Approximately an hour in a car and less than 40km away from Chiang Mai lies the beautiful mountaintop viewpoint of Mon Jam.
If you fancy a destination for a peaceful getaway to while away a few hours then Mon Jam is the place to be.
Mon Jam is a small agricultural community where all sorts of organic produce are grown in the cooler temperatures of the mountainside.
With a restaurant at the top and many places to sit out and enjoy the spectacular views this is a truly worthwhile place to visit.
It’s a colourful panorama of the northern Thai hills in a sea of green.
Amongst the rolling mountains, you can see local farmers working on their land and even take a stroll through Royal Project farm.
The restaurant sits under a shady canopy with a cooling effect and has the dishes mainly written in Thai.
Not many foreigners visit this place, which is a shame in many regards but a blessing if you want a tranquil day out away from the city and to be amongst the local population enjoying themselves.
The menu, which is liable to change is written on a whiteboard and has a basic English menu so it is an advantage to bring someone who speaks Thai.
Should you wish you can have the food served to the bamboo huts that scatter the mountain edge and offer the diner a stunning experience of eating amongst the mountain tops. Food and beverages for two people should be in the 200 to 300 baht range.
How to Get There
Mon Jam (or Moncham on the road signs) if you start from Chiang Mai is quite easy to get to and takes about an hour. Mon Jam is located close to the Mae Sa Valley. From Chiang Mai, you go north of the City, through Chang Phueak along the 107 highway.
Approximately 15km north of Chiang Mai head West along 1096, finally taking the steep and winding roads of the 4051, through the Himong village to the mountaintop. It’s well signposted so there shouldn’t be any navigation problems and parking for vehicles is at the top.
The ride is a pleasant and pleasing journey through some wonderful scenery. If you’re so inclined as you pass the Maesa Elephant Park, have a quick break and watch the Elephants.
The road going up to the viewpoint is quite steep so it is not recommended for new drivers. And another important thing to consider is the weather.
If you take a motorbike do remember to take it easy. There are some sharp turns and very big drops. Thai roads have some bad accident statistics at the best of times so try not to add to them.
The road to Mon Jam is steep, particularly at the end so if you’re travelling by motorbike or scooter then at least a 125cc is recommended to make light work of the inclines.
You can also stop off at the several coffee shops en route and sample some of the produce from the local strawberry farms.
A Songthaew is also an option if you are in a group. Find an empty Songthaew and ask the driver. Typically the price is around 1000 baht for a return trip. The driver will take you there wait around for a few hours and then drive you back.
Best Times to Visit Mon Jam
The weekends are very busy with visiting Thai families so weekdays are a better time to visit. The parking is easier, as is getting a seat at the bamboo restaurant huts. Naturally, the low season is also less busy than the high season which is from November to March.
Mon Jam is open from 10 am until sunset.
Having already articulated that if you are taking a motorbike to be careful on the windy, twisting and steep roads, especially in the rain or overcast weather we would recommend taking plenty of water and suncream.
Obviously keeping yourself hydrated in the Thai climate, even in the cooler climate of the mountains is sensible.
Officially Recognized Trips
If you’d like to go with a group of people on an official tour Get Your Guide offers a full day Full–Day Motor Scooter Tour that will take you on a ride through the valleys, jungles and rice fields of Mon Cham and Mae Sa.
Spending the Night
If you’d like to make an overnight trip of it then there are a couple of amazing hotels in the area with perhaps some of the best scenic views in the area.
Here are some of our favourites: