Ngohps are the traditional straw hats of Thailand (and SEAsia). There are many handmade Ngohp shops in Mae Hong Son. You may be luckey enough to actually see them being made, but still it's interesting to visit these little shops. If you want you can buy a Ngohp, don't pay over 250 Baht for a painted one and not more than 170 Baht for a normal one.
Ban Ruam Thai - The Switzerland of Thailand
30km from Mae Hong Son town is the picturesque village of 'Ban Ruam Thai' sometimes called the 'Switzerland of Thailand' because of its charming panoramic views of the lakes and mountains. Here you can stay at Ban Ruam Thai Guesthouse run by Mr Pala a former Karen army officer. The guesthouse has a cute and cosy feel to it, stay in your own bamboo hut and visit Mr Pala's garden where he grows and produces his own coffee. It is in a very rural location so there is no running electricity but plenty of candlelight, delicious home cooked Thai and Shan food and beautiful views. The winter months provide a romantic feel when the lake is smothered in an early morning fog and mist a surprising discovery which visitors do not expect to find in tropical Thailand. During warmer months you can also camp by the lake.
Stop and observe
We stopped at a small shop to get something to drink and sat on the pavement / in the sand for a while. It was a great opportunity to watch the comings and goings in the village. Sometimes on a journey you need to stop and take notice of what is going on around you
There are many different Hill tribes in the Mae Hong Son area. In the Karen tribe only unmarried girls wear white; married women wear red sarongs, and the women propose to the men, not the other way around, they usually getting married at the age of 17 or 18. The people chew Betel nut so their teeth turn a revolting black / brown colour!
Long neck village(2)
The hill tribe people live a very simple existence. You will see children playing in the dust and chickens running around. It has become a bit of a tourist attraction and the women now sell souvenirs, they are very cheap so buy something in exchange for all the photographs you will no doubt take.
Mae Hong Son Lake is well worth a visit. There are a lot of good restaurants around the lake as well as Wat Chong Kham and a Myanmese Singha. Many Ahka handcraft sellers hang out here, so if you want to get some hilltribe clothing and or handcrafts here is the place to go.
Mae Hong Son Mountain Wat
This wat, on the summit of a mountain, privides an excellent atmosphere for meditation and just enjoying Mae Hong Son. You can walk ou take a TukTuk right up to the wat. There is an observatory overlooking all of Mae Hong Son and the Mountaisn of Myanmar in the back. It is en excellent must see!
Mae Hong Son fruit market
To get a good feel of the taste and smell of Thailand's fruite, heading over to the Mea Hong Son market is a good idea. You will have the pleasure to smell Dturian, a larger prickly fruit. In fact all over Thailand you will here about Dturian, big signs on trains and hotels saying " No Dturian allowed here! " You will also to get to taste some of the best fruits of the orient... go for these:
LomYai (my favorite)
RohmBhuThan (very good, but you will always eat the pit covering)
Jak Fruit (very very big!)
Mangosteams (good, don't eat the outside "shell", very sweet and has a bit of a slimy texture in the moulth)
and many more... just go for them and don't be afraid to let your sense of smell guide you!
Wat Chong Kham
This is a master piece by Tai Yai Artisan from Burmese Style architecture . The most distinguish art is the seven-layer pyatthat (multi-tiered spire) and you can find many of this pyatthat design house in the town center but with only three layers, that's the normal home of the Tai Yai . Wat Chong Kham was built in 1827 by the Shan ruler Phaya Singhanataraj,. Most of the travelers to Mae Hong Song stay around this Wat just beside the famost Lake Nong Chong Kham. The most biggest festival at this wat is the Loi Krathong and Mae Hong Song produce its own design and popular Loi Krathong Sawan" wich held every year on 15th full moon of the chinese 11 calender month.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Long neck Hill tribe
Only about 500 people are left in the Padaung area that still follow the traditional ways. Around their necks the women wear very heavy brass rings that push down their shoulder bones so that the necks appear unnaturally long. Little girls start with just two or three rings, and as they grow older more and more rings are added until the woman carries 20 or more. They say that carrying the rings does not hurt, but somehow this is hard to believe.
visit a lisu hilltribe
Lisu people are a hill-tribe known for their colourful dresses. Women wear bright decorated breasted knee length dresses. Their origin goes back to Burma and South China, and they belong to the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group. Is spite of their stunning appearance it's the hill-tribe i was least impressed with: they know their products are very beautiful and push hard to sell them to you.
visit a karen hilltribe
The Karen tribe is normally known as the long necks tribe, because of the many rings some women wear around their neck, to make it longer. Others are known as long ears, for the same reason. They are the most numerous hill-tribe of Thailand. Their origin is from Burma, although they belong to the Sino-Tibetan linguistic group. the Karen are polite and reserved people and skilled weavers: they do have products on sale but they don't push you to buy them. I enjoyed my visit
visit a hmong hilltribe
The hmong are a tribe originating mainly from southern china, and they belong to the Austro-Thai linguistic group. Clothes-wise and look-wise they are the least impressing of the hilltribes I visited (only a few wear their traditional indigo trousers), yet their are the most warm-hearted of all. I went to visit a local school and the kids were simply adorable: friendly and fun despite the language barrier. I really recommend visiting a hmong tribe.
Funny to hitchhike
On some place where you can not find the public transport, Hitchhike is the best way !
The tips for hitchhike in Thailand is asking only "Pick-up car"
You will be in the first class, open air seat :) The people in Maehongsorn are nice, no danger.
They willing to pick up Farang on their way.
Long Neck Karen
At Huaysuetaow Village , 12 kms far from Maehongsorn city
There are no entrance fee.
In 2007, Maehongsorn has 3 villages to visit Long Neck Karen (Padong)
first one is Ban Huaysuetaow, the most easy to access for tourist
second is Ban Nai Soy , the most difficult way to access where padong first immigrant to Thailand many years ago.
third is Ban Nam Pieng Din, the other village which take 14 km by car and 30 minutes by boat to reach the village.
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