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Tourists flee summer heat for Chiang Mai’s cold-comfort mountain

Jun 30. 2020
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By THE NATION

Tourists are flocking back to Chiang Mai’s Mon Jam mountain in Mae Rim district, as highland resorts reopen to offer cool relief from the sweltering summer temperatures.

Hotels and restaurants on the scenic mountain have started opening their doors to returning tourists after several months in Covid-19 lockdown, said Wichit Metha-Anantkul, president of Mon Jam Agricultural Tourism Entrepreneurs Club.

“Since the limit on inter-provincial travel was lifted, we have seen increasing online bookings from tourists seeking rooms from about Bt800 [per night],” he said. “Meanwhile, some are pitching their tents at camping sites to enjoy the cool mountain weather and the sea of mist in the morning.”

Best known for a beautiful mountaintop viewpoint over the Mae Rim Valley and the floral orchard of its Royal Project farms, Mon Jam is about an hour’s drive from downtown Chiang Mai.

However, while visitors are flowing back as the virus outbreak eases, restarting the tourism economy in Mon Jam is not without its obstacles.

“Some tourism operators in Mae Rim districts are facing charges of trespassing after the land on which they built hotels and resorts was later declared to be national forest,” said Wichit. “Fifteen such cases are still pending investigation, and we have submitted an appeal to the National Land Policy Committee to allow the operators to resume their businesses, which will help bring in tourists and promote other enterprises in the communities.”

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