Day 1: Chiang Mai – Mae Sariang
Total distance today appr. 200 km, driving time about 4 hours
The fantastic Ob Luang Gorge
Your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel. It is the start of your “Mae Sariang Loop”. We will drive to Sanpatong(*) and continue to Hot. Our first stop will be at Ob Luang National Park. We will make an easy, relaxing walk to the magnificent Ob Luang Gorge. Enjoy the rock formations and some interesting prehistoric rock paintings. If you want, you can climb up to a great viewpoint. After this, we will continue along a narrow and winding road through the mountains. In a pine tree forest along the road, we will enjoy a picnic lunch.
Mae Sariang on the Yuam River
After lunch, we will drive to Mae Sariang along a road with beautiful mountain scenery. The small town of Mae Sariang was known as Hminelongyi in the past. More than 100 years ago this town was the capital of Mae Hong Son province and a center of the teak industry. Before we check into our hotel we visit Wat Phra That Chom Thong, a temple on a hill from where you have a wonderful view of the town. The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure. You can explore Mae Sariang on your own or enjoy a beer (or a shake) at the Mae Sariang Bar overlooking the Yuam River. There are some beautiful temples near the hotel, such as Wat Jong Soong and Wat Sri Bunruang.
Overnight at the River House Resort
(*) if departure is on a Saturday, we will stop at the huge Saturday Buffalo market in Sanpatong for half an hour.
Day 2: Mae Sariang – Baan Mae Sam Laep – Mae Sariang
Total distance today appr. 100 km, driving time about 2,5 hours
Journey to the Myanmar border
After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. We will drive to Ban Mae Sam Laep for our boat trip on the Salawin River. This will be one of the highlights of the Mae Sariang Loop. The source of the Salawin River river is on the Tibetan Plateau. The river flows through China and Myanmar and forms the border between Myanmar and Thailand for about 120 km in Mae Hong Son province. At Moulmein in Myanmar, it flows into the Andaman Sea. The total length of the river is 2815 km. The river forms the border here between Thailand and Myanmar. In Myanmar, they call this river the Thanlyin River. There was a border crossing here, connecting to Rangoon (Yangon), the capital of Myanmar in the past.
The highlight of the Mae Sariang Loop: fantastic boat trip on the Salawin River
We board our local private boat and take a boat trip to Sop Moei, which will take about 50 mins. Enjoy the fantastic scenery on both sides of the river. It is a very quiet river. There are no villages and few people at this deserted stretch. We disembark was a Karen village, called Sop Moei. Here we make a short walk and enjoy the view of the river turning into Myanmar.
We will briefly drop by at the local school. Not many people visit this remote area. We take our boat back to Ban Mae Sam Laep, where we will enjoy a local lunch. Drive back to Mae Sariang. The rest of the afternoon is free at leisure.
Overnight at the Riverhouse Resort
Day 3: Mae Sariang – Baan Huay Horm – Khun Yuam
Total distance today appr. 210 km, driving time about 3,5 hours
Meet the Lawa people
After breakfast, we will depart for Ban Mae La Up. It is the third day of your Mae Sariang Loop. We will stop at several places to enjoy the splendid views. The first stop will be at the Karen village Ban Huay Horm, a community that is famous for its tasteful coffee. Not far from the village are a couple of Lawa villages. The Lawa or Lua, as the Northern Thai call them, are found only in Thailand. They are the real indigenous people of Thailand and were already living here when the Thai people migrated from Southern China. With your guide, you will explore the village Ban Mae La Up and meet some of the villagers. We will visit the local silversmith, who will give a short demonstration of his craft—simple lunch in the village. After lunch, we will drive back to the main road.
World War Two Museum in Khun Yuam
Drive to Khun Yuam, a quiet town that most people pass by. Before we arrive in Khun Yuam we will stop at the Shan/Tai Yai village Muang Pon. We will visit the local temple, Wat Muang Pon, and a local house. Please note the lovely sala in which there is a statue of Phra Upakhut, one of the most revered monks in North Thailand.dd
After arrival in Khun Yuam, we will visit the Thai Japan Friendship Memorial Hall, a museum dedicated to Khun Yuam’s remarkable World War Two history and to the culture of the Shan people. If today is a Monday, we will visit the museum on day 4 and visit Baan To Phae.
Overnight at the Yoont Hotel.
Day 4: Khun Yuam – Mae Hong Son
Total distance today appr. 100 km, driving time about 2,5 hours
The Padaung people of Mae Hong Son
Today we will drive to Mae Hong Son, a town with Burmese, Thai, and Shan influences. Before we drive to Mae Hong Son we will visit another shan village: Baan To Phae. This village is about 5 km from Khun Yuam. The temple, called Wat To Phae, has an interesting history. It functioned as a makeshift hospital for the retreating Japanese army in World War Two. We return to Khun Yuam where we visit another temple that has an interesting history: Wat Muai To. Then we start our drive to Mae Hong Son.
Along the way, you have the option to visit the Padaung village Huay Phu Keng. A short boat trip will bring you to this interesting village of the Padaung people aka Long Neck Karen. After this, continue to Mae Hong Son. This town was known in the past as the “Siberia” of Thailand, because of its remote location.
Magnificent Shan style temples
Enjoy a tour of this pleasant city, walking around Chong Kham Lake, a park-like setting with beautiful gardens and Buddhist temples. We will visit Burmese/Shan-style temples like Wat Jong Klang and the neighboring monastery Wat Chong Kham. The latter has an interesting museum with Buddhist statues and artifacts. Then it is time to go to the Fern Resort, our lovely accommodation about four km from the town.
Overnight in the lovely Fern Resort
Day 5: Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai
Total distance today appr. 10 km, driving time about 20 minutes
Wat Doi Kong Mu, the temple on the hill
This morning is free at leisure. If you want, we can take you before sunrise up to Doi Kong Mu. From this hill, you have a fantastic view over Mae Hong Son. On top of the mountain is the Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, a historic temple.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Chiang Mai ** Not included**
End of the Mae Sariang Loop