Sunday, 7 April 2013

Doi Mae Salong, the tea plantations of Thailand: Oolong tea

tea plantation Doi Mae Salong
tea plantation Doi Mae Salong 
As a big tea-lover (and of course tea-drinker) I was very curious to see and vist the Oolong tea plantations north of Chiang Mai. Back in 1960-ies some thousand Chinese soldiers got asylium from the Thai government and were allowed to stay and leave in this area. Due to the fact that the Maesalong reagion is in te muntaina nd not so well accessible it was the perfect place to grow opium. According to a CIA report in 1971, Mae Salong was then one of the largest heroin refineries in Southeast Asia. Only in the late 1980s the Thai government was really able to make any headway in taming the region – part of which involved crop substitution plans (from opium to tea) and giving the area a new name (Santikhiri meaning "hill of peace")..
tea plantation Doi Mae Salongtea plantation Doi Mae Salong
tea plantation Doi Mae Salong 
Nowadays one may enjoy hilly drive, fantastic green tea-sceneries and (if lucky as we were) also the teapickers with their big baskets...In the village itself onemay fill a bit overwhelmed with over 15 shops selling more or less the same tea, but its nice to take the time for some tea-tasting...Its the first time I was served a tea in two cups, see picture attached! In one word: its worth the drive (around 80 km from ChaingRai):-)
Tea cups
Oolong tea 
The Oolong tea is a sort of black tea usually grown in Taiwan. Due to the similar climate its ispossible to grow it in this part of Thailand...

13 comments:

Rosemary said...

What a lovely post and the women seem so happy going about their working tasks.

SaucyKod said...

What a delightfully "Tea Tyme Post. The photos are so colourful and so nice to capture the lovely smiles and workers. I do admire this "Hillside". Nice also, to see history erase itself of bad history and renew itself with "Tea" - Thanks Jana.

Filip and Kristel said...

Something typical for you Jana, tea. Looks like fun and top pictures.

Greetings,
Filip

Dietmut said...

Jana, je hebt een geweldig mooie serie geplaatst. Fijne avond en groetjes, Dietmut

Linda said...

Wonderful post. I love tea as well.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

The tea gatherers all look so happy in your photos. It certainly must have been a wonderful experience Jana.

Jeanne said...

I love seeing these photos of the tea workers. Such beautiful scenery and joyful looking faces!

Lies said...

Elke keer weer een heel speciaal logje, bij jou... 'k Kan de thee bijna ruiken, Jana...
Lie(f)s.

Koryn said...

Well, what do you know, we have so many things in common! I love, love tea too! :) I try to try different kinds from around the world.

Re your comment on my blog : Wow, you did fall in love with Thailand! But I can't blame you, I really enjoyed Thailand too! Especially the food. I envy, thought, that you got to dive there!

Oh yes, you definitely have to visit the Philippines! I'd be more than happy to tour you around :) There are so many places you can go to, depending on your interest. The food can be quite a treat too!

This is Belgium said...

I enjoy this reportage very much. Happy you stopped by Belgium, otherwise I might have missed it !

betchai said...

your first picture really draws attention, and your portrait of the tea lady is beautiful, you captured the smile and happiness so very well in every pic.

Jana said...

thank you dear all for the lovely comments, I managed to capture smiles indeed but I do belive that its a hard work...

AVCr8teur said...

I always wanted to see such a beautiful tea field in person. Wonderful post of including the tea leaf pickers. Tea can't get any fresher than at the source!