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Mae Hong Son & Pai in Thailand

At present, Mae Hong Son is one of the �dream destinations� for visitors. Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside environment. It is the most mountainous province in Thailand. It is one of the first destination choice of every tourist.

Mae Hong Son & PaiMae Hong Son, the second northern most region of Thailand, is located in the north-western corner on the boundaries of Myanmar, 924 km north from Bangkok, and 300 km of Chiang Mai. In north and west, the land links to Myanmar�s border at Shan State. The east links to Chiang Mai and the south boundaries with Tak. 12,681 sq km of the whole Mae Hong Son vicinity is the environmentally sheltered with over 90% of the complete region consisting of mountains and forests.

Notwithstanding much logging in the history, the region�s forest coverage still relics at over 69.19%. For the reason that its high height of 1,800 M. above sea level, its cold climate can fall to 2�C in winter � November to February and on the odd occasion rises above 40�C in summer � March to August. The normal temperature remains between 12.25�C and 27.68�C. Furthermore, the climate is over and over again so misty with ground fog that it is in the vicinity renamed as �Region of Three Mists�.

Because of the jungle declination and the annihilation of various species, whole of the mountainous areas and natural wealth in Mae Hong Son have been affirmed as national protectorates. Instances include Mae Yuam River and Huai Nam Dang National Park, Salawin Forest and Valley, Mae Surin Forest and Waterfall.

The most excellent time to visit Mae Hong Son is for the period of the cool misty periods between November and December, when �Buatong� � the famous yellow flower of Mae Hong Son blooms and presents its visitors with the spectacle of an astonishing colored carpet layering the hillsides for miles after miles. With the exception of its kaleidoscope of chronological and enlightening sites.

Tourists are diverted to this area due to its pristine virgin forests, fabulous mountains, amazing valleys, wonderful wildlife and unique hill-tribes. Pai district is currently known as Thailand �happiest� hang-outs.

Thailand has natural magnetism a tropical nation can offer. Mainly due to its astonishing length, Thailand has the most varied type of weather and landscape in Southeast Asia. Merely 11 km away is the deep virgin jungle of Mae Surin National Park in which stands the impressive Nam Tok Mae Surin, one of Thailand�s highest pours.

Due to the negligence of public transportation in the district, the advisable mode of travels with local is motorbike. Mae Hong Son�s roads are actually not in a good condition. Even bicycles are very famous with both locals and tourists and are the affordable mode of transportation in the own districts. Four- wheeled vehicle is also the very much accessible form of transportation for travel into the mountains where the roads are known to be very dangerous.

If you like, you can join an organized tour group to visit the isolated hamlets of the northern hill tribes. OrMae Hong Son & Pai you can experience the thrill of a raft excursion down one of the many fast-flowing northern rivers, coupled with elephant rides through the dense mountain jungles.

Mae Hong Son�s location at the edge of mountainous jungle makes it an excellent base for treks into the countryside. Trekking here is not quite the large-scale industry it is elsewhere, and visitors willing to get their boots muddy can expect to find relatively untouched nature and isolated villages. Trekking trips can be arranged at several guesthouses and travel agencies.

Long-tail boat trips on the nearby Mae Pai are gaining popularity, and the same guesthouses and trekking agencies that organise treks from Mae Hong Son can arrange river excursions. The most common trip sets off Hong Son, or Huay Due Port at Ban Huay Deua, 2km further. Boats travel 15km downstream to the �long-neck� village of Huay Pu Keng followed by a stop at the border town of Ban Nam Phiang Din, 20km from the pier, before returning. It takes approximately 1� hours to reach Ban Nam Phiang Din and costs 900B from Huay Due, 800B from Tha Pong Daeng.

Another popular route conducts bamboo rafts between Thung Kong Moo (10km northwest of town) and the village of Soppong to the west (not to be confused with the larger Shan trading village of the same name to the east).The prices quoted here are for two people; as with elsewhere in Thailand, the per day rates drop significantly with a larger group and a longer trek. from Tha Pong Daeng, 4km southwest of Mae Hong Son, or Huay Due Port at Ban Huay Deua, 2km further. Boats travel 15km downstream to the �long-neck� village of Huay Pu Keng followed by a stop at the border town of Ban Nam Phiang Din, 20km from the pier, before returning. It takes approximately 1� hours to reach

Ban Nam Phiang Din and costs 900B from Huay Due, 800B from Tha Pong Daeng. Another popular route conducts bamboo rafts between Thung Kong Moo (10km northwest of town) and the village of Soppong to the west (not to be confused with the larger Shan trading village of the same name to the east). The prices quoted here are for two people; as with elsewhere in Thailand, the per day rates drop significantly with a larger group and a longer trek.

Sightseeing

With their bright colours, whitewashed stupas and glittering zinc fretwork, Mae Hong Son�s Burmese- and Shan-style temples will have you scratching your head wondering just which country you�re in anyway.

Wat Phra That Doi Kong

Climb the hill west of town, Doi Kong Mu (1500m), to visit this Shan-built w�t, also known as Wat Plai Doi. The view of the sea of fog that collects in the valley each morning is impressive; at other times of the day you get a view of the town. Two Shan chedi, erected in 1860 and 1874, enshrine the ashes of monks from Myanmar�s Shan state. Around the back of the w�t you can see a tall, slender, standing Buddha and catch views west of the ridge.

Wat Jong Klang

Wat Jong Kham was built nearly 200 years ago by Thai Yai (Shan) people, who make up about half of the population of Mae Hong Son Province. Wat Jong Klang houses 100-year-old glass jataka paintings and a museum (admission by donation; h8am-6pm) with 150-year-old wooden dolls from Mandalay that depict some of the more gruesome aspects of the wheel of life. Wat Jong Klang has several areas that women are forbidden to enter � not unusual for Burmese-Shan Buddhist temples. The temples are lit at night and reflected in Jong Kham Lake � a popular photo op for visitors.

Wat Hua Wiang

This w�t (Th Phanit Wattana), east of Th Khunlum Praphat, is recognised for its b�ht boasting an elaborate tiered wooden roof and a revered bronze Buddha statue from Mandalay.

Other Temples

Other notable temples include Wat Kam Kor, known for its unique covered walkway, and Wat Phra Non, home to the largest reclining Buddha in town.

Activities
Mae Hong Son & PaiMost of Mae Hong Son�s landscape is surrounded by many high complicated mountain ranges, variety of forests, and covered by mist all year round. All these reasons bring it to be called �City of Three Mist�. Due to the nature�s charm and beauty together with the large magnificent cape, hot spring, both small and big streams, these all seem to be the important factors to bring Mae Hong Son to become the biggest centre of conservative travelling style in Thailand.

It affords the various cultural city�s atmosphere, the mixed life styles, the outstanding unique of Shan, and various other hill tribe villages such as Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Lisu, and Lawa. Each tribe has its own beautiful art of tradition and culture, own life style including the pure wonderful nature that make Mae Hong Son be � The City of Dreams�. It can attract a lot of tourists to come and visit for once in their lives time.

Hill Tribe Trekking.

Getting off the beaten track is always rewarding, particularly in northern Thailand where travel by foot, elephant back, mountain bikes, four wheel drive vehicles or river rafts brings the visitor into closer contact with rural rhythms and local inhabitants, be they Thai farmers or hill tribes people occupying their own high altitude settlements.

Several companies offer adventurous juggle treks. Originating in Mae Hong Son, Pai, Mae Sariang, and the treks usually last from 2 to 7 days. Modes of transport generally include foot, elephant back and four wheel vehicles through forested mountains and high valleys and meadows, and include visit to remoter hill tribe settlements for overnight stays.

Major hill tribes include the Hmong, Lisu, Lahu, Karen and Lawa. Most tribes share animist beliefs and honor numerous forest and guardian spirits. Each tribe has distinctive courtship rituals, games, dances, agricultural customs, puberty rites, languages or dialects, aesthetic values, ceremonial costumes and hygienic habits. Visitors are advised to respect hill tribe beliefs and religious symbols and structures, to ask permission before taking photographs, and to dress modestly since inappropriate attire may cause genuine offence.

Pai District

One of the most enchanting districts of Mae Hong Son province. It can attract lots of tourists to go and visit in every single year. In each year there will be a lot of tourists who are enamored with its charm and beauty flowing continuously to visit all the year.

Pai ThailandHuai Nam Dung
40 km. away from Pai district. It is one of the places that is full of fog, situated at Moo 7 Wiengnue sub district borders to Mae Tang district in Chiangmai province. The tourists can take a trip to visit in every season, especially in cold season at the beginning of the cold wind blows. It will be ready to provide you with varieties of the blooming winter flowers that seem to welcome all the tourists who go to visit them. The tourists can stay overnight to wait and see the beautiful morning fog on the next day by using of the rest-house service that provided to welcome all of you. For the interested tourists can ask for more information�s and details at Huey Num Dung National Park office Tel. 053-248491. In some period of time the rest-house can be fully book, therefore there is another way for the tourists to visit to Huey Num Dung by choosing to stay overnight in Pai and take a trip to see the morning fog in the next morning.

Huai Jog Luang
It is one of the Pai district natural conservative places which is worth seeing and visiting. It was situated in Maehee sub district in Maeya area 43 km. far from Pai district. It is on the high hill with beautiful complicated mountain ranges. There are various plantations of winter flowers that blossom every year in cold. Hence, the most appropriate time and worth visiting is in cold season.

Mae Yen Waterfall
The waterfall that hide itself about 7 km. from Pai district. It is considered as the most beautiful waterfall in Pai district, besides, it is still another choice of the tourists who love tracking and looking around the nature before arriving at the waterfall. It is 3 stages waterfall and each of the stage has its different beauty that is worth wasting much of your time in travelling to go and back for visiting (about 3-5 hrs.)

Mor Paeng Waterfall
3 stages waterfall, full of beauty, its beauty is not less than other waterfalls. Located approximately 8 km. away from the district. The beauty of the waterfall is the pieces of stones that are around to underlay the flowing water. Moreover, the environment around is full of big and small trees to make the place feels calm and more peaceful also it is suitable for relaxing privately. Besides, the area nearby has some Lahu villages for visiting and learning of their culture and life styles.

Ta Pai Hot Spring (Pong Num Ron Ta Pai)
Along the high way no.1095 Pai-Mae Malai, Huey Hee sub district separates from the high way at the km.87-88 and drive more 2 km. further then keep walking along the hot stream about 300 m. The tourists will find a beautiful nature of Pong Num Ron Ta Pai hot spring. It is the natural hot spring spouting up to the surface with 80 in degree celcious, full of hot steam and smoke all over around the area. Some spaces along the way will be pools for the tourists to soak yourselves for relaxing.

Together with all the shade of the big and small trees that make the area feels cool and peaceful, it isPai Thailand considered as one of the places that is worth seeing and visiting. Moreover than all of saying, the tourists can pitch the tents in order to stay overnight to be able to admire the beautiful nature all night there.

Mueng Pang Hot Spring
It is one of the most beautiful hot springs in Pai district. Located in Baan Mueng Pang area, 28 km. away from Pai district. It is a big hot spring with 95 in degree celcious. It flows down beautifully from higher to lower along the big and small hill rocks including a nice and beautiful view around the area. The tourists can admire fully with its charm and beauty.

Kong Lan
The amazing beauty valleys that created by the nature. It now becomes the popular place among the tourists who like to find the new interesting places. With the character of the earth that was eroded until it appears a deep wide big hole, it is altogether about 5 rai (Thai measure). The tourists can make a visit all year round by using the high way no. 1095 Mae Malai � Pai which is 7 km. away from the district and have to continue walking about 200 m.

Nam Hoo Temple
Located in Wiengtai subdistrict 3 km far from Pai district. It is the place to position Pra Aunmueng (Aunmueng Buddha). It was made of bronze 28 inch. wide and 30 inch. tall, and has a special appearance on the top of the head that can be opened and closed and also there is some water absorbs all the time. There is not any clear evidence of when it was built but it has been believed that it was built in the reign of Phra Narasuan the Great to give to his sister Phra Supan Kalaya. The temple is opened daily for the tourists to go to worship.

Phra That Mae Yen Temple
It was located on the high hill of Mae Yen village in Huey Hee sub district. On the top of the hill the tourists can look around and enjoy yourselves with the nice landscape throughout of Pai city. Especially, when nearly the time of sun sets the beautiful sun light spreads over the horizon which has the complicated mountain ranges background, it is really the most beautiful impressive picture that make you cannot be forgot.

Suntichon Village
Situated about 4.5 km. It is Yunnan�s village which evacuated from China in long years ago. The tourists can see the conservative cultures and traditions of them such as the language, dressing, and specially the Yunnan foods that is admired very much among the tourists. Inside the village there will be Chinese-Yunnan Centre, souvenir shops, and the good taste Chinese-Yunnan foods provided to wait for all the tourists who go to have a visit.

Wat Luang Temple
It is the respectable temple of Pai city. It was built for longer than 200 years approximately in the year of 2346. Inside the temple is positioned of big pagoda in Shan�s style and above the pagoda there is a very beautiful square structure with a spire. Besides, under the pagoda it is the place to position of the seven-day monks for the tourists to pay respect and worship. The temple is very convenient for the tourists to go and visit since it was located in Pai municipal area.

Maeping Karen Royal Folks Art and Craft Centre
13 km. away from Pai to Chiangmai will be Karen Maeping village, the tourists can take a visit and have a look about their culture and tradition that is definitely different from town people. Anyway, now they try to promote their life styles to be equal to town people. You can observe by seeing the house style which has changed from bamboo house with typical northern banana leaf roofs to brick house with zinc roofs. Only the language, dressing and weaving cloth in the unique details are still remains for the tourists. The village has still provided you home-stay lodging for the tourists who want to stay in order to touch the original life style of Maeping Karen.
 
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