December 2012
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Mae Hong Son – a city in Mae Hong Son Province, Northern Thailand – Part 1

Mae Hong Son is a city in Mae Hong Son Province, Northern Thailand.

Overview of Mae Hong Son

• Mae Hong Son is one of the Northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand.
• Mae Hong Son, bordering Burma, is one of the remotest provinces in Thailand.
• Tourists are attracted to the area due to its pristine virgin forests, spectacular mountains, lush valleys, indigenous wildlife and unique hill-tribes.
• Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise)
– Shan State of Myanmar
– Chiang Mai
– Tak
• To the west it borders Kayin State and Kayah State of Myanmar.
• It was formerly called Mae Rong Son.
• Mae Hong Son, which is also known as the City of Three Mists is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by the high mountain ranges of the Shan Hills.
• Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside world.
• It is the most mountainous province in Thailand.
• It comprises a land area 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.
• These elephants were trained before being sent to the capital for work.
• Mae Hong Son is a “dream destination” for visitors.
• Tourists are attracted by the natural scenery, numerous hill-tribe communities and soft adventure opportunities.

Location and Boundaries

• Mae Hong Son Province is situated in northern and northwestern Thailand.
• It is farthest from Bangkok and at a distance of approximately 924 km.
• It boasts an area of approximately 12,681.259 km² or around 7,925,812.5 Rai.
• This is third largest in Northern Thailand and seventh largest in the country.
• It is approximately 250 km from north to south and approximately 95 km from east to west.
• To the north and west, it connects to a total of three states in the Union of Burma. They are namely:
– The southern portion of Shan State
– Kayah State and Kawthoolei State via the West Thanon Thongchai Mountains
– The rivers Salween and Moei which serve as natural boundaries between the countries
• To the south it connects to the district of Tha Song Yang, Tak via the rivers Yuam and Ngao. These serve as a provincial boundary.
• To the east it connects to the districts of:
– Wiang Haeng
– Chiang Dao
– Mae Taeng
– Mae Chaem
– Hot
– Omkoi
• These are the districts in Chiang Mai Province via the Central and East Thanon Thongchai mountain ranges that serve as a boundary line between the two provinces.
• Every district in Mae Hong Son Province shares a common border with the Union of Burma.
• This is approximately 483 kilometers in total length.
• Out of this, approximately 326 kilometers is land and 157 kilometers are rivers (not counting the Salween, 127 km, and Moei, 30 km).

Geography of Mae Hong Son

• Most of the areas of Mae Hong Son Province are the complex mountain ranges of the Thai highlands.
• Parts of these are still covered with rain forest.
• Approximately 6,976,650 Rai is national forest reserves and 88.02% are thought to be a pristine virgin forest.
• The Daen Lao Range located in the northernmost portion of the province.
• This marks the northern boundary between Thailand and Burma and the Dawna Range in the west.
• This acts as a boundary between Thailand and Burma.
• The Thanon Thongchai Range in the east of the province serves as the boundary which is between the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai.
• The tallest point of the Province is Doi Mae Ya in the Pai District in the provinces northeast.
• This is at 2005 meters above sea level.

Administrative divisions of Mae Hong Son

• The province is subdivided into 7 districts (Amphoe).
• These are further subdivided into 45 sub-districts (Tambon) and 402 villages (muban). The districts are:
– Mae Hong Son
– Khun Yuam
– Pai
– Mae Sariang
– Mae La Noi
– Sop Moei
– Pangmapha

Best time to visit / climate

• Thailand is largely tropical.
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F).
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest.
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By plane
• Nonstop 30 minute flights from Chiang Mai are available from Nok Air and Kan Air.
• There are also two direct flights per week from Bangkok with Happy Air.
• As of Aug 2012, there was only NokAir flying from ChiangMai to MHS. No flights directly from Bangkok to MHS.

2. By road
• There are two road options from Chiang Mai, both taking 5-6 hours by car.
• Route 1095 via Pai (280 km) is the more scenic drive.
• Route 108 via Mae Sariang (350 km) is an easier drive.
Mae Hong Son is located 924 kilometers from Bangkok. Drive from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then choose the following routes to Mae Hong Son.
• Chiang Mai, Hot, Mae Sariang, Khun Yuam, Mae Hong Son (Route 108) with 1864 curves, a distance of 349 kilometers.
• Chiang Mai, Mae Malai, Pai, Mae Hong Son (Route 1095), a distance of 245 kilometers.

3. By bus
• Regular bus services connect Mae Hong Son with Chiang Mai (Arcade bus terminal) and the entire trip will take at least 7-8 hours.
• A better option is the minibus, also leaving from Arcade in Chiang Mai, which only take 5.5 hours but cost 250 baht.
• If you’re going by bus, you can choose the northern (Pai) or southern (Mae Sariang) route.
• The northern route is a little faster.
• The new bus station is about a 15 minute walk from the center of town to the southwest.
• The bus station is set on a seemingly deserted street that runs parallel to the main road in town.
• There is also an overnight bus to Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) which takes about 15 hours.
• Sombat Tour, operates an air-conditioned bus which runs directly from Bangkok to Mae Hong Son every day.
• The bus departs from Chatuchak (Mochit 2) Bus Terminal at 3, 5 and 6 p.m. with a fare of 718 baht
• Sombat Tour’s site lists a bus leaving Bangkok at 7.45 p.m., but in December 2011 this bus wasn’t running.

4. By train
• The nearest train station is at Chiang Mai.
• One can travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by rail and then continue to Mae Hong Son by bus.
• For more information, call 1699, 0 2223 7010, 0 2223 7020.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Mae Hong Son

Blogs at
Blogs at
Blogs at
Blogs and reviews at

Images and photos of Thailand – Mae Hong Son

Images at
Images at
Images at
Images at

Videos of Thailand – Mae Hong Son

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