In and Around Samoeng
There is a lot to see and do around Samoeng so we have put together some ideas for you, along with a review from own experience.
Something that everyone wants to do at some point on a visit to Thailand is to visit a temple, or 'Wat', of which there are very many! We decided to do a Temple Trail of the local Temples in and around Samoeng for you to follow, whereby you will get to see the real Thailand, visiting places that are not 'tourist' based, but real Temples that are a big part of the local community. There is something different to see at each and every Wat and Chedi on the trail and almost all Wats and Chedi have some beautiful scenery and views.
The Temple Trail will take you around half to a full day depending on how long you want to stay at each one and how you are going to travel between them such as by bike, car or for the very fit, walk! We recommend visiting by car if it is hot weather.
There are a number of breath-taking view points around Samoeng, one of which being Sameong Forest view point, which is at approximately 1500ft and around 18km/11m from Doi Nok Strawberry Resort. The views from here are beautiful and you can sit and drink them in from a small sun shelter that is there. There a number of other view points that we have included in our information booklet, although almost anywhere and everywhere you go will have you gasping with delight at the stunning scenery. Another such view point also takes to a Hmong Hill Tribe village, very high up. Again, the views are just breath taking.
If you visit Elephants At Home, you will also get to not only see a real Karen Hill Tribe village, but you will get to spend a little time there too.
Samoeng market takes place every Monday morning and if you're not wanting a modern market full of souvenirs for tourists but rather, another taste of the real Thailand, then you may wish to visit this one. It caters for the local and 'mountain people'. The Hmong Hill Tribes people come down from the mountains into Samoeng, wearing their traditional clothes that is a normal part of life here and not worn for the benefit of tourists!
There are caves nearby too for the intrepid explorer! They are not commercialised in as much as they are not kitted out with lighting or electricity. So you would need a strong torch light, which we can supply for you to use if you wish to visit these caves.
You would normally find that you are the only people there and you are free to wander through them at your own free will. The caves are large, extensive and damp so care should be taken.There is a make shift shelter outside the caves where there is a 'tip' box, a small, nominale amount of around THB 20 is expected from any visitors.
On the out skirts of Samoeng there is also a fishing attraction. There were plenty of fish when we were there and very friendly staff. The cost is around THB 100 which includes the hiring of the tackle.
We have also included a rather different kind of attraction for Samoeng, and that is the local roti shop! They make the most delicious roti's, (we enjoyed a banana one, a raisin one and a coconut one!). However, it's not just about the eating of them, it is a fasinating experience to watch them being made while you wait. We thought this was a really lovely way to finish off any excursion before returning back to Doi Nok Strawberry resort, or indeed at any time of day! They cost around a mere THB 17 each!
Another local attraction well worth a visit is a local lady that makes all sorts of decorative hangings and bags from raw cotton, right through to the finished item on her hand made loom. It is amazing to watch and to learn how the cotton makes it's journey from the raw cotton to the finished, beautiful, hand crafted item. She is a very skilled lady indeed. There is a small charge of THB 200 for the tour and to watch and learn how it is all done. Items are also available for purchase at a very reasonable cost.
There are also many local walks in and around the Resort and Samoeng, including one from Doi Nok Strawberry Resort up to the Chedi, on Doi Nok itself. The entrance to the Chedi is a wide dirt track, which begins approximately 1km up the road from Doi Nok Strawberry Resort. The walk to the Chedi is then about 2km further along with wonderful scenic views all the way. The Chedi is on a plateau on the top of the mountain at a height of approximately 800m (2,625ft). It is not a tourist venue and is usually empty, perhaps one Monk. The silence and the breeze gives it an almost spiritual atmosphere and is wonderful! The return journey is via about 1,300 steps back down, the start of which is opposite the “dragon steps” of the Chedi and end at the Doi Nok Strawberry Resort Restaurant and a drink!
Another place to visit is the nearby river, Sob Samoeng and part of the local national park area. This a wonderful place in hot weather especially. The river bed is sandy and the water generally clear. The river can become cloudy however if it has rained or if any digging for sand has occurred! There is also an opportunity for walking along the river bank. We walked 2km down and then 2km back again, although we could have gone further had we had a mind too!