And unlike what the Mormons think, it’s not in Missouri, but Northern Thailand, just west of Doi Pui, on a little road that doesn’t show up on Google maps. So I guess I found the back door to the Garden of Eden, which is even better, because now it’s a secret that only I can show you. Come visit and rent a scooter. It’s only about eight miles from my front door here in Mae Rim.
THE MAE SA VALLEY AND MON JAM
Only a few miles from our new home in Mae Rim, the Mae Sa valley runs between the backside of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui, and another range to the west. This was once a prime opium producing area in Thailand. Now it is home to a mixture of vegetable and fruit farming, usually on terraces, and tourism, though there aren’t nearly as many guest houses or coffee shops as one might expect this close to Chiang Mai.
At the very top is a Hmong village called Mon Jam, and a coffee shop which overlooks the next valley, which was filled with clouds when we arrived and looked like nothing so much as Shangri-La. It was also quite chilly up there. When people see my photos of this area they assume it’s hot, fetid and full of bugs, but at least this time of year, rainy season, it’s not at all that way.