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Mae Hong Son

Everything you Need to Know about Mae Hong Son

Home to the famous backpacker town Pai, Mae Hong Son sees a steady flow of visitors who come to experience a slice of its peaceful rural lifestyle. This north-westernmost province bordering Burma is like another world, hemmed in on all sides by high mountain ranges. It boasts more than 80% of virgin forests, shrouded in mist all year round. From Mae Hong Son town, the next closest major city, Chiang Mai, is 368km away.

Mae Hong Son’s isolated location and pristine natural beauty makes it an ideal destination for those in search of serenity. Outside of Pai, which has transformed into a tourist hotspot, it offers little in terms of modern conveniences but a lot in terms of raw natural beauty. Waterfalls, hot springs, and forested caves dot Mae Hong Son’s endless rolling mountains, home to the Padong ethnic hill-tribe (Long-neck Karen), among others.

Salween National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the perfect oasis for getting away from it all. Embark on a rafting journey down the scenic Salween River or camp out in the verdant jungle where nothing comes between you and nature. Equally stunning, with its mirror-like lake and lush, forested mountains, Baan Ruam Thai Coffee Village (known locally as Pang Ung) is another ideal camping destination.

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Mae Hong Son Hotels

There are, perhaps, more accommodation choices in Pai than in Mae Hong Son city. If the city area is your destination, the option ranges from independently run guest houses to luxury chain hotels.

Pai

Tucked deep in a valley, surrounded by walls of mountains, Pai seems to exist in its own time zone. Here, nature is your best friend, and slowing down is a favourite pasttime.

Mae Hong Son Map

From Chiang Mai, there are two routes to get to Mae Hong Son: Route 108 passes through Mae Sariang and takes slightly longer than Route 1095, which passes through Pai. Both routes cut across high mountain ridges and are marked by nearly 2,000 sharp turns. Most travellers get car-sick at some point along these two routes, so it’s a good idea to pop a motion-sickness pill at the beginning of the journey.

Getting to Mae Hong Son

Unless you plan to drive some 924 kilometres from Bangkok, the fastest way to get to Mae Hong Son is by flying in, via Chiang Mai. Other options include catching a train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong or hopping on a long-distant bus at Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit), then transfer to a mini-bus once you arrive in Chiang Mai. Whichever option you choose, Chiang Mai will be your transfer point.

From Chiang Mai, there are two routes to get to Mae Hong Son: Route 108 passes through Mae Sariang and takes slightly longer than Route 1095, which passes through Pai. Both routes cut across high mountain ridges and are marked by nearly 2,000 sharp turns. Most travellers get car-sick at some point along these two routes, so it’s a good idea to pop a motion-sickness pill at the beginning of the journey.

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