For an in-depth overview of local history, head to The Martyrs’ Memorial Hall on the southern approach to Santikhiri (Mae Salong). The museum has three main buildings, starting with an exhibition of KMT political & military history in Hall 1. The central building serves as a shrine to the soldiers who died in conflict, while Hall 2 covers the social and economic development of the region in the years since.
Hall 1 contains an English-language summary of historical events, but annotation of the photos on display is mostly in Chinese and Thai. If you have more than a cursory interest, you will benefit from some personal research before visiting the museum.
Hall 2 is more of a photographic interpretation of events, so language or lack of background knowledge are less of a barrier to understanding.
Another memorial is found on a hillside overlooking the main market center of Santikhiri. This is the tomb of the revered KMT leader, General Duan. Behind the tomb there are a number of posters on display, including international new articles about the ‘forgotten army’. The tomb is in a peaceful setting with views across the town and farmland.
Mae Salong Private Tours
Due to the remote location of Mae Salong, it is usually more practical to visit this as a way-point between other itinerary stops (rather than a day trip from Chiang Rai then back-tracking along the same road for example).