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Getting there and away


There are only two directions you can go in from Pang Mapha, since there's only one road -- either to Pai or Mae Hong Song. Most buses and minibuses stopping here -- you have the choice of two transport modes -- are running between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Song so by the time they reach Pang Mapha schedules can be well out and buses, sometimes, well full!

Basically the regular, non air-con buses are approximately every two hours in either direction. (Bus stop is by the market, opposite the petrol station). Fare for the 1.30 minute trip to Pai is 45B and 2.30 hour trip to Mae Hong Son 70B, but fares can fluctuate a bit depending upon oil prices!

Minibuses are trickier since they are often full, (as they only leave Pai or MHS when they have a full load), so you will need to book in advance at the minimart by the bus stop. There are no reductions on the Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son route for alighting or boarding at Pang Mapha, so wherever you are going you need to pay the full fare of 150B. Minibuses are a bit quicker than the slow buses so times are around 45 minutes to Pai and 1.30 hours to MHS. Minibuses are also approximately every two hours and all transport runs from approximately 09:00 to 16:30. (This is the middle of nowhere – sorry but there is a lot of 'approximately' around here!)

Finally there is one post office songthaew from Soppong market to Mae Hong Song daily at around 15:30.

    Getting Around

    There is no longer any motorbike rental available in Soppong so you will need to hire one in Pai and then do the one-hour trip up there yourself. Some of the trails to outlying villages plus the road to Tham Lot and Mae Lana have now been sealed, so you can do some interesting trips on your own, but do be careful on some of the unpaved tracks which can be very steep and slippery, as well as bumpy and muddy during the rainy season.

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