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Khun Yuam

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The flowers, oh my!
Oh boy. If you are around in November or December, please stop. Stop whatever you are doing, take ...

By marksoc


The small market town of Khun Yuam services the local villages situated in the Yuam River valley, approximately half way between Mae Hong Son and Mae Sariang. It is quite bustling in the mornings as lots of Hmong, Karen and even the rarely encountered Lawa people from the surrounding hills come into town to sell or buy goods but otherwise this is a very sleepy little spot with not really a lot to see.

There are plenty of cheap local cafes around and one rather nice place to sleep, so even if Khun Yuam isn't exactly worth going out of your way to visit, it does make a good spot to break up a journey if you've had enough of local buses, if you're cycling or if you reckon the 200kms between Mae Sariang and Mae Hong Son is a bit too much for a Honda Dream day trip.

The area does hold a lot of potential with some great mountain scenery and lots of the aforementioned hill tribe villages in the surrounding mountains and boat and rafting trips on the Yuam River but for now you'll have to head for the more touristy towns of Mae Sariang and Mae Hong Son for any trekking/tour options in this region.

It is also in this region of Mae Hong Son province that the hills turn yellow in November and December as wild sunflowers come into bloom for the Bua Tong Sunflower Festival. The flowers originated in Central America, but were brought to Thailand and planted by missionaries in the mid 1900s. It can be incredibly scenic and particularly photogenic, but don't be surprised if you're the only farang around as this is primarily a Thai tourist scene.

You can also use Khun Yuam as a base to visit the jaw-dropping Mae Surin waterfall -- we've never seen it, but reports put it at about 100 metres in height -- if you get there, please do send us a picture and report!


Note a direct, sealed road runs from Khun Yuam to Mae Chaem and Doi Inthanon which creates another couple of options for whatever northern 'loop' you may be undertaking. i.e. if you're travelling south from Mae Hong Son, heading for Chiang Mai you can cut off the Mae Sariang corner, if you're running out of time, by taking this road directly to Mae Chaem and Chom Thong.

Alternatively if you're doing a shorter circuit out of Chiang Mai you could consider Chiang Mai - Hot - Mae Sariang with a return by Khun Yuam, Mae Chaem, Chom Thong and Chiang Mai. In any case the Khun Yuam to Mae Chaem and Doi Inthanon road is another highly scenic mountain route and there are some very pleasant spots to break up the journey with overnight stops.



Text and/or map last updated on 29th October, 2009.

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The flowers, oh my!
By marksoc, 23 November 2012
4.0  stars

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