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Mae Hong Son


Destination: MaeHongSon


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It is not known when Mae Hong Son was founded. It used to be a traditional Burmese settlement. In 1832 the prince of Chiang Mai found this secluded valley on an expedition to hunt wild elephants. Mostly Shan and some Lawa ethnics lived here, also Hmong and Karen must have passed the village on their treks. In 1874 the prince of Chiang Mai declared the village a town and Mae Hong Son was born.
Mae Hong Son is also the capital of Mae Hong Son Province. About half of the population in this province are hill tribes, then 40 % Shan and only 10 % Thai.
Up until the 1950 Mae Hong Son was hard to reach as there were no roads going there and the only means of transport were elephants, a trip to Chiang Mai lasted several weeks. In 1968 the airfield was built and the road from Mae Sariang was constructed. In 1991 the road from Pai to the city was also paved. Ever since people kept coming to Mae Hong Son.
Many restaurants, hotels and guest houses have been built. The region is ideal for trekking. One of the charms of Mae Hong Son is getting there. Mae Hong Son is seamed with mountain ranges and tropical rainforest.

Mae Hong Son has the flair of an ancient smuggler town and the border with Myanmar is very close. Incidentally, Mae Hong Son is also called Muang Sam Mork, which means the city of mist, and indeed there is an average of 104 misty days per year. The city is 330 m above sea level, however it can become quite cold at night from November to February.

At Wat Hua Wiang, located between the bus station and the market, you can admire a bronze Buddha statue made in Myanmar more than a hundred years ago.
Wat Chang Kham has been the first temple built in 1827. It plays an important role in the Poi Sang Long Procession, which is held end of March or the beginning of April. 16 year old novices are carried on the shoulders of a relative to the temple were they get their first robe and give their vows. The ceremony is underlined with traditional music and dances.

Take a stroll to Wat Doi Kong Moo, the temples whose chedis are tower over the city. It is a great point to watch the sunset too.

Around the little lake in the city center you can take part in local life. Watch locals exercise in the evening, pick-nicking on weekends, rest on one of the benches in the shade and have a snack yourself.
Mae Hong son is currently under research - we will provide you with further information on hotels, restaurants and attractions  in due course.
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