Bucolic mountain outpost
The small district town of Mae Sariang sits in a picturesque location on a largely undeveloped riverside, surrounded by forested hills and paddy-filled valleys. The town still possesses plenty of old teak buildings, a handful of Burmese/Shan-style wats, some fine accommodation choices and... well, it’s just a great glimpse of traditional, small-town Thailand.
Mae Sariang sits in the southern reaches of Mae Hong Son province at the junction of Routes 105 and 108, the Mae Hong Son to Mae Sot and Mae Sariang to Chiang Mai highways. If you’re doing the famous Mae Hong Son loop by motorbike (or some other means), Mae Sariang is about as far south as you get. While the loop is probably the reason most visitors do stop here, we reckon the town has enough to do, and sufficient charms, to warrant a couple of days in its own right.
For now, Mae Sariang remains a sleepy, untouristy backwater. It sits on the eastern bank of the Yuam river and does more business as a small trading centre and regional market town for the surrounding farmlands than as a trekking and tourism centre – despite the dreams of some resident entrepreneurs, who hope it will be Thailand’s next Chiang Mai.
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