There is nothing quite like a getaway to an idyllic remote setting where you can experience nature and wellness in unison. With a new travel season approaching, we’re dreaming of Thailand’s most exquisite hidden gems like Mae Hong Son, just off the beaten path in Northern Thailand near Chiang Mai.
While you sit down to write out your travel wishlist, you’ll want to add a vacation in Mae Hong Son. When you’re ready to travel again, this dreamy destination will be there to deliver ultimate peace and quiet with unforgettable memories.
Let’s take a look at some of Mae Hong Son’s wonderful attractions.
Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham
On the shore of Jong Kham Lake are two majestic temples side by side, Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham. Built in the early 19th century, the temples embody Burmese Shan style, both with their own distinct features.
The older of the two is Wat Jong Kham, which boasts a large wooden throne. Wat Jong Klang is known for its brilliant white and gold chedi. Inside, you’ll discover exquisite paintings on glass and teak statues of Burmese origin. The twin temples reflect off the waters by day and light up the sky by night.
Ban Rak Thai
In the charming backcountry of Mae Hong Son inhabits a quaint village known as Ban Rak Thai. Hills and tea plantations surround this sleepy village, with little shops lining the main road. Visitors and locals browse dried fruit, teas, and locally-made wines on the main road, then meander over to the reservoir to admire the pleasant vista.
If you’re a tea lover, you’ll want to add Ban Rak Thai to your travel wishlist. Tea plantations surround the village in the mountainous landscape. Sit back and enjoy a cup of aromatic tea or coffee on the reservoir at charming cafes like Leewine Coffee and experience total serenity. This remote village is less known to tourists, giving it a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kongmu
Watching over Mae Hong Son City is the Wat Phrathat Doi Kongmu temple, erected in 1860. As one of the most prominent landmarks, this temple sits atop Doi Kongmu hill overlooking the city and the surrounding mountains. The stunning design of the two white pagodas has a strong Burmese influence.
Wat Phrathat Doi Kongmu offers peace and tranquility during the morning hours when the sun is rising and blanketing the city in sunlight. If you’re more of a night owl, admire the pagodas during the darker hours of the day as they light up the sky.
Boon Ko Ku So Bridge
Stretched across lush rice fields in Pai, Mae Hong Son is the longest bamboo bridge in Thailand. During the early morning hours, Buddhist monks cross the bridge as local villagers give the monks alms of small dishes, also known as almsgiving.
The Boon Ko Ku So Bridge is a tranquil bridge that enables you to recharge and clear your mind and witness the rice paddies up close. Locals and visitors are welcome to stroll across the bridge for a meditative experience. Explore this nature walk, and maybe get a chance to catch a glimpse of almsgiving!
Take a look at Mia Kang’s experience at Boon Ko Ku So Bridge here!
Mae Hong Son Night Market
For street food lovers, you’ll have to spend at least one night at the night market in Mae Hong Son City. Every evening at 5 pm, street food carts are set along the streets with a vast array of delectable Thai food, including Pad Thai, Papaya Salad, Minced Pork in Banana Leaves, and more!
The market is right by the water for you to indulge in your meal while sitting by Jong Kham Lake and admiring the illuminating view of Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham at night.
Thung Bua Tong Fields
Ever experience sunflower fields? Well, now’s your chance! Located in the mountains of the Khun Yuam District are vast fields of blooming Mexican sunflowers as far as the eye can see.
Stroll through the fragrant fields to surround yourself with nature’s brightest flower, or head to the top of the hill for panoramic views of sunflowers blanketing the fields for miles. The best time to visit Thung Bua Tong Fields is in December when the flowers are in full bloom.
Tham Pla National Park
Within Tham Pla National Park is a well-known fish cave where visitors come to admire hundreds of soro brook carp swimming around the pond. Near the cave stands a statue of a Hindu rishi named Nara, who is said to protect the holy fish from danger.
The fish are often fed fruits and vegetables by the locals. Visitors can purchase fruits or vegetables at the entrance of the park to partake in feeding the fish.
When To Visit
For cooler weather and less humidity, Mae Hong Son is best experienced during the dry season in Thailand. From November – January, visitors can enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. From March – April you will find that the weather is more humid and considered the hottest months of the year. If you enjoy the lush green rice fields, the best time to visit is by October and November, when the rice fields are standing tall and ready to be harvested!
How To Get There
The most common way to get to Mae Hong Son is from Chiang Mai, located 290 km from the city. First, start by flying to Bangkok, and from there, you can choose between bus or air to get to Chiang Mai. After arriving in Chiang Mai, you can fly into Mae Hong Son. To get directly from Bangkok to Mae Hong Son, Bangkok Airways offers direct flights but be sure to check the availability as they aren’t available every day.
You may also choose to travel by bus via Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal, which will be a long-distance trip to Chiang Mai. However, be advised that the bus ride from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son has hundreds of turns and curves with a distance of about 5 hours.
If you choose to travel from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son by car, there are two routes: Route 108 and Route 1095. The former passes through Mae Sariang while the latter takes you through Pai.
Start Planning Your Dreamy Getaway to Mae Hong Son Today!
Now that you’re well-versed in the hidden gems in Mae Hong Son, it’s time to start your travel itinerary for this dreamy destination. There are many more hidden gems that are waiting for you to discover! When you’re ready to travel again, we can’t wait for you to experience all of the amazing destinations Thailand has to offer, because you deserve it. To stay updated on the latest travel news in Thailand, visit here!