Thailand’s Hidden Gem: Mae Hong Son

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Welcome to Mae Hong Son a mountainous provinces in Northern Thailand where visitors come to truly relax.

Herntai Resort

Here I am at Herntai Resort, Mae La Noi district. Of the first step I came in, I felt the pureness of the nature.We are so lucky because this time of the year the rice field is so green. You look at the backdrop of mountains are so beautiful. I start from here the Royal Project where we gonna learn a lot of information there and we gonna learn about coffee culture and taste of the coffee.

Biking around local village 

Mae La Noi is the district surrounded by mountain range. Local people are Tai, Patakayao, Lawa and Mong. The culture is quite diverse. Main occupation is agriculture especially growing coffee and rice. Nature here is considered very pure.

K.M.9 Viewpoint

This morning we came from the post office in Maelanoi district and here to the viewpoint at kilometer number 9. This is my local friend told me to come to see the picturesque view. Yeah this is the city of 3 mists as you know this is a symbol of Mae Hong Son. The fog is beautiful as it is.

Rice Terraces at Huay Mak Noon

We stopped by here; Huay Mak Noon because there are beautiful rice terraces just over there. Has this place changed a lot in the past 10 years? Not really. Natural is still pure.

Mae La Noi Project Development Center

Since 1969, King Bhumibol has visited the northern part of Thailand for the first time many parts and since then the life of people here have changed forever because the king has your turned  the mountains of opium into mountains of other kinds of plants like coffee, rice, winter  fruits and vegetables. So a lot of development projects have been initiated and it’s also help decrease deforestation in this part of Thailand. We could hear the sound of flowing water from up here.

Local Lunch at Bann La Oob Community

At Bann La Oob, you can have local experience of dining. Today, we are having a lot of local dishes starting from this a signature local dish called ‘Sa-Buek’. It is made from boiled chopped pork and they mix like 3 kinds of ingredients; herb, lemongrass and shallots.

We’re having this a local spicy chili paste made from local vegetable called ‘Phak E-luen’ and then with  chili and rotten nut as well. It smells very strong but very nice. And also here they grow a lot of rice, we’re having rice growing around here.

If people want to eat local food here, where do they contact? They have to contact Herntai  h They have to book in advance. If visitors don’t let them know in advance, they have no food for visitors. They have to cook in early  morning especially Sa-Buek.

Visitors can not only enjoy the food, but can stay here as well. 10 people can stay in this building. They have coffee plantation. Besides coming here for coffee, you can buy local fashion products in Lawa style.

Huay Hom Cafe

Isn’t this view breathtaking, this is like very very beautiful view here at Bann Huay Hom. This village is very famous for coffee. They grow coffee by themselves around here. They have their own brand called ‘Huay Hom’, so a must thing to do is to try their local coffee here.

And also if you want to stay overnight, they open their house to welcome guests. I think they welcome from two to twelve guests per night.  So you can spend your time here although there’s no aircon. It’s not that hot because the weather is mild and pure right here in Mae Hong Son.

Just near right here is a souvenir shop at ‘DoiSter Fashion Shopping’ where they sell this traditional cloths like hill tribe style; Lawa style or Koren style. A lot of designs to choose from and some of them are made from wool because they have their own sheep farm around here.

Explore Rice Terraces, Coffee Plantation, and Sheep Farm In Huay Hom

What are we going to explore today? We are going to see rice terraces, coffee  plantation, and sheep farm. What do you grow more, rice or coffee? Coffee. For rice, we grow for our own consumption, so we don’t have to buy it. But for coffee, it is a business that generates revenue for us. You have your own brand here – Huay Hom, right? Yes, Huay Hom coffee.

Coffee trees need to be under the shade,right? Yes, the best location is under big trees. But not under too many big trees as the coffee trees will not get exposed to sunlight. How many times do you harvest a year? Once a year. Around April—May.  And for how many years does a coffee tree produce beans for us? It depends on how we take care of it. How do we know if it’s Arabica? Compared to Robusta- smaller leaves, different leave shape and more beans per branch.

Wow! Isn’t it breathtaking? So beautiful. Are these Mak trees? Yes. On every mountains you see now, we grow coffee. It’s economy plant. Yes, it is. Looking from above, people think it’s just a forest. But under those trees are coffee trees. Beautiful weather here too.

My new friends taught me that true happiness is not that far away only if we learn how to live a sufficient life in life with fewer needs be satisfied with what we have. And if we have something extra share or give it to other people in need this I think should be true happiness.

Herntai Coffee

After testing some coffee in Huay Hom community, let me try some morning coffee amidst the fog. It’s so fresh and relaxing. Well the best part is a conversation with Net resort owner who gave us a lot of more information about local cafe.

Mae La Noi Viewpoint Cafe

Traveling in Mae Hong Son with a local driver free us from all worried here at Mae La Noi Viewpoint there’s another lovely cafe, so I have to try another cup. I forgot my wallet in the van but no problem they accept QR code payment so convenient. Later, on the way back to Chiang Mai report we don’t forget to visit a few more cafes as recommended; Phu Sarieng Cafe and Loom Wiang Restaurant & Cafe will definitely be active till the end of this trail.

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