Cool Season Trip to Mae Hong Son

This week, I was invited to visit Mae Hong Son Province in Northern Thailand. Although this was my third trip there this year, I really enjoyed myself. And I would go again. Still plenty more to see. This time I packed a fleece jacket as the evenings were very chilly in the hills. The highlights were meeting ethnic people, wildflowers and the sea of mist.

Date of trip: 25-28 November 2018

Boarding NokAir DD8300 from Don Mueang to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Flight time is just over one hour. My final destination is Mae Hong Son province.

Breakfast at Jing Joo Chai restaurant (ต้มเลือดหมู จิงจูไฉ่) in Chiang Mai. The restaurant is famous for its pork blood soup. Though you can ask them to skip the blood cake and entrails if you like. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/kDwFeF3T4QL2

It’s wooly hat season in Northern Thailand.

Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden in Hot district of Chiang Mai is a popular spot to take a break on the southern stretch of the Mae Hong Son loop. The pine trees were planted back in the 1960’s as part of a reforestation project. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/5kCkqfReeML2

Lunch at Mae Luang Penh in Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son province. Very good Northern style food with sticky rice. Has various barbecued meat including the famous NorthernThai sausage. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ifUN9LiQzsy

Barbecuing meat at Mae Luang Penh restaurant in Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son province.

Drone photos of Mae Sariang Museum and Mae Sariang town. The building blends traditional Thai Yai wood-carving with northern Thai architectural styles. The original burned down in 2015 and has been rebuilt. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/mUNRY9ug2dQ2

Ban Huai Hom is an isolated village in the hills of Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province. Most of the inhabitants are part of the Pakakayor ethnic group and practicing Christians. In the past, like other ethnic groups, they grew opium.

These days, the main sources of income for families in Ban Huai Hom are the coffee plantation and sheep farm. The villagers also spin their own wool to make yarn. This is all started back in 1957 when a group of American missionaries visited the village.

The American missionaries brought with them Arabica coffee seedlings and four ewes and a ram. The year round cool temperature was perfect for growing coffee and rearing sheep. In the 1970’s, King Rama IX visited and gave more sheep. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/nMZR9eABRH22

Sunset at Doi Khum Kam Viewpoint in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province.

Dinner at Herntai Restaurant (ครัวเฮินไต) in Mae La Noi, Mae Hong Son province. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xRQD7StT8by

DAY TWO: Good morning from Mae La Noi in Mae Hong Son province. Light rain this morning. Hopefully it won’t last. It’s not as cold as I expected but still refreshing at only 21°C.

A sea of mist on the hills in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province.

Drone photos around Ban La-Oop in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/XKrbwS4pmYm

Ban La-Oob in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province is well-known for the production of silver jewelry.

Drone photos of the Big Buddha and the view around Ban La-Oop in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province.

Lunch today at a homestay in Ban La-Oop in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province.

Photos of some people from the Lua ethnic group in Ban La-Oop in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province.

Ban La-Oop in Mae La Noi district of Mae Hong Son province has a number of homestays if you’re interested. Here are a few more shots from around the village.

Thung Bua Tong Fields at Doi Mae U Kho in Khun Yuam District, Mae Hong Son province. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/WGwVUDjFDtT2

During this time of year, Dok Bua Tong – or wild sunflower – is in bloom in the hills and valleys of Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand. More info: http://www.thaifestivalblogs.com/bua-tong-blossom-festival/

The Doi Mae U-Kor mountain peak in Khun Yuam district is considered the largest and the most beautiful location to enjoy the spectacular bright yellow Bua Tong hills and valleys. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qaWCwWkfLhH2

Eating dinner at Krua Nong Kratin restaurant in Chong Kham in Mae Hong Son province. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xoE6shStvFD2

DAY THREE: Good morning from Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand. Today we are in the provincial city. It’s a chilly 21°C at the moment and I’m happily wearing my fleece jacket until it warms up a bit. Top temperature will be a warm 32°C. No rain in the forecast today.

Some shots of the morning market in Mae Hong Son city. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/QPyqrvQAySm

Wat Hua Wiang is located near the morning market in Mae Hong Son city. The temple has Shan architectural features and is more than 100 years old. The main Buddha image of the temple is a replica of a major statue in Mandalay, Myanmar. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ou6ikPBWcxp

Some drone photos of Ban Pa Pu and the countryside in Pha Bong sub-district of Mae Hong Son. The air is so much clearer at this time of year. It’s the best time to visit.

The Karen people at Ban Pa Pu of Pha Bong sub-district of Mae Hong Son are well known for weaving cloth dyed with natural materials to make traditional clothes. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/RDHhGCDCsZG2

Eating Khao Soi with chicken for lunch at Kwan Khao restaurant (ร้านขวัญข้าว) in Mae Hong Son. Only 30B/35B. They also have a pork version. Khanom Chin Ngiow is only 15 Baht and Pad Thai Wunsen is 35 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/gyxRWRK5wKE2

Ban Rak Thai is a scenic Chinese community around a lake in Mok Cham sub-district of Mae Hong Son. It was originally settled by former Kuo Min Tang fighters from Yunnan Province, after the Communist takeover of China.

Most shops in Ban Rak Thai sell tea and dried fruit. It is a bit touristy but it is a nice place to relax as it has cool temperatures and beautiful views. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/uJuGbgtub9S2

Drone photos of Ban Rak Thai in Mok Cham sub-district of Mae Hong Son.

Walking Street around the lake in Mae Hong Son.

Wat Chong Klang in Mae Hong Son lit up at night with a nice reflection in the lake.

Nice selection of dishes tonight at Khao Tom Nai Pen (ข้าวต้มนายเพ็ญ) in Mae Hong Son. Served quickly and a good taste. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ECPUinAoyC52

Tonight we’re in a homestay in Jabo in Pang Mapha district of Mae Hong Son. It’s high in the hills and a very chilly 17°C. With luck, we should wake up to a beautiful sea of mist. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/dEyFet8AK2R2

DAY FOUR: Good morning from Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son. A lovely view of a sea of mist from my homestay and a chilly temperature of 13°C.

This is the view I woke up to at my homestay in Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son. A sea of mist and a chilly temperature of 13°C.

A fantastic view this morning from the noodle shop in Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son province. I had Tom Yum noodles with a hard boiled egg for only 40 Baht. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/i51Wd1USstG2

Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son province is very popular at this time of year for the mist on the hills and the cool weather. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/i51Wd1USstG2

Drone photos of Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son province as the sun rose revealing the sea of mist on the hills.

Drone photos of Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son province about an hour after sunrise. The temperature was about 20°C by this time.

Drone photos of Ban Jabo in Mae Hong Son province about an hour after sunrise. The temperature was about 20°C by this time.

Lunch was Khanom Chin at Ban Song Thai (ร้านอาหารบ้านทรงไทย) in Mae Hong Son. There were three curries with the rice noodles: Nam Ya Kati, Gaeng Keow Wan & Gaeng Tai Pla. Served with fresh vegetables and hard boiled eggs. Very delicious. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Abu9PswVrPU2

Boarding Nok Air DD8215 from Mae Hong Son to Don Mueang in Bangkok. Flight time is just under two hours. Enough time to watch a movie.

That’s a wrap on my 4-day cool season trip to Mae Hong Son. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I’ve inspired you to visit. Recent trips to MSH here:

✅ Poy Sang Long festival https://www.thailandphotomap.com/2018/04/04/trip-to-mae-hong-son-for-the-poy-sang-long-festival/

✅ Ok Wa festival https://www.thailandphotomap.com/2018/10/27/ok-phansa-trip-to-mae-hong-son/

3 comments

  1. María says:

    Can you advise me the best way or in which order I can go from Bangkok. I’d like to go to Chaing Rai, Chaing Mai and to Mae Hong son. Then return by flight back to Bsngkok. Are there flights to reach these destinations if so which way is best? Your advise is much appreciated regards Maria

      • Maria says:

        Thank you for your reply, I tried to book flights between all three but unfortunately I have to fly back to Bangkok to go to each one as they are all full…. anyway we are booked to go to Chaing Rai to see the light show thanks to your blog.

        Thank you

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