Mae Hong Son is located 924 km from Bangkok. Drive from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then
choose the following routes from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son:
1864 curves along the route from Chiang Mai through
Hot, Mae Sariang, and Khun Yuam to Mae Hong Son: a distance of 349 kilometers.
Chiang Mai - Mae Malai - Pai - Mae Hong Son: a somewhat
straighter distance of 245 kms.
Muang Nuea Yan Yon Tour (Tel. (0 2936 3587 - 8) operates an air-conditioned bus which runs
directly from Bangkok to Mae Hong Son every day. The bus departs from Bangkok’s Northern Bus
Terminal (Mo Chit 2) Bus Terminal at 06.00 pm. The trip takes about 17 hours.
The nearest domestic airport is in Pai. SGA Airlines www.sga.co.th (codeshared by Nok Air
www.nokair.com ) operate one or more daily flights between Chiang Mai and Pai, depending on
the season. Flying time is 25 minutes. Passengers can make reservations and purchase tickets
through the airlines' websites, their call centres or with a travel agent.
Mae Hong Song “city” is a small town that can be explored on foot, though there are many tuk
tuks for rides in and around the city.
Around the province
A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended for travel into the mountains, where not all
roads are sealed. Drivers should exercise extreme caution and watch out for other drivers
around blind corners as well as potholes and other adverse road conditions. It should also
be noted that only Commercial First Class Insurance provides full coverage on rental cars
(as opposed to limited personal or third party only insurance).
Most international car rental agencies will offer this insurance (some only for those with a valid international
driver’s license) while local companies may or may not. You may wish to request a copy of
their insurance policy and ensure that it states "For Commercial Use". Regardless, inspect
rental vehicles prior to rental and drive with caution, particularly as traffic in Thailand
can be quite confusing, especially the habit of Thai motorcycles drivers to drive on the
wrong side of the road.
By Bus, Songtaew and Motorbike Taxi
Once in Mae Hong Son there are local busses, songtaews, and motorbike taxis for trips between
provincial towns and to attractions outside of those towns. If you wish to check out a nearby
hot spring or waterfall, a local bus or songtaew going in that direction won’t charge more than
10 or 20 Baht per passenger to get you there, while motorbikes, which are the only method of
getting to many attractions, will charge you several hundred baht for the convenience of
guaranteeing you a ride back.
Many of the guesthouses in provincial towns rent motorbikes for exploring the areas surrounding
the towns, but visitors should be aware of the dangers of doing so. In addition to the occasional
scam, foreigners are frequently involved in road accidents and Mae Hong Son features far more dangerous
roads than it does first class medical facilities. If you must, ride carefully and wear both a helmet
and closed-toed shoes. Motorbikes can be hired for 150-500 baht a day depending on size.
Bicycles can be hired in the provincial capital and in Pai. Simple pushbikes are inexpensive;
nicer mountain bikes are a bit more expensive, but better for tackling hills.
If you wish to visit remote hill-tribe villages, the only way to get to many is on foot. It is best
to hire the services of a knowledgeable guide who is familiar with the local weather, terrain, and
language rather than try to set out into the wilderness on your own.