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Mae Hong Son - A travel report by Devin
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Mae Hong Son,  Thailand - flag Thailand -  Mae Hong Son
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devinhunt's travel reports

into the hilltribes

  4 votes

mae hong son was my favourite city in thailand. it's located in the north-west corner of the counrty and is well worth a visit. the town itself is quite small but has a great deal to offer the visitor. the town is built around the jong kham lake, which is overlooked my the magnificent wat jong klang and wat jong kham. the temples are particularly striking at night when they are lit up by floodlights. it's a quiet town - only disrupted by the occasional thai airways jet landing at the airport - and a great place to chill-out for a few days.

Favourite spots:
in mae hong son we aquired a map, hired motorbikes rode into the long-necked hilltribes. it was a breath-taking ride which took us through many small villages and right up into the mountains. the hilltribe village that we visited was part of a burmese refugee camp. although it was quite touristy it was very interesting to visit all the same, and i left there with some of my fondest memories of south east asia. most of the ladies of the paduang tribe still wear golden rings around the necks and legs to make them appear 'stretched.' contrary to popular belief the weight of the rings actually crushes their shoulder blades and spines to make their necks look elongated. some of the ladies even lifted their rings to show us their broken bones and bruising. they took us into their homes, told us how they live their lives and shared many stories of hardship with us. meeting these wonderful people was a truly amazing experience however i left their village with mixed emotions.

What's really great:
the road between chiang mai and mae hong son is very picturesque and some of the most spectacular scenery in thailand can be found there. the people in and around mae hong son were wonderful, in particular the ladies of the paduang hilltribe. mae hong son itself was very peaceful - a nice change from the chaos of other thai cities.

Accommodations:
whilst in mae hong son we stayed at a fantastic hostel called holiday house. it was cheap, had comfortable beds, hot showers and the people who ran it were very helpful and friendly. it overlooks jong kham lake, which is dominated by the magnificent wat jong klang and wat jong kham. in the evening the temples are illuminated by flood lights so the view from the balcony of holiday house is incredible.

Restaurants:
there's a really good restaurant across the road from holiday house. the food was cheap and delicious and the people who ran it were very friendly. the thai owner speaks several languages including spanish, french and swedish! they also sell cold beer so it's a nice place for a drink in the evening.

Published on Tuesday December 3th, 2002


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