Mae Hong Son
Mae Hong Son is the capital of the province of the same name. It is the Tai Yai capital of Thailand. it is a charming town with a lake in the town centre. It has an airport. There are regular flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son and back. Its main attractions are the Burmese and Shan style temples Wat Prathat Doi Kong Mu, Wat Jong or Chong Klang and Wat Chong Kham.
The town of the Shan people
The inhabitants of this town are mostly Shan aka Tai Yai. In the villages around the town, there are Lisu, Lahu and Karen living. There are several Karen Long Neck villages in the vicinity of the town. Nam Piang Din, Huay Phu Keng and Huay Sua Tow are three of them. It is certainly worth staying a couple of nights in Mae Hong Son. There are some great trekking areas nearby as well.
Apart from the Buddhist temples there a lots of natural attractions such as the Fish Cave, Pha Sua Waterfall and the Pai River. If you have time don’t forget to visit Ban Rak Thai, an ethnic Chinese community right on the border with Myanmar. The Sutongpe Bridge, a long bamboo bridge through ricefields, is also worth visiting.
At the small morning market you can buy typical Tai Yai dress and taste some delicious local food. The small Mae Hong Son Living Museum is worth visiting. Mae Hong Son is also known for its Tai Yai festival such as Poy Sang Long.