Photo: Mae Sot street scenes.

Outlying attractions

Our rating:

A bunch of minor attractions in the countryside surrounding Mae Sot might be worth a trip if you’ve got the time and inclination.


Photo of Outlying attractions

Tak is a huge province and we haven’t made it to most of these places yet -- the following info was gleaned from locals in Mae Sot and Tak province tourism officials.

Supposedly the best waterfall within easy daytripping distance of Mae Sot is Pha Charoen, with clear water gushing over a series of 97 limestone tiers draped in jungle. Admission is free even though the falls are part of a national park of the same name. It’s located 40 kilometres south of Mae Sot, just off Highway 1090 before it ascends into the mountains of Umphang district.

Not too far from Pha Charoen Waterfall along Highway 1090, near kilometre 46, the Highland Farm Gibbon Sanctuary is a long-running non-profit that cares for rescued gibbons previously kept in captivity. It’s possible to stop by for a short visit or stick around as a volunteer for an extended stay.

Just 15 kilometres north of Mae Sot along a road that cuts north from Asia Highway at Wat Thai Wattanaram and runs alongside the Moei River’s eastern bank for a stretch, Wat Phra That Hin Kio is a forest temple known for a revered Mon-style chedi with a bulging natural rock base that balances at the edge of a cliff. Good views of the Moei valley can be enjoyed from here.

You could also take Highway 105 north towards Mae Ramat for 30 kilometres and follow signs pointing east to Mae Kasa Waterfall. Popular with locals on weekends, the falls cascade into a large swimming hole with human-made walls and a shallow section for kids. There’s also a small cave and path leading up the forested hill. Afterwards you could cruise a few kilometres further north for a dip in the Mae Kasa Hot Springs. Locals enjoy gathering around the hottest pools to boil eggs the natural way. The Mae Kasa falls and hot springs could be hit on the same trip as Wat Phra That Hin Kio.

Keep going north on 105 for a while longer and you’ll reach the remote Mae Moei National Park, 120 kilometres north of Mae Sot in the far northern reaches of Tak province on the way to Mae Sariang. Here you’ll find the large Pha Thewa Waterfall flowing near a campground with cool air and a good view; campers must bring their own tents and supplies.

Another option is Doi Muser, a mountaintop village, market and agricultural area where the Muser hill tribe -- a subgroup of the Lisu -- grow temperate flowers, coffee, tea and other crops that thrive in the higher altitude. The related Ban Umyom Hilltribe Cultural Centre has a shop and museum with info on the Lisu, Hmong and other groups living in the area. Hikes to more remote villages can also be arranged. Doi Muser is located 55 kilometres east of Mae Sot along the Asia Highway (Route 12); expect a challenging drive into the mountains.

You could rent a car or motorbike in Mae Sot and hit any of these places on your own. Mae Kasa can be accessed by Mae Ramat-bound songthaews that pick up at the old bus station every 20 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00; the hot springs are located right in town, where you should be able to find a tuk tuk or motorbike taxi for the six-km ride to the waterfall. Alternately you could utilise the local taxi company (T: (055) 030 357;(098) 101 9345) from Mae Sot; a driver quoted us 800 baht for a round trip to Mae Kasa.

The small Mae Sot-based tour operator, Rodcat Tours (T: (092) 040 2803 ; thebbchamp@yahoo.com), offers trips to the Gibbon Sanctuary, Pha Charoen Waterfall and several other places in Tak province, including Umphang.


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See below for more sights and activities in Mae Sot that are listed on Travelfish.org.


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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Mae Sot? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.


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