The undoubted highlight of the province is the usually sleepy, but occasionally raucous, town of Pai. Thai holidaymakers flock here in their thousands during long weekends while tourists slowly filter in and out enjoying the laid back lifestyle on offer. Pai is the antidote to Bangkok, attracting an alternative, easy going crowd. Stroll on foot or casually ride around on bicycle and enjoy the boutique shops, guesthouses, bars and other highlights of this fantastic little town. For somewhere a bit more detached from the tourist trail, we recommend heading to the capital of the province, Mae Hong Son town. Arguably more attractive than Pai and without the commercialism, Mae Hong Son town offers a more realistic look into life in North West Thailand. Nong Jong Kham Lake is one of the top attractions here as the grand temple resting on the shore reflects artistically into the still waters.
The best way to see this part of the country is via the Mae Hong Son loop. Stretching over 600km, technically starting and finishing in Chiang Mai and taking approximately four days—can you guess what it is yet? It is, of course, a now famous motorcycle route which takes you through wild mountains, past gushing waterfalls and countless small towns. It makes for an incredible journey through the province, one you won't forget. Stay in any Mae Hong Son hotel or Mae Hong Son guesthouse along the way.
If motorcycling isn't your thing, there are plenty of trekking opportunities to enjoy as well.Image from ronancrowley
Hotels in Mae Hong Son start at AU$17 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.