Inaccessible by road until the 1990s, Baan Mae Kampong is a lovely village and nestles in an unspoilt and relaxing setting ringed by verdant forests. The village is noted as being the home to Chiang Mai’s first zipline tour park, Flight of the Gibbon, and for its collection of homestay accommodation. The surrounding forests and an altitude of about 1,300 metres combine to provide cooler weather than in Chiang Mai.
Zooming through the treetops at Flight of the Gibbon, staying at a homestay for a day or so and a visit to the multi-tiered Mae Kampong Waterfall are the highlights of a trip to Baan Mae Kampong. The village and this zone of Mae On District are renowned for growing coffee, Bai Miang tea and fruit. Coffee shops in the village are the best places to sample the local produce.
WHAT TO DO
Flight of the Gibbon
Flight of the Gibbon is Mae Kampong’s primary attraction. Set up in 2007 with the aim of providing unique and safe adventures, Flight of the Gibbon offers a two-hour-plus skyborne zipline odyssey through the treetops. The ziplines and platforms at the course are some of Asia’s highest and provide bird’s eye views of the namesake gibbons playing in the forests below. Standard zipline canopy tours are half-day and include transport from Chiang Mai, lunch and a coffee brewed from locally grown beans.
Flight of the Gibbon: #123, T. Huai Kaeo, A. Mae On, Chiang Mai 50130 | Open: 06:00-23:00 (Daily) | Package: 30 Platforms = 3,999 B | Tel: +66 53 010 660 | Website | Facebook | E-mail | Map
WHAT TO SEE
Mae Kampong Waterfall
Baan Mae Kampong’s other claim to fame is its own personal waterfall. Mae Kampong Waterfall is 500 metres up the back road to Chae Son National Park. Although the flow at the waterfall is low at the end of the dry season in March and April, it is fairly impressive during, and in the months after, the rainy season. The waterfall cascades over seven levels. A staircase with handrails at the side leads up to the top of the falls.
Mae Kampong Waterfall: – A. Mae On, Chiang Mai 50130 | Open: 24 Hours | Admission Fee: Free | Map
Chae Son National Park
Mae Kampong is on a short cut to Chae Son National Park and the two are less than 25kms apart. The park is a bit of an adventure playground and features hiking trails to waterfalls. The park headquarters is close to natural hot springs. Visitors wishing to take a rejuvenating dip in the warm waters have a choice of private huts or the communal bath. There is also a pavilion where skilled masseuses are on hand to massage away aches and pains or give a relaxation treatment. Read more about the National Parks in Northern Thailand.
Chae Son National Park: – Chae Son, A. Muang Pan, Chiang Mai 52240 | Open: 08:00-18:00 (Daily) | Admission Fees: Adult 200 B, Child 100 B | Tel: +66 53 380 000 | Website | Map
WHERE TO STAY
See the What’s Up listings for Recommended Accommodation in Chiang Mai.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mae Kampong is about 50kms east by road from Chiang Mia’s Old City quarter. As the village is really on the road to nowhere, it is not on public transport routes. Renting a songthaew red taxi is one option to get here. Another is to rent a motorcycle or car for the trip.
People going down this road need to follow Highway 1317 past the turning for San Kamphaeng Hot Springs. At Baan Huai Kaew, there are signs indicating the route to Mae Kampong. Joining tours offered by Flight of the Gibbon and Chiang Mai travel firms is the final choice for transportation.