Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center
Khun Chang Kian Highland Agriculture Research Center otherwise known as Baan Khun Chang Kian is operated by the Agricultural Faculty of Chiang Mai University and supported by the Netherland Government. Their main focus is on the cultivation, production, processing, roasting and marketing of Arabica coffee. Training is provided on location for the students and faculty members of the Chiang Mai University, other academic institutions and highland farmers. This plantation, located 1300 meters above sea level, also grows seasonal fruits, nuts and vegetables.
We had just taken in a stunning view of the Thanon Thong Chai Mountain Range at the Doi Pui Scenic Point and had a few more hours of daylight. So, we continued further down the narrow winding road past the scenic point, towards the Doi Pui Campground. Just 3km past this beautiful campsite we came upon a small cafe associated with the research center. This was a surprising treat that we did not expect as we made our way towards the Kun Chang Kian Mong Village. Noticing the sign announcing fresh coffee, we could not resist the urge to investigate! At a glance the place looked like somebodies home, if not for the sign and small area with seats and tables. We were not entirely sure they were even open as nobody else was there and we couldn't see anybody tending the shop. Just the same, we made our way down the path and found a friendly lady sitting quietly in the corner and happy to grind up some fresh beans.
We ordered a couple of espressos for only 30 baht each and sat down to take in our humble and tranquil surroundings before moving on.
You can buy bags of their fresh roasted Arabica beans as well as other products, such as macadamia nuts grown on site and macadamia oil. It's worth noting they also had bottles of gasoline for sale, since this spot is a bit remote.
The road coming and going from Khun Chang Kian Highland Agricultural Research Centre.
We read later that there is an option to stay overnight here. We plan on going back sometime at the end of December to February when the 100 cherry trees in this area come into full bloom. Possibly, we'll consider checking out some overnight accommodations on that future visit.
December 26th, 2013 Update:
We went back to the café today and found the Japanese cherry trees (also called Sakura) are only just beginning to blossom. Small pink and white flowers can been seen scattered all over the trees, but they are mostly barren and make a poor display at the moment. It's likely we're behind this year because Chiang Mai has been having a fairly cold winter, which will definitely slow the blossoming. You can see at least six, including a few of the larger ones from the café balcony. From there you can walk down paths and roads into the gardens below where you will find the rest. The gardens are really picturesque, with beautiful landscaping around the cherry trees and coffee shrubs everywhere. All this is itself surrounded by mountains lush with tropical forest. There are a number of cabins available with large balconies overlooking the cherry and coffee trees in the gardens. This place will be spectacular in another month when I expect the Sakura will be in full bloom. Anybody taking a bike up there this time of year should strongly consider wearing long pants, jacket and gloves. It gets uncomfortably cold at this elevation during this particularly cold season, especially when you're riding a bike.
Enjoy the four new pictures below.
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