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Mae Hong Son is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in byhigh mountain ranges, Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from theoutside world. Virtually covered with mist throughout the year, thename refers to the fact that is terrain is highly suitable for thetraining of elephants.
Former governors of Chiang Mai used to organise the rounding up of wildelephants which were then trained before being sent to the capital forwork. Today, Mae Hong Son is one of the dream destinations forvisitors. Daily flights into its small airport bring growing numbersof tourists, attracted by the spectacular scenery, numerous hilltribecommunities and soft adventure opportunities.
By CarMae Hong Son is located 924 kilometres from Bangkok. Drive fromBangkok to Chiang Mai and then choose the following routes to Mae HongSon:
Chiang Mai Hot Mae Sariang Khun Yuam Mae Hong Son (Route 108) with 1864 curves, a distance of 349 kilometres.
Chiang Mai Mae Malai Pai Mae Hong Son (Route 1095), a distance of 245 kilometres.
Muang Nuea Yan Yon Tour (Tel: (0 2936 3587-8) operates anair-conditioned bus which runs directly from Bangkok to Mae Hong Sonevery day. The bus departs from Chatuchak (Mochit 2) Bus Terminal at 6p.m. The trip takes about 17 hours.
One can travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by rail and then continueto Mae Hong Son by bus. For more information, call 1699, 0 2223 7010,0 2223 7020 or visit www.railway.co.th
By Air Thai Airways flies Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son daily. Reservation should be made in advance at Tel: 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000or call 1566 or visit www.thaiairways.com for current schedule.
PB Air offers flights from Bangkok-Mae Hong Son. Call 0 2261 0220-5, 0 2535 4843-4 or visit www.pbair.com
Start: 800 THB .
Mountain Inn Hotel & Resort
Start: 800 THB .
Start: 950 THB .
Rooks Holiday Hotel & Resort
Start: 1,300 THB .
The centre for mountain biking adventure is Pai District, whereseveral bike shops rent out bikes and gear to tourists. Bike toursexplore nearby and remote hilltribe villages, waterfalls and hot springs.The best time is November – May. Experienced guides are ready to leadbiking parties through breathtaking back-country trails for up to aweek. There are natural cycle paths through the forest, first trod byanimals, then beaten by man. They range from as narrow as a singleperson’s stride or as wide as an elephant or ox cart.
There are five levels of expertise, and all require experienced guides to lead them. Mae Hong Song’sPai River is perhaps the most famous venue, as it smashes its angry path towards Myanmar.A raft trip starts at Ban Nam Kong, 65 km from Pai and continuesthrough virgin forests, waterfalls and 15 sets of rapids, a journeytime of about five hours.