Few foreign tourists make it to Soppong and it hasn't taken off with domestic tourists either, so there’s not a huge choice of accommodation in town, but there ought to be something to keep most people happy for a couple of nights. Some of the surrounding villages such as Ban Tham Lod, Mae Lana and Ban Nam Rin have their own simple accommodation options as well.
There are a couple of decent guesthouses in town that were closed during our low season visit, including Rim Doi Bungalows, Ban Cafe Nature Resort and Lisu Homestay in nearby Nong Thong.
This well-organised and very popular little guesthouse overlooks the Lang river at the entrance to Soppong, just on the right as you arrive from Pai. Little Eden has a cute jungle-style garden with a small but unusual swimming pool that actually incorporates some of the original hillside boulders, plus a spectacular sitting area overlooking the river. There’s not a lot of room here but... Read our full review of Little Eden.
Soppong River Inn is a picturesque chalet-style resort located in a pleasantly laid out garden overlooking the river. The Seven Elephants Restaurant is set up on top of the low cliff above the Lang, making for a top spot for a cool beer -- or a cocktail -- after a hard day's trekking. Food is very good quality –- try the Shan specialities -- and while not the cheapest in town, this is a good... Read our full review of Soppong River Inn.
Lemon Hill has seen a bit of a make-over since we were last here and perhaps with the domestic market in mind has added some air-con units, fixed up some of their better chalets, slapped a coat of (yes, lemon coloured) paint on and upped the price a bit. They do have a fantastic decking area overlooking the river but Lemon Hill’s best point is its convenient location directly opposite the bus... Read our full review of Lemon Hill House.
Soppong’s plushest spot is situated on the riverbank, just out of town on the highway to Mae Hong Son. This is as close as you’ll get to a Pai-style resort in Soppong, with manicured garden, varnished wooden restaurant and an @ in their address. The garden delightfully leads down to the river with rock gardens and strategically placed seating areas, and their spacious restaurant and cafe is... Read our full review of The Rock Resort @ Pang Mapha.
Ban Tham Lod is a charming and very peaceful Shan village close to the famous cave of the same name. It's only 13 kilometres from Soppong, so it's easily doable in a half day, though there is accommodation in the form of the longstanding and well known Cave Lodge on the edge of the village, plus a couple of homestays. The road is now sealed and makes for a slightly bumpy but scenic drive or cycle through mostly teak plantations with hilltribe villages close by. There is no public transport, so if you do not have your own transport you would have to organise a pick up or try to find a motorbike taxi from the 7-eleven in Soppong.
Established in 1984 by an Australian-Shan couple, Cave Lodge has a wide variety of accommodation options, from dormitory beds through to small bungalows with shared bathrooms plus larger ones with private bathroom and hot shower. The price differences reflect increases in size and quality, but the standard is generally pretty high, although it's best to check rooms first as some can be a touch... Read our full review of Cave Lodge.
A fairly large and prosperous (that is, more concrete than teak or bamboo) Lisu village, Ban Nong Thong is just out of Soppong Village. Walk around 500m towards MHS, turn left, and it's up that road another 500m or so. It's not one of the more attractive hill tribe villages around but locals are friendly enough and there's a small village shop where you can buy a canned drink and while away a bit of time with the very friendly Alema, the shopkeeper. At the top of the village is the Lisu Homestay.
Ban Nam Rin is a large Lisu village just off the main highway around 10 kilometres before Soppong. The village is still quite traditional and services are minimal, so you'll find petrol, a couple of basic grocery stores and noodle shops and that’s about it. The surrounding mountains are spectacular and there’s even more remote and traditional villages to be discovered, trails to hike and birds to be watched here. The village guesthouse is a good spot and the friendly and helpful owners can organise treks for you or provide information for simpler do-it-yourself hikes.
Lisu Lodge is a very pleasant little guesthouse with some fair chalets set in a well kept garden. It is quite a walk right through the village to reach the guesthouse, situated on the hill on the far side of Ban Nam Rin, so it may be best to give them a call and ask them to pick you up at the entrance to the village. It's worth the effort of getting there though; it's a charming spot and... Read our full review of Lisu Lodge.
The charming and picturesque Shan village of Mae Lana lies in a deep valley a few kilometres northwest of Soppong. Head towards Mae Hong Son for 10 kilometres or so along the main highway, then look out for a turning on the right at the summit of the hill, Route 1226. From here the sealed road follows the ridge for 4 kilometres until just past the military checkpoint, where a turn off to the right leads down a steep hill to the village. Mae Lana is surrounded by some awesome scenery; plenty of great hikes are to be had to some relatively remote villages and there’s some spectacular and still little-explored cave systems in the vicinity, including the Mae Lana Cave. Some of them are highly dangerous and others are sacred sites with funerary coffins inside, so if you want to really explore the interiors hire a guide or even better, sign up for one of Cave Lodge’s trips.
The village itself is quiet, very laidback and full of friendly locals. It hosts a couple of simple cafes, some grocery stores and petrol, but no bank. There’s one simple but very pleasant guesthouse on the edge of the village.
This tiny little guesthouse with a very rustic feel is located just out of the village down the track past the wat that leads to Mae Lana Cave. A half a dozen or so chalets are set around a pond with a large sitting area serving drinks and meals (with a bit of warning required), plus WiFi. Rooms are simple but clean and comfortable enough and there’s a choice of huts with or without attached... Read our full review of Mae Lana Garden Home.
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