Thailands northern border city, hiding itself in between the towering mountains with densely forested slopes, stretching to the Burmese border, Mae Hong Son is known for its charm of scenery and culture, the people of Mae Hong Son consists of the Shans who live in the city, and many hilltribe people among them them the most famous, which are the long-necked women of the Karen (Pa Dong) tribe, even today these people still attach brass rings to the some of the women to give the appearance of them having extended necks.
Being high in the mountains, there are number of stunningly beautiful waterfalls to visit as well as numerous mountain caves abundant with fish, and hot springs which can also be found in this area, this location has spawned the title The City of Three Mists the morning markets are especially interesting where you can buy, apart from the usual household items and foodstuffs, an array of insect food such as crickets, worms and ant eggs.
Mae Hong Son Covers some 13,232 Square kilometres, bordered to the west and north by Myanmar (Burmar), and exhibits considerable Burmese influence in its religious architecture and rural lifestyles, some 920 kilometres north of Bangkok, the petite and sleepy provincial capital is most conveniently visited from the Thai capital by a daily Bangkok Airways flight, Thai Airways along with sevral budget airlines also operate daily flights from Chiang Mai.
Traveling by road from Chiang Mai, particularly from Chom Thong and Hot, the journey entails negotiating many hairpin bends through forested mountains, and passing through much of the most enduringly spectacular scenery in northern Thailand, the provincial capital nestles in a valley sheltered by jungled mountains, accommodation varies from airconditioned resort hotels to bungalow complexes, guest-houses and spartan native-style hotels to suit every budget, the capital is the major provincial shopping centre for souvenirs.
The Hilltop Temple Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, dominates Mae Hong Son the temple offers an exhilarating views of the its verdant valley and mountain surrounds, it was constructed by the first Mae Hong Son ruler during the mid-1800s, other Burmese-style temples include the lakeside Wat Chong Klang and Wat Chong Kham in the town centre which houses glass paintings and Burmese puppets, Wat Hua Wiang, and Wat Phra Non which contains a 12-metre Burmese-style reclining Buddha image.
The best ways of exploring Mae Hong Son province, with its country roads that perpetually twist and turn around mountainsides are with four-wheel-drive vehicles or track motorcycles, the Pai River, some 180 kilometres in length, and an average of 30 metres wide and 7 metres in depth, Mae Hong Son offers opportunities for The adventurous, raft, boat and trekking trips.