Mae Hong Son Travel Guide, Mae Hong Son Travel Information, Mae Hong Son Thailand

larger text smaller
Welcome to Mae Hong Son
Introduction
Bua Tong Blossom Festival Mae Hong Son is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges, Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside world. Virtually covered with mist throughout the year, the name refers to the fact that is terrain is highly suitable for the training of elephants.

Former governors of Chiang Mai used to organize the rounding up of wild elephants which were then trained before being sent to the capital for work. Today, Mae Hong Son is one of the dream destinations for visitors. Daily flights into its small airport bring growing numbers of tourists, attracted by the spectacular scenery, numerous hill tribe communities and soft adventure opportunities.
Borders
North : Myanmar East : Chiang Mai
South : Amphoe Tha Song Yang, Tak West : Myanmar
Distance
Distances to Other Provinces
Chiang Mai 349 km Tak 499 km

Distances from Amphoe Mueang to Other Districts
Pangmapha 64 km Mae La Noi 134 km
Khun Yuam 67 km Mae Sariang 164 km
Pai 111 km Sop Moei 192 km
Festivals & Events
Tea Tasting Festival
When: February
Where: Rak Thai Village, Amphoe Mueang
This is annually held in February to promote tea products of the Rak Thai village. The activities include hot tea tasting, tea-making demonstrations combined with cultural shows. Visitors can also enjoy riding a horse around the village.
Poi Sang Long
When: March and early April
Where: Wat Hua Wiang, Amphoe Mueang
Poi Sang Long
Poi Sang Long
This is the celebration of novice ordination which the Thai Yai tribal people hold to be a highly meritorious occasion. Traditionally, the candidate-novice, his head cleanly shaven and wrapped with head-cloth in the Burmese style, will don a prince-like garment, put on valuable jewels and gems and ride a horse or be carried over the shoulders of a male relative to the city shrine.

Then he will visit Abbots of various Wats to beg for forgiveness. On the eve of ordination, a procession of offerings and other necessary personal belongings will be paraded through the town streets and then placed at the next day. It is usually held between March and May before the Buddhist Rain Retreat period. Today the tribesmen are encouraged to hold several processions at the same time with the result that they have become a major tourist attraction.
Chong Para Procession
When: November
Where: Wat Pra That Doi Kong Mu, Amphoe Mueang
The "Chong Para" in the Thai Yai dialect means a castle made of wood, covered with colorful perforated papers and decorate with fruits, flags and lamps. It is placed in the courtyard of a house or a monastery as a gesture to welcome the Lord Buddha on his return from giving sermons to his mother in heaven, according to traditional belief. The rite is held during the post-Rain Retreat season from the full moon day of the 11 the Lunar month to the waxing moon night of the same month. Another activity to celebrate the occasion is dancing in which the performers are dressed in animal costumes. This is based on the belief that during those long-gone days, both humans and the animal kingdom were equally joyful at the return of the Lord Buddha and joined together in a jubilant performance as a tribute to the Enlightened One.
Bua Tong Blossom Festival
When: November
Where: Doi Mae U-Kho, Amphoe Khun Yuam
Each year in November, the hillsides of Amphoe Khun Yuam and Amphoe Mae Sariang are filled with a host of golden Bua Tong blooms. As fresh as daisies and almost as large as sunflowers, the Bua Tong only blossoms for 15 days, a fine reason for Mae Hong Son province to hold the Bua Tong Blossom Festival over this period at Amphoe Khun Yuam. At Amphoe Khun Yuam's Doi Mae U-Kho, the blossoms appear in profusion. Specialists previously classified these Bua Tong as weeds and because of this, they began to be cleared to make way for cash crops. Fortunately, researchers have discovered the flower's insect-repellent properties. Perhaps for this reason, rather than our enjoyment, they are now a secure part of the annual scene? Whatever, Bua Tong, a symbol of Mae Hong Son, is here to stay on the hillsides.
Loi Krathong Festival
When: November
Where: Wat Pra That Doi Kong Mu, Amphoe Mueang
Loi Krathong Festival is held on the full moon night in the month of November every year. Villagers make 'Krathongs' to float in rivers. At Nong Chong Kham, various entertainments and a contest of large krathongs are held near the central pond. Lamps and candles are lit all around the area. At Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, there is a ceremony to release candle-lit krathongs bound to balloons (known as "Loi Krathong Swan") to the evening sky.