is the thousand years old temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Tung.

The temple is an important pilgrimage spot for Buddhists from many countries. Thais will also make a pilgrimage of sorts to the royal villa of the Princess Mother, the mother of the current king, who passed away in 1995. The villa has been preserved as it was when the Princess Mother lived there, and turned into a museum. Admission to both the villa and its ornate gardens is 100 Baht (US$ 2.50 approx.)

During her life, the Princess Mother established what is now known as the Mae Fa Luang Foundation to help better the lives of the hill tribes by helping to develop cash crops to replace opium and slash-and-burn farming techniques. Products of these endeavors, such as coffee, strawberries and macadamia nuts, are sold in the museum's shop.