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With stunning landscapes, waterfalls, caves and hilltribe villages it is a dream location for trekking, soft adventure travel and for those who love wild hill country and seek the thrill of sweeping valley vistas.

Lying to the west of ChiangMai and bordering Myanmar on its eastern flank, MaeHongSon province covers an area of 12,681 sq. km. of breathtaking mountains traversed by hidden valleys, each one a contender for Shangri-la.

With stunning landscapes, waterfalls, caves and hilltribe villages it is a dream location for trekking, soft adventure travel and for those who love wild hill country and seek the thrill of sweeping valley vistas.

Because of the terrain, MaeHongSon is one of Thailand’s most remote provinces and thus retains its own separate identity. At the same time, the provincial capital is readily accessible by air and road. Nestled in its own lovely valley and surrounded by hills that are often shrouded in early morning mist, this small town is one of the most enchanting places in the entire North. Burmese-style temples, a picturesque lake, a hilltop vantage point and a bustling morning market afford scope for leisurely sights-seeing, while a choice of hotels makes it an excellent base for excursions into the surrounding countryside.

City Attractions

Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu

Atop the hill to the west of town, the temple is distinguished by its two Burmese-style Chedi, the larger one built in 1860 and the smaller in 1874. The site also commands superb panoramic views of MaeHongSon and the surrounding hills.

Wat Phra Non

This temple at the foot of Doi Kong Mu houses a 12-metre long Reclining Buddha cast in the Thai Yai (Shan) style in 1875. Also notable are the two large sculpted lions standing side by side, guarding the way up to Doi Kong Mu.

Wat Kam Ko

Located opposite Wat Phra Non, this temple dates from 1890 and is architecturally distinguished by its roofed passageway from the entrance to the Burmese-style Wihan. It also stores texts in Thai Yai script chronicling their history.

Wat Hua Wiang

Also known as Wat Klang Mueang, the temple is located on Sihanat Bamrung Road next to the Morning Market. It was built in 1863 and enshrines the beautifully adorned Phra Chao Pharalakhaeng Buddha image, a replica of a statue in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Wat Chong Kham

Situated close to the banks of the town’s small Chong Kham Lake, the temple was built in 1827 by Thai Yai artisans and houses a large Buddha statue with a lap width of 4.85 metres cast by Burmese craftsmen.

Wat Chong Klang

Next to the previous temple, Wat Chong Klang is interesting for its replica of the Phra Buddha Sihing Buddha image; its wooden figurines of humans and animals depicted in the Phra Vejsandon, Jakata tale, which were made by Burmese craftsmen and brought to MaeHongSon in 1857, and 100-year-old glass paintings.

Out-Of-City Attractions

Pha Bong Hot Spring

Located on Highway 108, about 11 km. from town, the spring has facilities for mineral water bathing.

Tham Pla ? Pha Suea National Park

About 17 km. from town on Highway 1095 (MaeHongSon-Pai Road) the park is a pleasant area of streams and woodland. A special feature is a cave pond filled with carp-like Phluang fish, believed to belong to the gods.

Namtok Pha Suea

These large falls are located in Tambon Mok Champae, about 17 km. from town on Highway 1095, then a left turn at Ban Rak Thai and a further 20 km. beyond the village. Another 5 km. away are the hilltribe villages of Na Pa Paek and Mae O on the Thai-Myanmar border.

Tham Nam Lot

In a forest area in Pang Mapha district, 77 km. from town, the main attraction is a 1-km-long cave with a stream running through it and beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. Also discovered here were 2,000-year-old remains of utensils and coffins.

River Rafting on the Pai River

The Pai River is the longest river of MaeHongSon, originating from mountain ranges in Laos to flow through Pai district and eventually join the Salween river in Myanmar, a total distance of 180 km. Several sectors are suitable for rafting and trips are organised by tour operators in MaeHongSon town or in Pai. The best time for rafting is from October to March.

Huai Nam Dang National Park

At KM 65 on the Pai-Mae Malai road (Highway 1095) is a turn leading to the headquarters of the park. Vistors can spend the night in tents to wait for the spectacular views of sunrise and mist-shrouded mountain views in the morning. Cherry blossoms during January adds charm to the attraction.

Tha Pai Hot Springs

Located 2 km. off Highway 1095 at KM 87, the spring has an average temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. Steam from the spring permeates the area in the morning creating a fascinating sight.

Khun Yuam Indigenous Cultural Center

Located at KM 200 on Highway 108, the centre has a considerable collection of Thai Yai and other hilltribe handicrafts. It also displays military accessories and equipment of the Japanese army which entered Khun Yuam district during World War II.

Thung Bua Tong

These wild sunflowers bloom during November and carpet the landscape of Doi Mae U-kho in Khun Yuam district with brilliant yellow.

Salawin National Park

Covering an area of 721 sq. km., the park is on the banks of the Salween river on the Thai-Myanmar border, about 164 km. south of MaeHongSon town. Transport can be hired for travel to Mae Sam Laep village (46 km.) and then by boat to reach the park headquarters. The scenery is of forested mountains dotted with small hamlets.


Pai, located 111 km. from MaeHongSon, is a quiet, relaxed little town set amid superb scenery and popular as a base for exploring the natural attractions of the area.

Special Events

Poi Sang Long Procession


This is a traditional Thai Yai mass ordination ceremony for novice monks in which the candidates, with their heads shaven and wrapped with Burmese-style head-cloth, don prince-like garments and jewels, and are taken on horseback or carried on shoulders to the city shrine.

Chong Phara Procession


Chong Phara are model castles made of wood and coloured paper and decorated with fruits, flags and lamps. On the fullmoon day of the 11th lunar month these are placed in the courtyard of houses and temples as a gesture to welcome the Lord Buddha on his return from giving sermons to his mother in heaven, according to traditional belief. Other activities to celebrate the occasion include dances with performers dressed in animal costumes.

Loi Krathong

October / November

In addition to traditional Loi Krathong celebrations around Chong Kham lake, candle-lit krathong suspended from balloons are released at Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Mu.

Bua Tong Blossom Festival


Each year in November, the hilltribes of Khun Yuam and mae Sariang districts are filled with a host of golden Bua Tong blossoms. They are as yellow as daisies and almost as large as sunflowers. At Doi Mae U-kno, the blossoms are profuse, but only last for a month.


The MaeHongSon Royal Folk Art Centre offer a variety of hand-made products from woven fabrics to basketry.
Tel. 0 5361 1244

How To Get There

By Air

There is no direct flight from BangKok to MaeHongSon, although travelers may fly from BangKok-ChiangMai and then connect with a ChiangMai-MaeHongSon flight. Thai Airways International
Tel. 0 2628 2000 , 0 2280 0060 or Hotline 1566
Website :

By Rail

Trains leave BangKok Railway Station everyday .
Tel. 0 2220 4334 or Hotline 1690
Website :

By Bus

Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses depart daily from BangKok Bus Terminal on Kamphaeng Phet II Road to MaeHongSon. Travel time is about 17 hours.
Tel. 0 2936 2852-66

By Car

MaeHongSon is 924 km. from BangKok, the route following Highways 1 and 11 to ChiangMai and then either by Highway 108 or Highway 1095 via Pai

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