The "city of three mists" in the northwest corner of Thailand, capital of the province. Remote and mountainous, nestled in a narrow valley just a few kilometers from the border with Myanmar. About 260 km from Chiang Mai, 5.5 hours by minibus because of the 1,864 curves in the road. Pai lies about halfway and draws most of the tourists, making Mae Hong Son an excellent destination to escape the hordes. Temperatures ranged from an afternoon high of 37 to an evening low of 15.
I didn't care to spend 5.5 hours (each way) on a minibus, so I took the Bangkok Air prop plane from Chiang Mai, a 30 minute flight. Fares will remain competitive as long as more than one airline services the airport.
Alternately, Kan Air uses the more modern jet aircraft
Stayed at the Panarama Hotel, centrally located, 600 baht during high season, clean but basic. The elderly woman that runs it is very friendly and helpful.
Wat Jong Kham
Situated on the lake in the middle of town.
A helicopter dropped some para-gliders
Street vendors appear at sunset as folks gather to picnic or for a leisurely stroll around the lake.
Tried a few restaurants on the lake. Sunflower was just OK but the Salween River restaurant, near the police station, was better.
Featuring Sham and Burmese food, as well as Thai, I ordered this chicken casserole, portion was more than I could finish, for 70 baht.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu
Towering over the valley, the twin stupas aren't that impressive but do offer some nice views.
You can ring the bell without having to buy everyone a round.
Su Tong Pae, The Bamboo Bridge
About 12 kilometers north of town, a lovely 900 meter bamboo bridge spanning rice paddies, connecting the village of Ban Kung Mai Sak with temple Wat Pu Sama.
There's actually two bridges, one for just crossing the river
This couple caught out in the sun too long
Some other interesting characters about
The Crossroads biker bar stays open "late" (i.e. midnight). At the town's busiest intersection, by 11 PM there's vehicle every 3-4 minutes. Two hot young farang women were leaving just as I was arriving, noticed them earlier by the lake, slamming down large bottles of Chang. I took a seat at the open air bar and ordered a drink just as one of the girls dropped her pants, squatted, and took a pee in the street. It's not that there wasn't a woman's toilet in the bar, but maybe it was out of order?
Next Up: Pai
Minibus leaves at noon, 150 baht either to Pai (106 km) or Chiang Mai (260 km).
See my Pai picture report.
Edited by RhinoTusk, 10 March 2017 - 07:27 AM.