Things To Do In Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son is a stunning province in northern Thailand that few worldwide travelers have heard about and even fewer have visited. Located directly west of Chiang Mai, this province’s beautiful countryside is home to vast stretches of rural landscapes, blue mountains, and quaint towns nestled in scenic valleys. While Chiang Mai continues to grow in popularity with worldwide travelers, much of Mae Hong Son maintains an untouched feel to it. Even its provincial city center would be considered a tiny town in many parts of the world!

Mae Hong Son borders the country of Myanmar and therefore has a unique culture influenced by the Thai, Burmese, and Chinese people who live there, which is evident in the local food, language, and architecture. You’ll find stunning Burmese-style chedis that dot the hillsides, colorful ethnic hill tribes such as the Shan and Hmong, and delicious Shan and Yunnan cuisine served at locally owned restaurants.

Although small groups of visitors have been traveling to Mae Hong Son for many years, you won’t see tour buses crowding in front of attractions or touts heckling tourists on street corners. In fact, you’ll find just the opposite: a handful of fellow travelers seeking a relaxing solitude and towns full of friendly Thai locals.

Activities and Sites in Mae Hong Son and Pai

There are many things to do in Mae Hong Son and Pai’s hilly terrain and lush green jungle. Some of the best activities include visiting natural attractions such as viewpoints, caves, and canyons or partaking in outdoor activities such as trekking and temple hopping.

Below you’ll find more details of the best activities and main attractions that are offered in our private tours to Mae Hong Son.

Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang

Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang

Wat Jong Kham is the oldest temple in Mae Hong Son and is a stunning example of Tai Yai architecture. Next to this temple is the white and gold chedi known as Wat Jong Khlang. They are built on the edge of the Chong Klang Lake and together they make a beautiful reflection in the lake’s calm surface.

Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu

Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu

This tranquil temple complex can be found atop the Doi Kong Mu hill and can be seen from Mae Hong Son’s provincial city. It’s home to two brilliantly white Burmese style chedis.

Phu Klon Mud Spa

Phu Klon Mud Spa

The Phu Klon Mud Spa is a local Thai spa that specializes in mud treatments for the face and body. It also offers Thai and aromatic massages as part of their wellness packages. The mud used at this spa is sourced from a nearby hot spring that is rich with minerals and claims to have healing and calming properties. After you have the special mud painted onto your face or body by a spa technician, relax as the minerals rejuvenate your skin. Afterward, enjoy a calming soak in the nearby steamy mineral pool. There is also a small shop on site where you can purchase cosmetics made from the mud.

Ban Rak Thai Village and Tea Plantation

Ban Rak Thai Village and Tea Plantation

Ban Rak Thai is a small sleepy Chinese village near the border of Myanmar known for its exceptional tea plantations. It was once a checkpoint for soldiers and traders passing between the Thai-Burmese border and has ties to the opium trade. Today, it’s a popular destination with Thai locals but it’s not often visited by international travelers. This quaint village is home to Chinese-style mud and straw cottages, cafes offering tea tastings, and restaurants serving delicious Yunnan cuisine. Ban Rak Thai is incredibly scenic thanks to its small roads winding through the hillside, a small reservoir bordered by the traditional huts, and the surrounding hills covered in lush green tea plants.

Tham Pla Cave

Within the Tham Pla National Park is an attraction for which it’s named: the Fish Cave or Tham Pla. This natural cavern is filled with water and home to fish that can grow up to one meter long.

Mork Fa Waterfall

Mork Fa Waterfall

After a short walk along a shady hiking trail in the Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park, the jungle opens up to the beautiful Mork Fah Waterfall, which is easily recognized by its double falls and natural swimming pool.

Tham Lod Cave

Tham Lod Cave

The Tham Lod Cave is one of the most interesting limestone cave systems in Thailand and can be found in the hills just north of Pai. It has an impressive display of stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave and it is also home to a large colony of playful swifts. What makes it so unique is that it can only be explored by bamboo raft because there’s a small freshwater river flowing through it. Guided by the light from a lantern, float through the mystical cave and listen to the swifts chattering above before coming out of the cave and into the jungle on the other side.

Pang Oung

Pang Oung

Not far from Ban Rak Thai is Pang Oung, a stunning area home to the nearby Huai Pang Tong Reservoir that is surrounded by evergreen trees and rolling mountains. Its natural beauty is often compared to that of Switzerland.

Wat Tor Pae

This temple is one of the most beautiful examples of Burmese architecture in Mae Hong Son. Paired with a Thai-styled pavilion, it is home to a gem-encrusted mural, precious Buddha images, and several stunning wood carvings.

Kaew Komol Cave

This gorgeous cave system is one of just three in the world that contains Calcite crystals. It has five different rooms where the sparkling crystals look like cascading water, clouds, coral reefs, curtains, and snow.

Royal Projects at Huay Hom

Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand introduced sustainable agriculture to this small village, which specializes in producing world-class Arabica coffee. Learn more about the growing and roasting processes and enjoy a cup of coffee during your visit.

Pong Dueat Geyser

Pong Dueat Geyser

Surrounded by the beautiful Thai jungle, this natural hot spring is accessible by a magical moss-covered walkway. There is also a nearby mineral bath that you can relax in.

Doi Kiew Lom Viewpoint

Huay Nam Dang is a national park best known for its beautiful mountain scenery, stunning viewpoints, colorful hill tribes villages, misting waterfalls, and steaming hot springs. One of the best things to do is watch the sun rise above the white sea of clouds.

Su Tong Pae Bridge

This bridge provides a walkway for monks and visitors between the Kung Mai Sak Village and a nearby Buddhist temple. What makes it beautiful is that it’s made of woven bamboo and spans a half-kilometer over a scenic rice field and river.

Long Neck Karen Village

Huay Phu Kaeng is a genuine “Long Neck” Karen village that welcomes visitors to learn more about this unique hill tribe’s way of life. After a 30-minute boat ride down the peaceful Pai River, you’ll arrive at a Karen village that is famous for its tribe women who wear the iconic brass rings on their necks and colorful clothing. This is an excellent opportunity to speak with the Karen villagers about their daily lives and learn what they are interested as well as to share your own travel stories. Shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs help to support the village.

Mae Sariang

In addition to its exceptional natural beauty and good selection of quaint guest houses, this area is culturally rich with ancient holy sites and authentic Karen and Lawa hill tribe villages.

Ob Luang National Park

Ob Luang National Park

This national park is most famous for its large limestone canyon that cuts through the region’s mountain range. There are also several waterfalls and caves to be seen and the area is rich with archeological history.

Private Tours to Mae Hong Son

If you’re interested in taking a tour to see the exciting sites of Mae Hong Son, browse our private tours to Mae Hong Son.