Visiting Mae Hong Son: What to See and Do
Mae Hong Son remains a small town, largely unaffected by the furious development that has occurred in most Thai towns and cities over the past decades. It retains an almost sleepy, laid-back charm and is easy to navigate. Below are some interesting things to do and recommended places to visit in Mae Hong Son town during you holiday.
The Jong Kham lake, temple and town centre
The borders of the lake in the centre of town makes for an interesting stroll, especially in the early evening. During the cool season, it is also the setting for an open air market selling a variety of Thai dishes, hill tribe handicrafts and woven textiles. This is where the beautiful Wat Jong Kham temple stands. Over two centuries old, it is constructed in a noticeably Shan style, that could leave the visitor with the impression that he or she is in Burma. The temple is lit up by a myriad of lights in the evening, making this the best time to visit.
Mae Hong Son Morning Market
For a glimpse of traditional Thai life - and to see the overwhelming variety of fresh local produce used in local northern Thai food - visit the morning market. it is situated near Hua Wiang temple and should be visited before 8.30 am.
Doi Kong Mu Temple, and Wat Phra Non
Sitting on the top of a hill overlooking Mae Hong Son, Doi Kong Mu temple emanates intricate Shan style. It is well worth the climb or short trip to the temple, not only for the beauty of the edifice itself, but particularly for the unbeatable view it affords of Mae Hong Son town and valley. Many locals come here once they have checked the domestic flight schedule, as it has an unsurpassed outlook over the airport that nestles in the valley between imposing mountains.
At the base of the same hill is Wat Phra Non, or the Sleeping Budhha temple. Dating from 1875, it houses a giant, 12 metre reclining Buddha.
Places to eat and restaurants in Mae Hong Son
- The Bai Fern Restaurant on Khunlumprapas Road in the town centre offers a number of Northern Thai specialties as well as a variety of western food. It often features a live band in the evening.
- The Salween River Guesthouse is a very simple establishment on Pradit ChongKham Road that garners positive reviews (especially for its Western breakfasts with freshly brewed coffee) and offers Thai, Burmese, Shan and Western dishes. Try their northern Khao Soy noodle curry.
- Alternatively, visit the Kai Mook restaurant on Udom Chao Nites Road which features an extensive choice of dishes.