Thanks to its surrounds being dotted with traditional Karen villages, a stunning mountainous setting plus rivers and streams ideal for rafting, Mae Sariang does have trekking potential.
At present this potential is tempered by the relatively high cost of tours and the small number of tourists coming here. If you don't mind paying a supplement in order to get going, then Mae Sariang is a great spot, but if you're travelling solo and hoping to just show up, sign up for a cheap trek and get walking, then Pai, Mae Hong Son or Chiang Mai would be better bases to work from.
There are various trekking options on offer, from one to three days, and usually including some bamboo rafting or boat trips, elephant experiences and an overnight in Karen villages. It will cost more, but you will be visiting genuinely off the beaten track, rarely-visited-by-traveller areas.
As a rough guide, North West charges 2,000 baht per person per day. While one-day treks are usually hiking only, two- or three-day programmes will include rafting, village accommodation and meals as well. This price is good for two people at a minimum, so it's a pretty good deal really.
Salawin Tours offers similar treks at slightly higher prices from their new office in Good View, but they were closed for low season at our time of visit in 2015.
Most treks will head out towards the hills of Mae Ngao National Park southeast of town, with shorter hikes through Salween National Park west of town too.
By Mark Ord.