Mae Hong Son: History & Culture
Mae Hong Son, Thailand's second northernmost province, is sheltered by several high mountains and enjoys a cool climate almost all year round. Mae Hong Son is located 924 kilometers from Bangkok and can be reached from Chiang Mai either by Highway No.108 via Mae Sariang, 349 kilometers, or Highway No.1095 via Pai which shortens the distance to some 245 kilometers. Mae Hong Son is bordered by the Union of Myanmar (Burma) to the north and the west, and a strong Burmese influence can be seen in the province's temples and buildings. The population of Mae Hong Son include Thai Yai (or Shan) and various hilltribes such as Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Lua and Lisu, scattering in the districts. Mae Hong Son covers an area of 12,681 square kilometers and is administratively divided into 7 districts (Amphoe) namely : Muang, Pai, Khun Yuam, Mae La Noi, Mae Sariang, Sop Moei and Pang Mapha.
The remote North Western town and provincial capital of the same name is little more than a large village. The province borders Chiang Mai. The inhabitants, not even ethnic Thai’s, comprise of different tribal influences from the west. Amongst the most famous of the cities attractions are the Long-Necked ladies who sport a curious fashion of heavy brass rings around the neck.
For more information about Long-Necked ladies please visit The secret of the giraffewomen
They can be reached by boat. The whole region comes alive during February with brightly coloured sunflowers completely blanketing the mountain side. The city itself has exquisite Burmese style pagoda’s which blend perfectly into the slow moving capital. Nearby settlement of various mixed tribal groups adorn the hill sand valley and the venerable cave where giant catfish swim freely with the blessing of the local spirits.
The town is know as city of the three mists as the low-laying clouds envelope the sleepy municipality.
Most of the province borders Myanmar (Burma) but there are, as yet, no legal border crossings.