Going with the Grain: How to Visit Rice Fields in Thailand
The rolling green hills of the north are an unexpected delight. Set aside time to visit rice fields in Thailand, it’s gorgeous! Far from the beaches of the south, this is a land of lush landscape and friendly people where life moves at a slower pace and you can really kick back and relax.
One of the best things to do in the north is to head for some traditional rice terraces. This the Thailand of your imagination; emerald green rows of terraced fields stretching as far as the eye can see, dotted with wooden houses and dusted with clouds. We’ve helped you out with the hows and wheres of a trip to these gems of the north.
Pa Pong Piang Rice Terraces
Our recommendation for the place to head for the best views is Pa Pong Piang, in Doi Inthanon National Park. Here you’ll find miles of verdant green terraces stretching as far as the eye can see, with rolling hills and a vibrant local community just waiting to welcome you to the village.
What’s there to see?
OK, so a trip to these northern Thai rice terraces isn’t exactly an adrenaline ride, but that’s not what you’re there for anyway! Visitors tend to either come for the day or stay for one night, and the main way to pass the time is a stroll through the fields soaking up the views and taking a few epic photos. If the sun comes out then you’re in luck; the fields are such a bright green color that they glow almost fluorescent in the sunshine. It’s super cool!
You’ll likely be joined by only a few local tourists (and few of these stay overnight), so it’s easy to relax and enjoy the trip without being elbowed out the way by camera-toting hoards. Just remember to ask permission from people before taking their photos and you’ll feel right at home.
View this post on Instagram
Where to Stay and Eat
Tourism is pretty new here so don’t expect luxury when you come to Pa Pong Piang, but the guesthouses boast stunning views and are a great experience. Whichever guesthouse you choose, you can expect a small wooden cabin with a mattress on the floor and a mosquito net hanging from the ceiling. The bathroom will be outside and is sometimes shared with the family, although this is becoming less common as the guesthouses develop.
There’s no need to take food with you or worry about finding restaurants while you’re there as the guesthouses all provide dinner and breakfast as part of the deal. For dinner, look forward to some sautéed greens, an omelet or two, some meat soup and a ton of rice. For breakfast you might well see the same menu again but it’s tasty so no worries there! A night’s accommodation with two meals only costs 500 baht ($16) per person so you can enjoy it without breaking the bank.
How to Visit the Pa Pong Piang Rice Fields
A trip to the village normally starts from Chiang Mai, but there’s no direct public bus so the best option is to charter a red songthaew truck or find some buddies to join in and charter a private car. Many guest houses have accommodation for drivers and the price of their room and food will be included in the price of the hire if you stay overnight.
Alternatively if you fancy the challenge then hop on a truck to Chom Thong, then transfer to another one to Mae Chaem and ask to be dropped at the Pong Piang intersection. You’ll still be a few kms away from the village but the guesthouses will send a car down to collect you if you book in advance. Or walk, if you’re feeling energetic!
Set Aside the Time to Visit Rice Fields in Thailand
The rice terraces of Pa Pong Piang are some of the best that northern Thailand has to offer. A trip here is a chance to see the ‘real’ Thailand, so charge up your camera, put on your hiking shoes and look forward to a great couple of days.