Discover the marvels of Maehongson and find out where to go and what to do in the province
While the south of Thailand may have its beautiful beaches and alluring islands, the north is just as blessed with natural beauty, and its fair share of cultural attractions. iTravel Channel journeyed to the north-western province of Maehongson to learn more about this lush mountainous region of the Land of Smiles; check out the video and read on to find out how to get there, and what we discovered.
Getting to Maehongson
By Air: The fastest and easiest way of reaching Maehongson is by flying from Chiang Mai Airport to the province’s main city, also named Maehongson. You can then catch a tuk-tuk into town for 80THB.
By Bus: Board a bus with Sombat Tour in Bangkok, which will take you to the bus station of Maehongson’s provincial capital, located just 1km out of town. You can then catch a tuk-tuk or a motorcycle taxi for approximately 60THB.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu in Maehongson
A trip to Maehongson’s capital is not complete without a visit to this remarkable temple, perched on the summit of Doi Kong Mu, to the west of the city. Home to a stately standing Buddha figure and two exquisite Shan chedi, housing the ashes of monks hailing from Myanmar’s Shan region, this temple also boasts sweeping views over the valleys, which are covered by an attractive sea of mist in the mornings. You can reach the temple by motorcycle taxi at a cost of 120THB return.
Wat Chong Kham in Maehongson
Another religious site you won’t want to miss is the historic Wat Chong Kham, which was erected over 200 years ago and stands adjacent to another picturesque temple, Wat Chong Klang. If you visit the temple in March you will get to experience the holy Poi Sang Long festival, when young Shan boys become ordained as monks.
Long Neck Village in Maehongson
The Long Neck Villages of Maehongson are arguably the province’s most popular attraction. There are 3 villages located outside the provincial capital, which you can visit independently or as part of a tour, which can be easily arranged by a travel agency or tour operator in the city. Non-Thais pay 250THB to enter any of these villages.
Experience: Jong Para Festival in Maehongson
This important local festival is held each year 3 days before the full moon of the 11th lunar month. It consists of a colourful procession of Shan people, bringing their offerings to the local temples, and also includes fascinating displays of folk dance and theatre.
Pang Ung, Maehongson
Pang Ung, also known as Ruam Thai, is a Shan village which has been developed with several agriculture projects as part of a Royal Initiative by HM Queen Sirikit. There is an extensive reservoir bordered by stately pine forests and surrounded by mountains. You can camp here or stay in a guesthouse, and enjoy scenic walks and jogging around the lake. Pang Ung is approximately a 2 hour 30 minute drive from Maehongson. If you don’t have your own transport, catch the twice daily bus from Maehongson’s Sai-Yud Market, which leaves at 9am and 3pm.
Plan your Thailand Vacation, Holiday or Getaway
Now you are acquainted with some of the amazing attractions to be discovered in this enchanting north-western province of Thailand, it is time to pack your bags, book your tickets and experience Maehongson for yourself!
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