Mon Cham (or Mon Jam!), Chiang Mai: A Spectacular Daytrip

11:59 Amy 20 Comments

Vegetables and herbs grow in neat rows next to bright flowers at Mon Cham, a mountain top picnic paradise. I love this fun, interesting day trip from Chiang Mai.


Mon Cham or Mon Jam

Mon Cham is sometimes called Mon Jam. It's on top of a small mountain and has incredible, incredible views of hills, villages, Royal Project farms and valleys rolling into the distance. Mon Cham is a Chiang Mai day trip, or a side trip from the Samoeng Loop.

It's only an hour's drive from the busy city to this wonderful, relaxed spot. Everyone I've taken here has adored it.


The canteen serves delicious Thai and Western food, which visitors can eat in an open-walled bamboo hut perched on the mountain's edge, or you could find somewhere to sit in the garden.


In a pinch, the bamboo picnic platforms in the gardens can also be used as beds by tired travelers.


The gardens at Mon Cham are just gorgeous. You can see an almost 360 degree view of mountains all around you as you wander among the flowers.


The delicious food is cooked with fresh Nong Hoi Royal Project ingredients, some of which grow right at Mon Cham itself. The Royal Projects are funded by the King and royal family as a way to improve the lives of poor villagers, reduce negative environmental impact and improve local economic development.
Local villagers used to grow opium, but now they grow high value crops. Nong Hoi Royal Project is on a mountain, so farmers can grow cool-climate crops which fetch a higher price in local markets. The Project teaches local farmers how to grow them, because they aren't traditionally grown in the area.


Usually Mon Cham is bathed in gorgeous sunshine, but sometimes it's cloudy, cool and extremely windy! It's delightful after spending time in the hot, sticky, polluted city. Butterflies flit around the mountain top at all times of the year!


Here's a map to Mon Cham from Chiang Mai Old City. It's open every day til around dusk.



Useful tips

- Fill up your motorbike tank in Chiang Mai city centre or Mae Rim before you start this trip. There are very few petrol stations near Mon Jam.
- It gets cool up there sometimes. Take a jumper. Really!
- The food served at Mon Jam is delicious and there are plenty of other options nearby too.



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20 comments:

  1. Hey Amy! Great post :)
    I just moved to Chiang Mai and I have some friends visiting in October - I'm thinking of taking them here for a day trip after breakfast. Is there anything you recommend we see on the way? If we'd leave Chiang Mai around 10:30am at what time do you think we would be back? (how long do you usually take there?) We'd go on a tuesday so hopefully less traffic/ people too?

    Thank you! Lulu :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lulu! Yay, that's great news, I hope you have a wonnnderful time here! YES - check out this map of the Samoeng Loop: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Gr_UK7jawx3RS6wb3hh_f8Ne_1Y&ll=18.829520213508026%2C98.87887969999997&z=11

      Mon Jam is good for an hour. It's a whole day trip, but you should try to be back before dark - those roads are scary in the dark. I think a Tuesday would be better than a weekend too!

      Hope that helps - and sorry it's pretty late.
      Amy

      Delete
  2. How do you get there from Chiang Mai? Rented car, taxi, public transportation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always driven a motorbike. The next best option is to hire a private driver for the day. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  3. hi,can it be combined with the doi suthep trip otw back to chiangmai? would be staying a night in mon cham..

    ReplyDelete
  4. On the renovated road, which was done not so long ago, it's a pleasure to drive. Come to us again!

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