Mae Hong Son Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by limkahwan
  • Things to Do
    by limkahwan
  • Things to Do
    by limkahwan

Mae Hong Son Highlights

  • Pro
    SumTingWong profile photo

    SumTingWong says…

     Best trekking in Thailand, visit different minority hilltribes 

  • Con
    samtan1 profile photo

    samtan1 says…

     Narrow and windy roads. 

  • In a nutshell
    roadcyclist profile photo

    roadcyclist says…

     Loved it! Wish we had planned a longer stay. 

Mae Hong Son Things to Do

  • Early Morning Market and Monks Alms

    If you can brave waking up at 5am then a visit to the early morning market is highly recommended. This is a great insight into how the locals live, its a colourful and vibrant affair where you can try all kinds of local produce and pick up a local breakfast. Also, at this time you will see the brightly coloured oranged robed monks walking the...

  • Ban Ruam Thai - The Switzerland of...

    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...

  • Garden of Mae Hong Song

    Rent a bike and ask the operator to lend you rain coat, fill in your tank full and head south, route 108, Start early and you will enjoy the morning breeze and sun. The journey will take about 11/2 - 2 hours depend your speed. If you run out of petrol ask the local where you can find the services, usually they operate from sundry shop. This route...


Mae Hong Son Hotels

Mae Hong Son Restaurants

  • great stall/restaurant

    On the main road on the opposite side from the bank of bangkok next to another bank is a stall/restaurant. If you sit down you will get an english menu.avoid the palce accross the road.Great thai food. 2 can eat with a couple of beers for 200B ($5). Most farang tourists will get suckered into the all you can eat "thai bbq" at the places around the...

  • Awesome cafe

    This is a great little cafe where you can get all sorts of food, including really good bread. They have tables and a platform covered in cushions where you can stretch out with a book and relax. You can also organise various tours from there. Have to say I really loved the fresh pineapple smoothies. We all had different dishes and everyone thought...

  • try Khao Soi

    Food that locals eat is inexpensive, cheaper even than in other provinces. People in MHS generally don't make a lot of money, so the price of eating out for local food is reasonable. Restaurants that foreigners frequent will be more expensive (and rightly so). Be adventerous and eat at a little dive - the food will be just as good, and maybe even...


Mae Hong Son Nightlife

  • SumTingWong's Profile Photo
    Some White Karen girls

    by SumTingWong Written Mar 18, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in hilltribe villages, know thay they live by the light of the sun. The roosters will make sure to get you up at 4:30 or so and everyone goes to sleep when it gets dark. So hilltribe nightlife is nonexistant, except of your lucky enough to see a traditional ceremony in an animist village.

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Mae Hong Son Transportation

  • Hire a car & driver to Mae Hong Son

    If you don’t want to be restricted by bus times, and want the freedom to explore off the bus route then another option is to hire a car and driver. Rental prices range from 1,500-2,000bt/day. A driver can be added on for an extra 400-500 hundred baht/day, good for those not confident to self-drive through the mountainous windy roads of Mae Hong...

  • Motorbike Best Way to Tour Mae Hong Son

    most people in mae hong son travel around with a motorbike. for 80baht, you can already have a full tank of petrol. i tried the route from MHS to Mae Aw (Ban Rak Thai). It's almost 30+ kilometers of scenic views and exciting turns. I only spent 3/4 on a full tank, even when I made a detour to RaumThai.

  • From Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son

    updated as of April 18, 2008Aircon Orange Van from Chiang Mai to MHS. Fare is 250 baht. Travel time is about 5 hours, through scenic Highway 1095. I took a 6:45am van in Chiang Mai and arrived in MHS around 12noon. The van's first stop was in Mae Sa, then Pai.


Mae Hong Son Shopping

  • mreichel's Profile Photo

    by mreichel Written Dec 13, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The market scene alone is worth a visit. However, if you are interested in buying cheep Asian goods and exotic food and fruit the market is the place to go.

    What to buy: Cheep Asian goods, Food, and Fruit

    What to pay: Don't spend more than a few dollars for any item. Fruit varies from 1-60 Baht normally.

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Mae Hong Son Local Customs

  • Do's & Don'ts when visiting hilltribe...

    As a tourist one of the key attractions in Northern Thailand are the hill tribes. Their old ways of life and culture inspire curiosity and wonderment in many.With such demand to see the hill tribes, visits to hill tribe villages and hill tribe treks have become a money making business giving rise to many ethical questions over how this is being...

  • The Big Thai

    You might com across the Shan when you skim over your Lonely Planet...Who are they except from the fact that they are related to the Thai?They originate in Burma and have migrated to the area during the 19th and 20th century. In fact, they are still migrating as their villages beyond the border are frequently blazed down by the Burmese troops.No...

  • Shoes off in the hut

    When staying at a hilltribe village home (which you do while on trekks) you must always take off tour shoes! Just an important note!


Mae Hong Son Warnings and Dangers

  • Driving the Mae Hong Son Loop

    Renting a car and driving the Mae Hong Son Loop, sounds like a fun road trip. Be careful, this should be attempted only by drivers experienced on mountain roads because the Mae Hong Son loop is very windy mountain road (over 1,000+ curves), with some very steep turns.If you do opt for self-drive, make sure you're well prepared for your journey,...


    Mae Homg Song province offers opportunities for caving especially at Wilderness Lodge and Cave Lodge areas. John, who used to run Cave Lodge and probably still does offers caving trips which are safe, but do not try to explore on your own as it can be very dangerous. We went to a huge cave south of the road near Wilderness Lodge, and it had a river...

  • Stay warm and free of mosquito

    It could be very cold at night, so you should bring, besides sleeping bag, blanket and thick cloth. It's also wise to put on long pants, long sleeve shirt, and long sock to stay warm and protect yourself from bedbug. Plus, don't forget to put on a lotion that can protect you from mosquito, you sure don't want to catch dengue fever during the trip.


Mae Hong Son Tourist Traps

  • Mae Sariang

    Ok so its not a tourist trap as such, jsut somewhere I would avoid ever going to agan. Maybe I'm being too harsh - I was only there for an evening and an hour in the morning after all, but what I saw was the the most ugly, univiting, and dull place in Thailand. I like to think its not but I was glad to get away. I walked around for ages to find an...

  • Elephant Riding

    I must also include elephant riding under "tourist traps". I myself am guilty of riding elephants in Thailand (twice, sorry). The riding itself isn't so bad or anything, but the whole system of elephant riding is bad. The elephants are chained, beaten, and cut to act as tourist machines. Going on an elephant ride in northern Thailand is memorable,...

  • PaDong 'Longneck' Karen

    Visiting this tribe clearly goes under a tourist trap. Number one you must pay 500 BAHT just to enter and photography is more. These tribes are nothing more than tourist attractions. Honestly, visiting this tribe is like stepping into a human zoo, it's depressing. The women wear these heavy bress rings around their neck to mnake their shoulders go...


Mae Hong Son What to Pack

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    autan... a necessity!

    by call_me_rhia Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: shoes you don't mind getting wet for bamboo rafting trips. Sturdy shoes for forest walks (hiking boots are better)

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: This is one of the two areas of Thailand where there'a a high-risk of malaria, so it makes sense to stock up with good repellent. it's also a good idea to use malarone (or to have it as emergency-treatment at least).

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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Mae Hong Son Off The Beaten Path

  • Non- tourist Hilltribe Villages with...

    Stay with a hilltribe family in their traditional stilt house in a village nestled in the mountains of Mae Hong Son province. An extremely idyllic location with sweeping landscape views of the mountains, a perfect setting for cultural immersion into hilltribe culture and way of life. In this area there are 2 types of hilltribe - Karen and Lawa....


    Halfway between Pai and Mae Hong Song you will find the village of Soppong where you can get off the bus and go to Cave Lodge, which is 5 kms away. This place has been run by Aussie John for over 20 years and the attraction here is caving, as it is surrounded by limestone mountains which is ideal caving country. There is a large cave, Tham Lod...

  • Arial view of Airplanes taking off and...

    At Doi Moo Kong, one can watch the airplanes taking off and landing into Mae Hong Son city as there is a clear and breathtaking view of the airport at the summit.


Mae Hong Son Sports & Outdoors

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    starting off...

    by call_me_rhia Updated Oct 6, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rafting on a bamboo "raft" is quite interesting, you get to see life from the river's point of view. However it's gentle rafting: it doesn't do much to your adrenaline level. To give you an idea of hoe gentle, just know that i managed to smoke a cigarette while rafting (ok, the guide was not pleased). A rafting trip costs about 250 baht per person: they recommend wearing a life-vest, but i think it's totally unnecessary - we all declined.

    Equipment: nothing special - but wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet. Even better, wear no shoes!

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Mae Hong Son Favorites

  • Misty Mountains

    It might sound strange but one of the main draws of the North for me was to see mountains shrouded in that mist you only see in tropical regions. I find them very evokative and on my trip from Pai to the raft centre we were driving through some amazing mountain scenery. Back in Mae Hong Son, just behind Wat Nong Jong Kham I took some more photos...

  • Hidden Trekking Capital of Thailand

    Mae Hong Son is the hidden trekking capital of Thailand. For the most origional trek you must go to Mae Hong Son. The trekking is much better in Mae Hong Son than Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. The tribes are more natural and traditional, and the trek is not on a path, but through the natural forrest with expert guides. For the best trekking experience...

  • scenery and hilltribes

    Mae Hong Son is off-the-beaten path thailand: the town itself is tiny but not ugly... there are some really characteristic wooden houses... however, the whole town is a single street, so no one comes here just to see it. it's also a good starting off point to visit some tribal villages or to go bamboo-rafting on a river. In case it's culture you're...


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