Picture choosen by : Mr.Forest Garret
The Forest of the Tea Growers
The Village of Ban Mae Lai, like its more famous neighbor Ban Mae Kampong, started out as chewing tea outpost. The tea plant is native to this forest. The villagers cultivated the tea its native environment of a shady forest. The tea naturally grows under a canopy of the large trees. So, the villagers would only clear the ground cover in the forest where they grew the tea and leave the tall trees standing. This practiced has resulted in a large area of forest that the villagers have protected for their production of fermented chewing tea. These days chewing teas has gone out of fashion. So, these days the villager are looking for new ways to earn money from their forest. The village of Ban Mae Lai has set up multiple trekking trails in the 300 hectare forest to encourage tourists to come an appreciate their forest and learn about their traditional way of life. If you are interested in stopping by for a hike or just a visit to the Mae Lai waterfalls just take the road to Ban Mae Kampong in Mae On District of Chiang Mai. Just after passing the Royal Project project the road forks. The right fork takes you to Ban Mae Kampong and the left up to Ban Mae Lai.