This is the final of our 3 food/travel posts from our trip out to Northern Thailand earlier this year. 

The photos below are all from Mae Salong - a small village in the tea growing hills of Chiang Rai Province, Northern Thailand.   Making it to this village was actually a last minute addition to our agenda, thanks to recommendation from the venerable Austin Bush.  If you don't know of Austin then check out his blog, and look up his book on Northern Thailand (we really can't recommend this book highly enough).  

Great tip it was too.  Mae Salong town is a beautiful village, surrounded by tea plantations, just a short hop from the Burmese Boarder.   The community that live there are Thai-Yunannese having migrated, via Myanmar, from Yunnan Province in Southern China.   It's a charming spot, with cool mountain air, roadside tea stands, a handful of good restaurants, and a small but excellent morning market.  

The cuisine to be found in Mae Salong is certainly more Chinese than it is Thai, but it's also very distinct from the Bangkok Thai-Chinese that you find on Thanon Yaowarat.   It's Thai-Yunnanese; something completely new to us, and eating there felt like being in a different country.  During our short stay we managed to sample some really memorable dishes, one or two of which were among our trip highlights, and it wasn't only the food that we liked: the peaceful atmosphere, gentle hum of village life and the beautiful surrounding countryside all added up to leave a lasting impression on us.   We hope to make it back there someday. 

Some pictures we took below - dishes and ingredients including: grilled purple sticky rice pancakes (served showered with a mix of crushed perilla seeds and sugar); local style noodle soup with fresh rice noodles, pork and 'dtok ngaio' flowers; young tea leaf salad with peanuts and tuna, wind dried pork; wind dried beef stir fried with green chillies alongside steamed and braised pork over yunan style pickled vegetables. All very delicious.