Doi Chang, a mountain of coffee
Doi Chang (ดอยช้าง) is a very scenic and beautiful mountain village in Mae Suai district in Chiang Rai province. It literally means “Elephant mountain”. Chang means elephant. Doi is the Northern Thai word for mountain. It takes about one hour and 15 mins drive from Chiang Rai to Doi Chang. This area has become famous for its coffee. The Doi Chaang brand of coffee you can find everywhere in Northern Thailand. Doi Chaang Coffee is a social enterprise. In the past, the area was characterized by shifting cultivation through slash and burn practices that were unsustainable, destroying watersheds, and bringing poverty to the people.
HRH King Bhumibol initiated a Royal Project which resulted in the foundation of Doi Chaang Coffee. Most of the people working on the coffee plantations are from the Akha tribe. Apart from Doi Chaang, there are other coffee producers around this village, amongst others the Anebo brand from a Lisu headman. Apart from coffee, the area around the village has a lot more to offer. Great place to spend the night and explore the environs.
The area around Doi Chang has become popular with local tourists. The scenery is quite stunning. The roads are of good quality so we highly recommend Doi Chang especially if you like coffee. It is worth taking the road from Doi Chang to Wawee and onwards to Thaton. This road has been redone a couple of years ago. Along this road, you can find many villages where people are involved in the project Hilltribe organics.