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Mae Hong Son Province

Mae Hong Son (Thai แม่ฮ่องสอน) (also Maehongson, Mae Hong Sorn or Maehongsorn) is one of the northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, and at the same time the westernmost. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Shan State of Myanmar, Chiang Mai and Tak. To the west it borders Kayin State and Kayah State of Myanmar again. It was formerly called Mae Rong Son (also Maerongson, Mae Rong Sorn or Maerongsorn).

Mae Hong Son (The City of Three Mists) is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges, Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside world. It is the most mountainous province in Thailand and composed of a total of 13, 814 square kilometers. It is virtually covered with mist throughout the year, the name refers to the fact that this terrain is highly suitable for the training of elephants. Former governors of Chiang Mai used to organize the rounding up of wild elephants which were then trained before being sent to the capital for work. Today, Mae Hong Son is a "dream destination" for visitors. Daily flights into its small airport bring growing numbers of tourists, attracted by the natural scenery, numerous hill-tribe communities and soft adventure opportunities.

Most of the areas of Mae Hong Son Province are complex mountain ranges and likely still pristine virgin forest. Of the approximately 6,976,650 rai of national forest reserves, 88.02% is thought to be pristine virgin forest. Mountain ranges run unbroken from north to south with important mountain ranges being the Lao-territory mountains located on the northernmost portion of the province that serve as a boundary between Thailand and the Union of Burma and the Thanon Thongchai Mountains which are in fact three adjoining ranges, the East, West and Central Thanon Thongchai mountain ranges respectively; the West Thanon Thongchai Mountains serve as a boundary between Thailand and the Union of Burma. The mountains in the east of the province serves as the boundary between the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. The tallest point is Mae Ya Peak (ยอดเขาแม่ยะ) of the East Thanon Thongchai Mountains in the Pai District in the province's northeast, at 2005 metres above sea level.

 

Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided in 7 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 45 subdistricts (tambon) and 402 villages (muban).

1 Mae Hong Son
2 Khun Yuam
3 Pai
4 Mae Sariang
5 Mae La Noi
6 Sop Moei
7 Pangmapha 

Attractions

Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu (วัดพระธาตุดอยกองมู) erected by the first governor of Mae Hong Son, this temple reflects the strong influence of the Burmese. The highlights of this attraction are the two lavishly decorated pagodas. Also, this hilltop temple affords an exceptional aerial view of the city and surrounding mountains and valleys.

 

Tham Pla – Pha Suea National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติถ้ำปลา-ผาเสื่อ) This comprises the following attractions:

Tham Pla (ถ้ำปลา) about 17 kilometres from town, is a popular attraction in Mae Hong Son. The surrounding areas are brooks and cool hilly forests. A special feature is the hollow cave filled with numerous freshwater fish known as Pla Mung or Pla Khang, which is of the same family as the carp. The fish are quite safe from being caught as they are believed to belong to the gods.

 

Namtok Pha Suea (น้ำตกผาเสื่อ), this waterfall is in Tambon Mokchampae about 26 kilometres from the provincial seat. It is a large fall with its water source in Burma and runs full during the late rainy season.

 

Ban Rak Thai (บ้านรักไทย), this village is situated 44 kilometres from Mae Hong Son via Namtok Pha Suea near the Thai-Myanmar border. Founded by Kuomintang Chinese soldiers, the village is famous for its views and tea cultivation. An annual Tea Tasting Festival is held at Ban Rak Thai in February.

 

Wat Nam Hoo (วัดน้ำฮู) at Tambon Wiang Tai, located 3 km. from Pai hospital. This temple housed Phra Un Mueang, sacred Buddha image in Lanna style, 500 years of age, in the attitude of Subduing Mara (victory over Mara). The head of the image could opened and always appears water seepage inside.

Huai Nam Dang National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติห้วยน้ำดัง) 65km from the district town has excellent views of the sunset, sunrise and misty mountains. Cherry blossom during January adds charms to the attraction.

 

Bua Tong Fields at Doi Mae U-Kho (ทุ่งดอกบัวตองดอยแม่อูคอ) The Dok Bua Tong (may be classified as wild sunflowers) blooms during November painting the entire hilly area of Doi Mae U-kho in colorful yellow draws flocks of visitors to Khun Yuam district.

 

Namtok Mae Surin National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติน้ำตกแม่สุรินทร์), given national park status in 1981, this natural wonder, which straddles Mueang and Khun Yuam districts, encompasses a wildlife and botanical reserve, a huge waterfall and a terraced mountain.

 

Wat Chong Kham (วัดจองคำ) is located on the bank of the swamp Nong Chong Kham and was built in 1827 by Thai Yai artisans. The pillars are gilded with gold flakes. The temple houses a large Buddha statue with a lap width of 4.85 metres cast by Burmese craftsmen.

 

Phu Klon Country Club uses natural black mud which has skin care and therapeutic benefits. The area has now been developed into a spa resort.





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