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How to travel to Mae Hong Son
December 16, 2013

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1) Mae Hong Son is the most mountainous province in Thailand, approximately 90% of land is made up of forest and national reserves

2) Mae Hong Son has the lowest population density in Thailand with a population of approximately 250,000. Over 60% of its residents are from ethnic groups such as the; Karen, Lawa, Lisu, Hmong and the Shan

3) Three of Bangkok’s main Shopping Malls (Siam Paragon, MBK & Central World) use more electricity than the entire province of Mae Hong Son

4) The Mae Hong Son Loop, a popular route for travelers to explore the province, is a 600km circuit with 1,864 curves that starts from Chiang Mai and goes through Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son capital, Pai and ends in Chiang Mai

5) ‘Poy Sang Long’ is one of the most colourful festivals in northern Thailand and unique to Mae Hong Son.  Celebrated by the  Tai/Shan community, to mark the rite of passage for young boys who are ordained to become novice monks. Its a colourful affair and chance to see the vibrance of Shan culture at its best.

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6) Mae Hong Son has a small Muslim community who are mostly made up of descendants of migrants from Bangladesh who crossed over to Myanmar then Thailand

7) Due to its remote location and wild environment, historically it was known as the ‘Siberia of Thailand’, a place where unfavourable government officials and convicts were sent

8)  The old name of Mae Hong Son was ‘Mae Rong Son’ which means ‘a place suitable for elephant warfare training’, due to its rugged terrain and vast wild forests. In the 19th Century, the Thai Royal family hired Shan people to capture wild elephants and train them in the mountains. Jong Kham Lake (a main tourist attraction in the centre of Mae Hong Son town today) was the main bathing spot for elephants

9) Mae Hong Son’s vast reserves of natural teak wood made it a central area for teak logging until this was outlawed in the early 20th century when it became evident reserves were fast being depleted. Today many teak plantations can be seen alongside the main road in Mae Hong Son – a government backed initiative to conserve this precious regional resource

10) Mae Hong Son is called the ‘land of 3 mists’ due to the year round mist. During the summer months there is cloud from forest fires, in the rainy season there is a wet mist and in winter there is a foggy mist
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