Tucked away in a serene corner of north-west Thailand, Mae Hong Son is one of the most naturally beautiful provinces of Thailand. With a rich cultural mix that draws on influences from Burma and China, Mae Hong Son is a fascinating area of Thailand to visit.
The compact town of Mae Hong Son is capital of the province which shares the same name. Nestled in a valley and fringed by mountains, Mae Hong Son is known as the ‘The City of Three Mists’. The town is particularly atmospheric in the early morning as the mists swirl around the hill-tops before gently fading away as the sun warms the mountain air. The best location in town to enjoy the panorama of Mae Hong Son is Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, located a five-minute drive away from the centre of town.
In the centre of Mae Hong Son, the twin temples of Wat Chong Kham and Wat Chong Klang adjacent to the lake provide a focal point. As dawn breaks and joggers exercise by the lake, monks file out on their alms round. It’s a charming scene far removed from the hustle and bustle associated with some of the other towns and cities in Thailand. Be sure to visit again in the evening when the temples are illuminated casting a pretty reflection across the lake.
Away from the town, Mae Hong Son province is blessed with some spectacular scenery. With rivers, lakes, hot springs, caves and mountains to explore, there is plenty here to keep the adventurous traveller occupied. With proximity to Burma and a history of migration from China, Mae Hong Son is home to a surprisingly diverse range of cultures and traditions. This blending of cultures and traditions can be seen in the food, architecture and dress of the people.
A little slice of Pai
The small and amiable town of Pai is located approximately halfway between the cities of Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. With a vibrant arts and crafts scene, stylish cafés, rustic restaurants and some beautiful scenery close at hand it’s easy to see why Pai has become so popular with local as a well as overseas tourists.
The road from Chiang Mai to Pai and onwards to Mae Hong Son is a winding one with hundreds of curves in the road. Some of the views from the road are spectacular, but if you are prone to travel sickness take precautions. Travelling the Mae Hong Son loop with TourChoice, the journey back to Chiang Mai is a relaxing scenic flight from diminutive Mae Hong Son airport.
If you visit Mae Hong Son during the cool season months (November-February) please note that temperatures can drop significantly in the evening. It makes for a pleasant change from the heat and humidity, but some tourists are caught out and aren’t prepared for the cool evenings. The mountain flowers are at their best during the cool season months with attractions such as the spectacular Bua Tong sunflower fields attracting Thai tourists to the province.
March-April can be hot and hazy in Mae Hong Son whilst June usually heralds the beginning of the rainy season also known as the green season. It’s still a good time to visit Mae Hong Son, but be prepared for rain showers.
Visit Pai and Mae Hong Son
TourChoice offer a 3 day, 2 night tour that features Pai and Mae Hong Son. Departures are from Chiang Mai.
Click here for more details »