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Mae Hong Son

แม่ฮ่องสอน
Northern Thailand
924 km from Bangkok
Province of Mae Hong Son
Population : 8 500

Budget

Recomm. stay

Visits

General Information about Mae Hong Son

Located in the northwest of Thailand, just a few kilometers from the border with Myanmar (ex-Burma), Mae Hong Son has become a tourist destination that often follows stops in Chiang Mai and Paï. It is especially its mountains and forests and its countryside that make the charm of this destination. It is also the starting point for treks in its mountains to meet the Karen, Lisu, Mhong, Lahu, akha hilltribes and their villages. Mae Hong Son also often has a sea of mist which gives it a little mysterious character and the nights are cool there even in the dry season. In town, you will discover Burmese-style religious buildings and can enjoy the Walking Street which stands by its lake in the evening with the illuminated chedi of Wat Chong Kham reflected in the water. Early risers will go to see the alms offerings to the monks near Mae Hong Son Food Market around 7 a.m. and for those who want to indulge themselves in an eco-responsible resort a little outside the cityI recommend to spend a night at Fern Resort and its small terrace rice fields. My favorites visits outside the city remain the Lod Cave and its interior river and Ban Jabo village and its incredible mountain view.

Beware wild fires which every year from the end of February to mid-April make the air quality in the upper part of Thailand very bad and even dangerous for health. Depending on the weather and the scarcity of rains during this period, it can last or be in episodes but when the level is in the red or purple, wearing an N95 type mask, the only one that can really filter micro-particles, is recommended. There are applications and websites to find out the AQI (Air Quality Index) score.

mae hong son

Accommodations in Mae Hong Son

In Mae Hong Son city, I recommend that you sleep in a hotel or guesthouse near Chong Kham Lake, on the edge of which are the two most emblematic temples of the city. This is also where the night market walking street take place. In the area you will find many guesthouses and small bungalow accommodations that are quite inexpensive. Especially on Udom Chao Ni-Thet and Chamnana Sathit Road. Air condition is not essential here for much of the year, but it's up to you. We are in the mountains and the temperature at night is lower than in most parts of Thailand. If you are not necessarily looking for a small budget place, I recommend the Fern Resort for its natural setting about ten kilometers from the city with small rice terraces inside the resort.

Find accommodation in Mae Hong Son

My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommaend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Mae Hong Son.

Hotel in Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son city

Guesthouse in Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son city

Hotel in Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son city


See all accommodations in Mae Hong Son

Practical information about Mae Hong Son

Nights are cool in Mae Hong Son, so plan to dress warmly. And pay attention to the quality of air between February and the end of April. The city is accessible by plane from Bangkok or Chiang Mai, otherwise it's 6 hours by van from Chiang Mai on a road with 1084 curves (see the section how to get to Mae Hong Son to get more information about transportation to come), so many that they made T-Shirts and you can get a certificate from the city chamber of commerce once arrived.

How to get around in Mae Hong Son ?

Tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis are the two options to get around in Mae Hong Son. But the most interesting temples, are in a fairly small area and can be visited by a small walking circuit. The most challenging part will be the climb to access Wat Doi Kong Mu. At the very quiet bus terminal a sign indicates the tuk-tuk or motorbike rates but to avoid this race, you can try to get off the bus a little before the bus terminal. To explore the countryside and points of interest around Mae Hong Son, rent a scooter or a bike(with speeds) at Titan for example. Local buses or songthaews go to major attractions (waterfalls, hot springs ...) but be careful if you choose this option because after 4 pm, it might be hard to find a bus to go back in the city. Check with your hotel or guesthouse to find out which local bus to take and where.

Festivals in Mae Hong Son ?

Here is a list of the main festivals taking place every year in Mae Hong Son. I mention their dates as soon as they are official on Thai Festivals page.
poy sang long ceremony (wat pang moo)

Poy Sang Long Ceremony (Wat Pang Moo)

This festival generally takes place in the month of March

Plus d'infos sur Poy Sang Long Ceremony (Wat Pang Moo)

 chong phara procession

Chong Phara Procession

This festival generally takes place in the month of October

Plus d'infos sur Chong Phara Procession

How to ask in Thai to go to Mae Hong Son ?

I want to go to Mae Hong Son / Yak paï ti Mae Hong Son.
Where is Mae Hong Son ? / Mae Hong Son you ti naï ?

Must-visits in Mae Hong Son

Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang

วัดจองคำ วัดจองกลาง
My opinion :
Located on Lake Jong Kham, they are the oldest and the most famous ones in Mae Hong Son

Wat Phra That Doi Kong Moo

วัดพระธาตุดอยกองมู
My opinion :
White Shan temple built on a stretch of the mountain and offers a beautiful view of the city and surrounding countryside

Su Thong Pae bamboo bridge

ศาลาซูตองเป้
My opinion :
This charming little bamboo bridge a few kilometers outside Mae Hong Son was bulit by locals in a pretty valley of rice fields. It connects the village to the temple which is at the top of the hill. A place with not many tourists where several times a year are held Buddhist ceremonies.

Lod Cave

ถ้ำน้ำลอด
My opinion :
This big system of caves is one of the must visits to do from Pai or Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand. Besides the magnificent and impressive caves, it is the bamboo rafting part on their interior river which makes it a very nice and fun little adventure.

Walking Street

ถนนคนเดิน
My opinion :
The Walking Streets in Thailand are night markets that take place a few evenings a week or sometimes every evening in one or several streets that become pedestrianized for the occasion. They are often pleasant places to eat local street food. Mae Hong Son Walking Street in addition is in a superb setting !

Weather & climate in Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son has a tropical savanna climate but is in the mountains so the morning temperatures are cooler. It is not uncommon to see the summits around the city in the mist in the morning. Winters (from November to March) are dry and warm. Temperatures rise until April, the hottest month of the year when temperatures can occasionally exceed 40 °C. The monsoon season extends from May to October, with heavy showers and cooler temperatures during the day. Mae Hong Son has the record of the highehst température ever recorded in Thailand with 44.6 °C. Surprising for a city perched in the mountains.

The best time to come to Mae Hong Son is from November to the end of April. July and August are the rainiest months but there is no time when it is particularly unrecommended to go to Mae Hong Son.

See weather forecast in Mae Hong Son


When to go to Mae Hong Son ?
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