This Mae Hong Son trip of 4 days 3 nights was during last December in 2016. I started from Chiang Mai by renting a car. I wanted to drive in circle route, starting from downtown Chiang Mai to the south following the highway no.108. On the way, we would pass Hot District, Chiang Mai, Mae Sariang District towards Muang Mae Hong Son District which has 1,864 curves in total. On the way back, we would use different route which is the highway no.1095. Here, we would pass Pai District, Mae Hong Son Province and then turn right towards the highway no.107 in order to go back to downtown Chiang Mai, this route has 2,224 curves. In total, we would have to drive pass about 4,088 curves.
Day 1: Chiang Mai- Kew Mae Pan Doi Inthanon- Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden-Thung Bua Tong at Doi Mae U-Kho-Mae Hong Son
Since I have plan to enjoy the sunrise view at Kew Mae Pan, Doi Inthanon, I must leave the hotel in downtown Chiang Mai at 03.45 a.m. and follow the highway no.108. Then, I turn right towards Doi Inthanon using the highway no.1009. It takes about 2 hours to reach Kew Mae Pan Viewpoint.
This morning at Kew Mae Pan is quite cold. It's only 6 degree Celsius. Once we arrive, we look for something hot to eat like hot rice porridge just like in the photo. Then when the light starts to shine, we go look for photography location.
This photo was taken from the opposite side of parking lot of Kew Mae Pan. In the photo, we could see the peak of Phra Maha That of Nabhamethanidol and Nabhapolbhumisiri.
From the last photo, when we move forward a bit and zoom in, we will see this sea fog.
After that, we walk back to the sunrise viewpoint. This photo was taken when the sun is about to rise. It is such a beautiful twilight.
Then, we move on to our next destination, which is Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden. We must get down Doi Inthanon first using the same route which is the highway no.1009. Then we need to turn right onto the highway no.108 and again right towards Hot District in which we will go pass Ob Luang National Park that we didn't stop for this trip. It takes about 2 hours to reach Bo Kaeo Pine Tree Garden on the left hand side.
We are coming here on Saturday and during the long holidays so there're a lot of people. But the more we move in, the fewer people to be seen.
Here is the beautiful pine trees lining up in a straight line. It's known as Nami Island of Thailand. After that, our next destination is quite far which is Thung Bua Tong at Doi Mae U-Kho or the sunflower field. It's fully blossom during November in each year. Since it's now December, we pray to see some. Along the way, we also stop for papaya salad. We must turn right at Khunyuam District and follow the highway no.1263 if we want to reach here. Also, soon, we must turn left towards the highway no.4009 which is quite a narrow and curvy road. We reach here at about 16.00 p.m already.
Well, there're still some flowers left so we didn't waste our trip. Decent amount of tourists are still coming to appreciate its beauty judging from the cars. We take photos until 17.00 p.m. before moving towards downtown Mae Hong Son. We go there using the same route before turning right at Khunyuan District. The road is very curvy. That it's dark now, we can't drive fast. We arrive downtown Mae Hong Son at around 19.00 p.m. Then, we go to the walking street where we can see Wat Chongklang.
I plan to must capture this shot when coming to Mae Hong Son. But since it's already dark now, I didn't get to capture the blue sky. Anyhow, I'm quite satisfy with it.
After a long exhausted day of driving since 04.00 a.m. to 19.00 p.m. and more than 1,864 curves, I find something to eat and check in at our hotel called Panorama Hotel.
Day 2: Mae Hong Son- Phra That Doi Kong Mu- Su Tong Pae Bridge- Ban Rak Thai- Pang Ung
Today we don't have to travel far. We wake up and pay a homage to Chedi at Phra That Doi Kong Mu which is only about 15 minutes ride.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is on the hill. When coming up here, you could clearly view Mae Hong Son.
After that, we move to Su Tong Pae Bridge which is not so far away. It takes about half an hour to reach here.
The fog is quite thick this morning. The monks are out for alms. Near the bridge is a harvested rice straw.
After that, we move onto our next destination, which is Ban Rak Thai.
It takes about an hour by car. We reach here at noon. The road is steep and curvy from time to time. Here the weather is so nice and coming here, we must try Chinese Yunnan food.
The taste could be a bit mild for those who love strong taste but I think it's delicious.
After we are all full, we walk up to enjoy the beauty of Lee Wine Rak Thai Resort which is clay houses in the midst of a tree plantation.
After that, we are going to our last destination for today, Pang Ung.
We are now at home stay of Ruam Thai village which is in the same area as Pang Ung. We are staying at Uncle Khin home stay like in the photo in which each house can house 2-3 people. The fee is 400 THB each night. I think this is a great option for those who don't want to sleep in a tent. And you must also bring your own towel as it's not provided.
The weather here is quite cold. On the way towards the reservoir, hill tribes people are selling food including grilled eggs, grilled potato, grilled corn, grilled chicken, rice porridge, hot coffee, etc.
From home stay, it's only 200 m to reach the reservoir.There're quite a good crowd here since it's the long holiday and the weather starts to get cold.
Finally we meet the landlord here. This couple of black swan didn't seem to get scared of the tourists as they are wandering just nearby us.
Let's capture some night shots! The electricity is already here.
We wake up early to capture morning atmosphere. It's 15 degree Celsius. We could see some fog floating above the water. The colder it gets, the more fog we could see.
When the sun starts to shine, we see it shines through the water which is so beautiful. I spend time taking photos here quite long. I was hoping to see white swans swimming by.
I waited a long time and almost gave up, but then white swans indeed swimming by. This allows me to have the photo as I imagined. Then, it's time to move on.
Day 3: Pang Ung- Hanging Legs Down Noodle- Pai
We leave Pang Ung at 10.30 a.m. and we wanted to have our lunch at hanging legs down noodle shop.
After driving for 2 hours, we stop to relax at this Ban Luk Khao Lam Viewpoint.
We take a rest, use restroom, sipping a glass of iced coffee, and enjoying the view before moving on again.
Here we are, at the hanging legs down noodle shop. It's not so far from the main road. We reach here around 13.00 p.m. so there're such a big crowd here. This noodle shop is also a great viewpoint for sea fog in the morning. It's too bad that we didn't get to see it in the morning. After lunch, we are going to our next destination, Pai.
We reach Pai at about 17.00 p.m. We stop for the coffee at the Coffee in Love shop. We have a cup of hot milk since it's already late. If we were to have another cup of coffee, we might not be able to sleep tonight ^___^ After that, we go right in to our hotel.
We are staying at B2 Pai Premier Hotel which is quite a new hotel.
In the evening, we are out for walking street at Pai and do some shopping. The weather is just so great.
Day 4: Huai Nam Dang- Chiang Mai
Today we will end our trip at Huai Nam Dang National Park. We leave the hotel at 5 a.m. in order to enjoy the sunrise on time.
This morning is very windy so we can't see sea fog much. The rain looks like about to fall but didn't. So We have this view of sunrise and clouds which is also looking differently beautiful.
Let's have a shot of me and my girlfriend who always go everywhere with me with this spectacular view ^__^
After that, we go back to sleep at the hotel in Pai again. Actually, Pai has many more attractions that we didn't get to visit. Anyhow, we are now heading towards Chiang Mai. So the rest of Pai might have to postpone to our next trip ^___^. Well, probably due to limited time, we didn't get to go to several Mae Hong Son's important attractions. Anyway, we are quite satisfy with this trip.
I'd like to end our conquering 4,088 curves trip here. I hope this travel experience is more or less useful for you guys.
We spend another night at Chiang Mai before flying back the next morning.
See you again in our next trip, Sawaddee Krab!