The best bowl of soup in Thailand can be found in a Chinese village nested on the ridge of a mountain. Mae Salong has a strong Chinese presence, in 1949 after Chinese revolution the Kuomingtang National Party fled into Thailand. The soldiers recreated their homes in Yunnan, China.
With red lanterns hanging outside shop fronts, Chinese characters sitting along side Thai and English. Green tea grown in surrounding terraced gardens. Below Mae Salong hugging the ridge line of the mountain.
There are plenty of walking tracks around Mae Salong, most hostels will give you maps to help you find your way around. The roads up and down the mountain side are steep and windy. The surrounding area is mountain after mountain, with little pockets of villages all connecting up to Mae Salong.
ABOVE: The local petrol station. Simple and Effective.
Ok, back to the best bowl of soup in Thailand. As you walk down the hill away from the main market, in the opposite direction from the tourist area. This Chinese Yunnanese Noodle Shop, is on the right hand side as you walk down the hill, past the convenience store.
As the television blares in the background, other members of the family and friends are sitting at a back table chopping and preparing parts for the soup. The rice noodles are fresh and their texture are like no other I sample around Thailand, the stock is of chicken and pork, with shredded pork meat sitting on top and a few shallots. The broth was quite peppery, though very delicate with flavour. On the table you could add chili to your bowl, along with fish sauce and sugar. I liked mine as they served it, simple and clean. To good to add extra flavours that may have escaped the bottle to quickly for my liking.
Our accommodation was in the heart of Mae Salong, with a veranda that looked over the main street and only 50 meters from the central market. The owners have made their own tea, which is of course Chinese style. I bought a bag of it home with me, as it is the best green tea. Gentle and smooth, never going bitter, even when you leave the leaves in as long as I do.
BUS: Catch a bus from Chiang Mai to Tha Ton, buses leave Chang Pheuak bus terminal, approximately 4 hours, you will arrive at the central bus stop. It is the last stop of the trip.
TAXI: Catch a ride at the bus station in Tha Ton up to Mai Salong in one of the local taxi’s called Sǎwngthǎew, they drop off at the main market, which is surrounded by accommodation options to choose from.
EAT: Chinese Yunnanese Noodle Shop, for the best soup in Thailand.