Mae Hong Son Travel Guide

Mae Hong Son The Land of Three Fog

The provinces of Northern Thailand have outstanding topography, cultural diversity, and a population comprising of various ethnic groups such as the Lanna (KhonMuang), Shan (Tai Yai), Chin Haw. Burmese, and hill tribe people like the Hmong (Miao), Lisu, Lahu, Lua, PwaKaNyaew Poe (Karen), etc. Their unique cultures are still well preserved while they peacefully live amongst each other in different cultural neighborhoods with no language or cultural barrier between them.

Many tourist attractions are preserved in their beautifully natural state. All seven districts of Mae Hong Son are full of tourist destinations and have many unique and

interesting festivals that await visitors to explore their traditional culture, folkway and contemporary lifestyle from the past to the present.

This is another popular tourism province in northern Thailand. There are some interesting statistics of it, for an instance, the 5th least crowded but also the 8th biggest town of the country.

However, Mae Hong Son is known as ‘The Land of Three Fog’, due to its atmosphere. When you enter the town, you will see a bunch of mountains around you. The climate is mostly foggy all year round.

The Short History Information 

Actually, Mae Hong Son wasn’t established as a province at first place. In the past, it was only a small area that many people loved to come in, reclaiming it building their own cottages and starting agriculture works. Most of these people were Thai, but there were also some other ethnic groups living on mountaintops.

Then, in the year 1874, it was established as a province by Inthawichayanon, who was the 7th ruler of Chiang Mai Province.

The Territory Information

mae hong son map

There are some other lands around Mae Hong Son.

Northern Side : Next to Myanmar

East Side : Next to Chiangmai Province

South Side : Next to Tak Province

West Side : Next to Myanmar (Some parts of Salween River)

 Moreover, there are total 7 districts in Mae Hong Son.

  • Muang District
  • Khum Yuam District
  • Pai District
  • Mae Sariang District
  • Mae La Noi District
  • Sob Moei District
  • Pang Ma Pa District

Meteorological Information

The climate in Mae Hong Son is tropical. If you choose to go there in the middle of summer, you will have to face with extremely hot air. Also, in the middle of winter, you will need some super thick costumes, including a pair of gloves and a wool hat. In rainy season, you may not be able to go anywhere, due to the heavy rain.

Moreover, Mae Hong Son is mostly mountaintop. which is much higher than the sea level. There is no wonder why it’s foggy all year round and called ‘The Land of Three Fog’. At daytime, the temperature will be quite high, due to the sun. But at nighttime, the temperature will be cooler, due to the mountain wind.

The summer in Mae Hong Son starts from the middle of February to the middle of May. The rainy season starts from the middle of May to October. And the winter starts from October to the middle of February. Just choose any period that is most convenient for you.

The Ethnic Groups 

As you’ve been informed, there are many different ethnic groups living in Mae Hong Son. These can be considered as 60% of total population.

  • Lu People, Kuen People, Central Thai People : With Chiang San as the specific language
  • Shan People : With northern west Tai as the specific language
  • Burmese People : With Tibeto-Burman as the specific languages
  • Lahu People : With Lahu as the specific language
  • Liso People : With Lisu as the specific language
  • Chin Haw People, Yunnan People : With Chinese and standard Chinese as the specific languages
  • S’gaw People : With S’gaw Karen as the specific language
  • Mong People : With Green Mong and White Mong as the specific languages
  • Lua People : With Mon and Cambodian as the specific languages

Traditional Merchandises 

In case you want to buy some souvenir for yourself or your friends, there are many perfect traditional merchandises in Mae Hong Son. First of all, you can choose a bottle of forest honey or a can of tea leaves. Then you may want to get a pack of sesame oil. These are natural products, so don’t worry.

Moreover, you can buy some traditional fabrics produced by ethnic groups. You may not use these fabrics in your everyday life, but you can keep them as memorial objects, in order to remind you your trip to Mae Hong Son.

How to travel to Mae Hong Son 

The most convenient way to travel to Mae Hong Son is to take a plane. There are many prices for you to choose, starting from about 4,000 Baht for big airlines like Thai Airway or Bangkok Airway. Howevery, the prices depend on your location too. These may be a little bit expensive, but you are guaranteed with fast and comfortable trips.

However, if you want more affordable prices, you may search for flights from low-cost airlines.

An another way to go is to take a tour bus. For this way, you have to be in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, first. Then you can start your trip. The ticket prices from Bangkok to Mae Hong Son are about 600 to 1,000 Baht, depending on the bus qualities, supreme or star.

On top of anything, you don’t want to drive a car to Mae Hong Son. The province is located on the north side of Thailand. You start your trip from Bangkok or its perimeters, the trip will be too exhausted for you, due to super distance. But, you can take a chance if you’re adventurous or a strong driver. The trip can take over 10 hours. Therefore be sure to get enough sleep and take your car for a check at a service centre before you go. Believe it, you don’t want to face any accident.

mae hong son airport

Mae Hong Son Airport

mae hong son bus station

Bus Station

public transport in mae hong son

Public Transport

Some of the main attractions in each district are as follows:

Muang district : Sai Yud fresh market (Morning market). Phaya Sing Hanat Racha Monument (The first ruler of Mae Hong Son), Phra That Doi Kong Mu temple, Chong Kham Temple and Chong Klang Temple, Tham Pla (Fish Cave) Forest Park, and Royal projects

Pai district : Klang Temple. Nam Hu Temple. Moh Pang Waterfall, Kong Lan (Pal Canyon) and Pong Ron Hot Spring

Khun Yuam district : Tor Pae Temple, Mae Suring Waterfall National Park and Thung Bua Tong (Mexican sunflower field)

Mae La Noi district : Kaew Komol Cave, Karen Village, Dao Dung Waterfall, Mae Hu Hot Spring and Mae Pang Temple

Sop Moei district : Hill Tribe Villages at Mae La Ma Luang, Rafting at Mae Ngao and Mae Rid Waterfall

Pang Mapha district : Nam Rod Cave, Phee Man Cave, Nam Bor Phee Cave, Pha Mon Cave and Pha Dang Cave

If you want to experience traditional culture, ways of living still in their original form, and enjoy beautiful nature, then Mae Hong Son is one of your best choices!

Traditional Dishes 

Of course, your trip won’t be completed at all if you go a town or a country without tasting it traditional foods. Same as Mae Hong Son, if you go there, you will absolutely have to find its local menu to eat, in order to full-fill your soul of travel.

There are many traditional foods in Mae Hong Son that you can eat, for instances, Jin-Loong, Suai Tamin, Steamed Tofu With Spices etc. These are able to find at general restaurants.

Where to eat

The lifestyle in Mae Hong Son is leisure and traditional, just like many suburban towns in Thailand. Therefore you should never miss stopping by and taste traditional Thai dishes in the middle of leisure atmosphere of these recommended restaurants.

  • Hern Yai Kaew

You will absolutely love the retro decoration style of this urban restaurant. It appears as an open-air wooden house, which is really accordant to the surroundings of Mae Hong Son.

About the foods, all of them are delicious. There are both traditional Thai foods, for instances, fried short mackerels with chilli paste, fried rice, and western foods like beef steaks, cheese baked potato etc. You can go and support the restaurant everyday, from 8:00-23:00.

  • Fern Restaurant

This restaurant was renovated from an old wooden house. As same as many others, the decoration style is vintage, mostly in brown-colored tone. The furnitures and ornaments are mostly from Myanmar, which are really in good taste. The dishes served here are mainly Thai traditional.

  • Krua Pinyo

This one is in Khun Yuam. You will enjoy eating many kinds of Thai tasty curry, the restaurant’s main dishes. It is not difficult to travel to, of course. You just need to find Mitr Khun Yuam Hotel and you will find the restaurant, which is located just within the area of the hotel.

  • Pa Hom Noodle

This is a very famous noodle restaurant of Mae Hong Son. It has been being in business for more than 20 years. You can choose various kinds of noodle you like, for instances, pork noodle, meatballs noodle, steamed pork noodle and lots more. It will be your perfect choice if you want to eat something simple in affordable price.

  • Khaimook Restaurant

Another wooden-house restaurant in vintage style. It had been being on business for more that 20 years too. Feel free to enjoy yourself with Thai traditional foods and local foods. The taste is absolutely authentic. You will love it for sure.

When it comes to our advice we’re proud to say we’re different. We offer something a little more special.