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Thread: Mae Hong Son

  1. #1
    Member maahuanao's Avatar
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    Mae Hong Son

    Good place to visit or not? Looks good on photos, but we all know that the reality is sometimes a little different. Most places I'd just turn up and see for myself, but MHS is a bit far-flung so I reckoned it's worth asking before making the effort. Cheers.

  2. #2
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    My wife and I really like MHS and have visited a number of times. It's quiet, very quiet, but also very friendly and a welcome change to what most of the other Tourist Hot Spots in Thailand have become.

    The drive from Chiang Mai (via Pai) is something special - get your car serviced before you set off. And you can get a certificate from the TAT in MHS when (if) you arive by that route - you have to pay of course.

    Favourite spots to stay are the Fern Resort and the Piya Guesthouse. Piya over looks the lake.

    Next month is a good time to visit in order to catch the early morning fogs - The temples viewed over the lake through the fog are spectacular.

    Fern Restaurant in the town has the best food - This is the first place I ever ate Gai Haaw Bai Tuai, back in the days when food in Thailand was still very much regionalized.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    yeah thumbs up
    nice part of the world

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    Mae Hong Son:- The Land That Time Forgot.

    A really beautiful part of Thailand, nice challenging but interesting drive up as well. There was a time some twenty years or so back, it was a real ordeal to drive up there.



    There's a nice lake virtually in the middle of town, really nice it is too.

    This is a photograph taken of an evening. The Temple looks beautiful.







    They have an evening market in town too. Its located around one of the roads by the lake, very pleasant.

    The whole town has a nice atmosphere.

    Flobo buying key rings.

    Then she says its not my fault when I have to buy extra luggage and pay excess baggage charges on the way home.





    This is the lake and some of the embankment buildings during the daylight hours.





    The views of a morning (early on) are obscured by mountain mist, it burns off as the sun gets stronger, but most mornings are like this.


    There's some interesting information to hand here gleaned from The net, well worth reading.


    Mae Hong Son used to be considered the furthest backwater of Thailand. When high-ranking Thai civil servants or military officers misbehave, they are generally transferred to the proverbial 'inactive post,' even to this day. Time was when Mae Hong Son was the most 'inactive' of postings possible, practically a place of exile.
    Its hard to argue that any place you can fly to is remote or isolated, but as your small (72 seats) plane threads its way through the mountains and onto the equally small runway practically in the center of town, you get the definite feeling that you're well off the beaten path.


    The attraction to Mae Hong Son, as opposed to more mainstream destinations such as Chiang Rai, is it's small-town atmosphere and architecture heavily influenced by neighboring Burma. With many people looking for more 'adventure' in their vacations, Mae Hong Son's wild rivers are also a big attraction.


    The exact origins of the city are not known. In fact, archaeological digs in a cave north of town suggests that the area has been occupied by humans for thousands of years. What is known is that by the mid 19th century Mae Hong Son was still a small village, but well-known for its teak and wild elephants that could be captured and used in war.


    In 1855, a man named Chan Ka Lay emigrated from the Shan state in Burma to the village of Pang Moo, north of Mae Hong Son. In 1866 he moved to Mae Hong Son and eventually became village headman. His rise was no doubt helped along by a couple of strategic marriages to the daughters of powerful men. In 1872, the King of Chiang Mai (King Indhawijaonon), hearing of this capable man, called Chan Ka Lay to Chiang Mai.


    In 1874, the King of Chiang Mai saw the strategic importance of Mae Hong Son and upgraded the village of Mae Hong Son to a city. Chan Ka Lay was appointed as the city's first govenor, and awarded the title and name 'Phaya Singhanat Racha'.

    Most of the old temples and other buildings that you see in Mae Hong Son today date from the time just after the elevation of the village to a city.

    Flobo and self, we have been several times over the years. It's a great base to move around from. The people in general are nice too.




    Spectacular panoramic views such as this are regular 'finds'


    Isn't that a view though, what do you think?




    My wife really loves it there, after some of the mountain places we stayed in and there was some crap, believe me. I usually treat her to a few special days in Tara.

    If you haven't been to Tara it's a beautiful Resort. We always take a suite and I always manage to get a good deal. I'll stick a few photographs on and show you what I mean.

    Nice place all round.



    The veranda overlooks the pool which is also nice, I'll find some photographs of the same.



    Full kitchen facilities on the other side of the breakfast bar as well, including a full sized fridge.



    There's everything you need, and the service is second to none.




    There are some gorgeous views in the area, the mountains are superb.



    It's a tabletop plateau atop a mountain range with more mountains and phenomenal picturesque panoramic views from start to finish.




    Above is the pool at Tara, the water is taken direct from the river and it is extremely cold, even on the hottest of days, you never find too many people hanging about in there. If you enjoy a good swim and aren't too bothered by very cold water (I happen to like it that way) then it's a great spot for an uninterrupted swimming session.

    The grounds as you can see below are very nice and extremely well maintained.




    This is a nice view as well typical of the area landscape in general.


    Whoops! Sorry Pal, getting a bit carried away here. I'd not intended putting so much on. I've lots more as well. Let me know if you want me to put some more on.

    Great place though and I'm sure you'll enjoy the same.
    All the women take their blouses off
    And the men all dance on the polka dots
    It's closing time !

  5. #5
    Member maahuanao's Avatar
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    Good stuff, thanks.

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    Mathos:
    I don't understand why I can't see your pics...know we've discussed this before but I get everyone elses pics except yours...and I really want to see them...

    anyone?..

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    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster View Post
    Mathos:
    I don't understand why I can't see your pics...know we've discussed this before but I get everyone elses pics except yours...and I really want to see them...

    anyone?..

    I'm baffled as well KM, have you tried on an alternative computer?

  8. #8
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    I've stayed at the Tara, it is indeed very nice, but I'd draw the line at calling it a 'Resort'.

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    I'd recommend Mae Hong Son for the scenery and the surrounding area, the town in itself is nothing special and it's rather difficult to get decent (thai-)food.
    Me and my Gf drove there from Chiang Mai by Honda Wave (via Hot, back via Pai) in one day, hell of an adventure, especially when it started to rain heavily, there were no lights anywhere, no buildings, just forests, dark night, a road without concrete getting extremely muddy after half an hour of nonstop rain etc etc...
    I am really lucky to have such a supportive girlfriend, any other girl would have killed me for my stupid ideas a long, long time ago !
    Anyway, here are some pictures:








  10. #10
    Member maahuanao's Avatar
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    Looks like I'd better give it a go then.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itchy View Post
    I've stayed at the Tara, it is indeed very nice, but I'd draw the line at calling it a 'Resort'.

    Why?

    A resort is nothing more than a place people go to for relaxation and pleasure.

    Perhaps you could say that stronger emphasis is usually applied to recreational supplementaries. Tara boasts a Tour desk, Bar/Lounge/ Fitness Centre (rather archaic I admit but still serviceable) a Gift Shop and Meeting Rooms. Outdoor Pool and Sauna.

    Maahuanao wrote:- Looks like I'd better give it a go then.

    I don't think you could be disappointed at all.


    The town itself has a few nice bars and restaurants, prices are very reasonable and of course there are several street stalls here and there selling the usual take-a-way goodies.

    I must say though the food at Tara is probably as good as you would get anywhere.

    They do an amazing buffet most evenings, absolutely top notch, you could stick it alongside The Ritz in London for comparison (I jest not) and it would hold its own. Everything you want on the same, European steaks, (sirloin) cooked while you load your plate with all the other attractions and there are some, roast chicken, fish, salmon soups, salads, three or four different rice dishes amazing selection of sweets.

    I don't usually go over the top regarding food in many places, but this place deserves more than a mention.

    Scouts Honour.


    There's a Temple high on a hill just outside the town too. Well worth the walk to the top, but it is a hard slog.




    This snap represents the last few steps.




    You can see the lake in the town centre on the above and or the one below also the airport runway.

    All in all it has some great view points on the way up and from the actual top.



    A bit of information on the Temple here for the erudites among these Holy Pages.




    I have noticed over the years, some folk really get carried away with obtaining as much historical data as they can regarding the Temples in The Orient.







    I wonder how many Temples there are in Southern Asia alone.


    I have a thread on line which covers a great deal of the surrounding areas from Mae Hong Son, if anybody is interested, you might enjoy reading the same.

    Mai Sot thoughts it's in the Northern Thailand Forum.

  12. #12
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    I love MHS, one of the things that stuck me about the place was the lack of litter that is evident around much of Thailand (plastic bags, bottles etc) strewn by the side of the roads around the province, it must be the cleanest province I have ever visited in Thailand.

    10 out of 10 in my books. A real gem of a place.


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    I wouldn't take the bus there however, a lot of the people get sick on the mountainous road and they do tend to speed. Much more relaxed to go there by car or plane !

    (no green for my first picture contribution on this board ? come on guys ;-) )

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    I spent y few days there in 1992 during my first stay in Chiang Mai.

    Rented a bike (250cc - 4 stroke) and went to Mae Sariang where I rented a bungalow near the river for 2 days (nice place, with a ride to Mae Siam Rep), then Khun Yuam, Mae Hong Son, Pai and return to Chiang Mai. Really nice 7 days trip and great sceneries all along the road.

    The town is nice but I remember the nights were bloody cold in december, espacially in the bamboo bungalow I rented for 20 baht/night. Will do it again, maybe this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by klongmaster View Post
    Mathos:
    I don't understand why I can't see your pics...know we've discussed this before but I get everyone elses pics except yours...and I really want to see them...

    anyone?..

    I'm baffled as well KM, have you tried on an alternative computer?
    I can't see pics neither! Running Firefox 3.0.3 on a Vista Machine. Correction: scrolled up and they appeared. Must be the connection!
    Last edited by repesteeltje; 07-11-2008 at 12:31 PM.

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    Excellent set of photos ,even more so as i am looking at them in East London, where the weather is dark,cold and miserable - typical of November and where my team is getting beat by Fulham. Will be on my wish list next time I make it to the LOS. Timwhiskey.

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    Fantastic pictures , Thanks Mathos and Plorf! You are actually(or your pics) the reason why we are going up there soon. Could you please get into " always get a good deal" on the Tara resort, Mathos, I am very intersted , think the wife would like it too.
    / Uffe

  18. #18
    Newbie lannaman's Avatar
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    The Unspoilt forest of MHS

    Mae Hong Son was my favourite place when I first visited Thailand 17 years ago, and from reading the posts it doesn't seem to have changed much. I loved the place and I think that if I'd met a good lady from there I would still be there now. However I do have a good Mrs from Chiang Rai, which is a reasonable second best to MHS.
    What nobody has mentioned so far is the unspoilt forest around MHS, so different from the deforestation around Crai. I trekked for 6 exhausting days to Pai with a guide called Jan, if he's still around he's an authority on the flora and forna. He used to do full or half day tours to look at the nature. I took my daughters on one of these and we encountered wild Gibbons. He used to be contacted through MHS Guest House which was a basic but friendly place to stay, owned by Porn.

  19. #19
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    ^ Yes.

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    ^^ B.ut might have to get off and push if 2 on a bike or got a big pack, some of those steep sharp bends are wicked!

    Next time I'm taking the pickup.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MangoPeeler
    can you get there fro Pai on 100cc Honda Wave ?
    Better off white water rafting down the Pai river, takes 2 days 1 night.

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