This delightful spot is well out of the way but certainly worth the effort of getting to.
It has great rooms, a pleasant restaurant and bar, campfire area and swimming pool as well as lots of local hiking, so once there you don't really need to move for a few days. Address is still Pha Bong Village but it's quite a way from the village itself. You need to get back on the main Mae Hong Son-Mae Sariang highway and then take the turn off to the east towards Nam Tok Mae Surin National Park. It is signposted but they will of course pick up guests in town anyway if you ask. The side road will take you up a scenic valley through wooded hills to the large and well organised Fern Resort. It's all very tastefully laid out with chalets scattered around a well tended garden and smart reception and cafe areas..
Eco-tourism figures prominently in their blurb, so there's plenty of information on the surrounding area, flora and fauna and local Karen hilltribe people. (Indeed most of their staff are Karen people from local villages.) Bungalows are well designed and comfortable with air-con and hot showers but a deliberate no TV policy. Deluxe versions are somewhat larger and better situated but all are well appointed and tastefully decorated – again in a Northern Thai style. This is a great spot to while away a few days.
Rates haven't changed since our last visit five years ago, making the low season prices very reasonable for what you get, though high season supplements are severe. They may not be as busy at certain periods as they think they’ll be though, so you can always ask for discounts.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 12th February, 2016.