Samoeng is in Chiang Mai Province, about 50 km west-northwest of Chiang Mai.
Samoeng is a small farming community located roughly 50 km from Chiang Mai. Its claims to fame are its strawberries, for which it is justly acclaimed, and the so-called Samoeng Loop, a 100 km circuit through the mountains from Chiang Mai, well-known to both cycling and motorcycling aficionados. The town is about as Thai as possible, with only the occasional Westerner in sight.
There are three roads in and out of Samoeng. When you drive into Samoeng on Rt 1269, you will come to a tee-junction. To the right is Rt 1349. Turning left takes you to town centre, then this unmarked road continues south and eventually turns into a dirt road.
- Route 1269: This is probably the road you came in on. Taking this route back 5 km takes you to the police box at the convergence of Rts 1269 and 1096. The latter leads to Mae Rim, 30 km distant. Continuing on Rt 1269 will eventually lead you back to Rt 108 and a short drive back to Chiang Mai.
- Route 1349: This road leads ultimately to Pai, although nearer Pai you will undoubtedly be on dirt roads. Locals never take this route to Pai. They backtrack to Mae Rim and proceed from there.
A songthaew from Chiang Mai costs 60 baht and will take roughly 90 minutes to reach Samoeng.
- Samoeng Strawberry Festival, Samoeng, Chiang Mai Province, ☎ +66 84 3632781 ([email protected], fax: +66 52 080 806), . The biggest strawberry festival in Thailand. The yearly festival coincides with Valentine's Day and a couple of days either side of it. edit
- Samoeng Loop (Strawberry Loop). The Samoeng Loop, is a rollicking mountain circuit of about 100 kilometres, famous among bicyclists and motorcyclists. The starting point is typically Chiang Mai. From there, head to either Mae Rim or Hang Dong (depending on whether you want to do the circuit clockwise or counter-clockwise), then head for the town of Samoeng, roughly the midpoint of the journey (although Samoeng is 5 km off the circuit). It is also known as the "Strawberry Loop" as the region is famous for them, as numerous roadside stands will demonstrate. Check the Internet for "Samoeng Loop" and you will find lots of info. edit
- Teach English, . Samoeng's Pittayakhom School is always in need of native English speakers to assist their foreign language staff. School terms run from November-March and May-October. Volunteers are placed via the Swiss NGO, Child's Dream. Contact them for details edit
- Numerous small shops—look for them on the right as you enter town—sell products made in Samoeng. These include everything strawberry: wine, brandy, jam, dried fruit, and, of course, fresh strawberries in season. There is also a banana chip enterprise in town that makes barbeque banana chips, sweet banana chips, and more flavours.
- Samoeng has one 7-11, open 24/7. (A reminder that 7-11s sell alcohol only between 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-24:00, although neighborhood shops pay no attention to this restriction.)
- Every Monday morning in the centre of town there is an intermittent market (talat nat) selling clothing, household items, etc.
There are many small restaurants in Samoeng. Entering town, take a left at the tee-junction and go about 100 m. Here you will find the fresh market, open daily, selling prepared foods, fruits and vegetables, and the like. In the vicinity of the market there are several small restaurants.
There are no bars per se in Samoeng. Drinking takes place in restaurants.
- Forest Guest House. Funky collection of cabins on a hillside on the west side of Samoeng Valley. Proprietor is the inimitable Kanita. Everything about staying here is negotiable: price, check-in, check-out, meals (she will probably offer to cook for you although there is no restaurant). edit
- Pong Kwao Hot Springs Resort & Spa, ☎ +66 86 0123771 ([email protected]). Wonderful hot springs. 150 baht gets you towels, a wrap, and admission to a small, private bathhouse of your very own enclosing a rock-walled pool of hot water, about the size of a hot tub. Stay as long as you want. The grounds are lovely, with a restaurant/bar on-site and what appears to be a nascent cooking school with lodgings (vacant by the look of them) adjacent. Almost thirty kilometres from Samoeng, over a road that is intermittently great, then terrible. Tents for rent for camping on-site, 350-3000 baht. 150 baht for use of private bath house, towel, sarong. edit
- Samoeng Guest House, ☎ +66 53 487069. edit
- Samoeng Resort, 79 Moo 2, Samoengtai, ☎ +66 85 2540271 ([email protected]), . Samoeng Resort and Nature Observation Center is an eco-adventure lodge and retreat centre located in Samoeng Valley near Khunkan National Park. (18.8634928894043,98.72190251464843) edit
- Doi Nok Strawberry Resort, 291 M1 T.Samoeng Tai A. Samoeng Chiang Mai 50250 (On the main 1349 from Samoeng to Mae Sap), ☎ +66 (0) 53-487289 ([email protected]), . checkin: Flexible; checkout: Flexible. A strawberry farm that grows other fruit and flowers through-out the year, such as sunflowers. Well built Lodges with modern facilities such as air con, wifi, fridge, etc all within a walled, grassed garden overlooking forest and mountains. A restaurant/bar is on-site and open to non-residents as well as residents. A lovely retreat and base for exploring the area, with optional activities and courses available. (98.694553,18.854334) edit