The misty and green Mae Hong Son province is a land of nature and endless beauty, making this a popular tourist destination, especially the small town of Pai which can be reached via winding mountain roads. Pai has long been on the backpacker’s trail, but one hidden gem which many people still don’t know about is the small community called “Pha Bong”.
Pha Bong Phu is a combined community of “Hainanese or Tai Yai” and “Pagargeryor or White Karen”. The culture of the two tribes has blended together to make this community so unique, with beautiful terrain and a comfortable climate all-year-round. This is a great area for growing organic rice, and one of the vast rice fields is where the Khao 9 Puesook Bridge is located. The long bamboo bridge was built through the cooperation of the people in the community, becoming a new landmark for photography and social media check-ins. Here, you’ll find the Wisdom Center of Tai Yai – a museum which exhibits various Tai Yai antique items.
One thing that cannot be missed when visiting Pha Bong is taking a mineral water bath. The natural mineral water pond (with free entry) is very popular, especially in the winter. Visitors can also enjoy the view of the rich forest from Phabong viewpoint, visit Wat Phabong temple and taste local food such as Thai Yai rice noodles, a unique taste of the region.
There is variety of local products made in this community, such as “Tuakua Saifa”, mixed salted nuts roasted on firewood, “Pay Yo” sweet dessert made from peanuts and coconut mixed with sugar cane syrup. Some other items to take home include Doi brown rice, cereal products (which are available at Kad Sokjar and Pha Bong Community Development Center).
Traveling to Mae Hong Son is very easy. Nok Air and Bangkok Airways provide direct flight services to Mae Hong Son from Bangkok, or you can fly to Chiang Mai International Airport and then continue to Mae Hong Son by Thai Airways or Kan Air. To travel from the city center to the community, follow the Highway no. 108 (Mae Hong Song – Khun Yuam – Mae Sa Riang) until you reach the community. You can also travel by bus from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Mae Hong Son Bus Terminal, and then from there hire a minibus to the community. Although there is no direct train line to Mae Hong Son, you can travel by train by departing from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Chiang Mai Station, and from there take a bus to Mae Hong Son, then hire a private van to the community. Available car rental services companis include Kan Car Rent, KTY Car Rent and Sammok Car Rent.
There are some other things to do and places to visit in Mae Hong Son. Pay homage to the Buddha and explore Myanmar and Thai Yai art at Wat Phra That Doi Khongmoo, offer food to monks and make a wish at Suthongpae Bridge. Experience the charm of the vast “Dok Bua Tong” field at Doi Mae Aukor and visit the “Thai Switzerland” at the Royal Project Pang Tong 2 or the familiar “Pang Ung”.
Kao Mune Bakery Tel.089-016-7596
Ban Suan Restaurant Tel.082-898-5194
Ban Song Thai Restaurant Tel.095-686-9287
Khao Mun Bakery Tel.089-016-7596
Saphan Khao 9 Pua Kwam Suk Tel.087-181-5363
The Imperial Mae Hong Son Resort Tel.053-684-444
Kieng Doi Place Tel.089-997-2712
Ban Suan Kai Mok Tel.081-902-2929, 032-826-511-2
Sam Mork Villa Tel.053-611-478
Had Kam Chan Resort Tel.081-290-1313
Lum Pak Nam Pai Service and Development Center Tel.053-684-377, 053-584-169
Phum Panya Tai Yai Learning Center Homestay Tel.093-134-9181
Contact the community
Kamnan Amon Sitrakul Tel. 093-134-9181
Khun Weethaka Wiriya Tel. 081-874-2148
Northern Thailand’s Lampang province is known for its old city center that still retains many memories of the past, including crumbling temples, traditional teak wooden houses built in the classic Lanna-style, as well as horse-drawn carriages – once a method of transportation in the town which nowadays are used for sightseeing trips. Head outside the city center, and you’ll find plenty of green attractions, too, such as “Doi Mae Cham”, a large village with hill tribes, as well as rugged mountainous terrain great for hiking (especially in the cooler months from November – March when locals will exclaim “Lampang is very cold!”).
Ban Mae Cham is one particularly remote village located high up in the mountains that offers guests warm hospitality and a range of fun, community and nature-based activities. There is Wat Wiang Wai temple – the sacred center of the people here, as well as the nearby Khaorn waterfall located in the middle of lush greenery. This village is famous for its coffee and “Assam” tea, while the winter fruits that thrive here thanks to the cooler temperature are one of the things that make Doi Mae Cham even more interesting. Whether it is a persimmon, pear, avocado, passion fruit or macadamia, local people here are able to create special dishes from these local resources, such as delicious macadamia chili paste. The village also has an artistic side, producing handicrafts and textiles such as “Teenjok cloth”, a traditional patterned cloth and bamboo basketry.
There are many ways to travel to Ban Mae Cham Community. You can choose to drive from Chiang Mai by taking the Highway No. 1252 and go straight to the community, or take the Transport Co., Ltd and Siam First Tour bus services from Bangkok’s Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Lampang Bus Terminal and hire a car to the community. Nok Air and Bangkok Airways also offer flights from Bangkok to Lampang. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Nakhon Lampang Station, and then hire a car service to the community. Available car rental services companies include Rod Chao Lampang, Lampang Car Rent, A Lam Pang Group, Eddy Rent A Car and Lampango.
Apart from Ban Mae Cham, take some time to ease away your aches and pains in a mineral water bath, then swim in the pool underneath the waterfall and enjoy a 360-degree view of the mist covering the mountains at Chae Son National Park, take photos with the “White Plum Tunnel” at Suwan Farm, and visit the Flower Festival with the beauty of “Siew Khao” flowers, a native species of the area at Ban Pamieng.
Coffee Jansiri Tel.089-552-2528
Suwan Garden Tel.083-860-3250
Doi Mae Cham Tel.080-128-2528
The Little Earth Farm View Tel.091-714-0909
Chae Son Hill Resort Tel.081-289-3503
Thararin Mountain Ville Tel.081-733-3611
Rai Ya Chae Son Resort Tel.084-619-4552
Chae Son Fai Kum Resort Tel.081-020-0365
Chae Son Tourist Center Tel.089-851-3355
Ban Phrom Yen Suam Som Porn Tel.084-739-6834
Ban Mae Cham Homestay Tel.085-867-5188, 083-860-3250
Homestay Thara Sang Dao Tel.098-513-4599, 092-689-9232
Rai Suwan Homestay Tel.083-860-3250
Contact the community
Ban Mae Cham Homestay Tel. 081-167-4291, 054-380-460
Ban Mae Cham Tourism Group Tel. 054-380-460, 081-167-4291
Nan, another romantic Northern Thai province, has a long Lanna heritage with reminders of the past found at Wat Phra That Chae Hang’s ‘the whispered love of the world’ painting while the beauty of nature is another attraction that makes Nan a destination to visit.
In the middle of the valleys along the Nan River, there is a small community hidden in the mist: “Huai Parn”, a community of “Lua or local people” hill tribes, who live their lives based around traditional farming practices. Cross the suspension bridge of the community and enter a world without chaos and feel refreshed among the rice fields. There are also some excellent trekking opportunities in the jungle, and you can taste wild honey and “Mamuen or Grabok seed – Thai almond”, learn how to make Lua-style houseware and then end the trip with rafting and kayaking along the Nan River. Like they say, “Nan is a place to live and never want to leave”.
To travel to the community by car, take the Highway No. 1080 (Nan – Tung Chang), turn left at 85km to the entrance of Huay Yang Village, then cross the suspension bridge on food to the community. To travel by bus, get on the Transportation Bus Co., Ltd (Bus 999) from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal and get off at Nan Bus Terminal, or get on the Cherdchai Tour Bus from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Tung Chang Bus Stop (then contact a local person to pick you up). Although there is no direct train line to Nan, you can depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Denchai – Phrae Station. From there, journey towards Nan via bus and get off at Tung Chang Bus Stop, then contact a local person from the community to pick you up. You can also travel to Nan by plane with Thai AirAsia and NokAir.
There are many interesting places to visit in Nan, including Phratat Don Kaew, the ancient ruins of Chiang Glang where you can come to worship relics, and Wat Nong Daeng, a temple built by the Tai Lue tribe, and pay respect to the sacred places of the Buddha’s footprint or Phra Battakpha. Other natural attractions of Nan include the six-storey high “Tad” Waterfall, water rafting at Kang Samargaobang, Phakon Cave and Phu Pha Waterful at Doi Phu Kha National Park, and also Doi Phu Lang Kha at Satern Cave National Park. For those who are interested in history, you can visit the Monument and Military Museum at Amphoe Thung Chang to study about those who sacrificed their lives to protect Thailand from invasions.
@ Chai Tung View Bar & Restaurant Tel.091-858-1213
Khun Kate Noodles Tel.093-258-5945
Krua Tung Chang Hill Tel.089-999-1281
Som Tum Nancy Tel.092-270-2322
Nam Or Resort Tel.086-184-1122
Pai Nan Resort Tel.081-998-3719, 081-181-6183
Aueng Doi Resort Tel.089-552-1505
Juthamas Resort Tel.081-735-5322, 096-863-5884
Sahainan Permaculture Organic Farm Tel.095-350-8145
Tung Chang Hill Resort Tel.086-374-4010
Plai Nan Resort Tel.081-998-3719, 081-181-6183
Huai Pan Homestay Tel.095-289-6053, 095-872-4738
Contact the community
Mr.Somboon Chaiping (Village Headman) Tel. 095-289-6053
Loei is one of Thailand’s up-and-coming tourist hotspots thanks to its many mountainous peaks (great for camping and hiking holidays), while down on the ground there’s plenty of culture to soak up, too. The laidback way of life blends both Isan (northeastern Thailand) and Laotian (the neighboring country just across the Mekong River) influences together; the result is a province in Thailand like no other.
Apart from the popular attractions such as Phu Kradueng and Phu Rua or “Phi Tar Khon” (a big ghost carnival), some of the best things to do in Loei and places to see are located out in the green countryside the stretches for miles. One of the many remote villages that has held on to its local traditions is found at “Ban Bung”, which is a large community tucked away inside the forest. An ideal spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, one of the recommended things to do here is to take a ride on the farming tractor up to the scenic spot near Phu Ko community and Phu Pha Nong to worship the ancient Si Pho Chai temple. Built in a distinctive “Lan Chang”, this Buddhist place of worship is over 400-years-old, while the nearby Wat Pho Chai temple features a unique mural that’s well-worth seeing.
Other highlights of Ban Bung involve food, such as the region’s tasty “Jaew Dum” chili paste local food of Loei, which is seasoned with “Satorn” vegetable juice, a local vegetable that has a unique taste and is difficult to find.
There are a few ways to travel to the community. By bus, take any of these services: Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999), Air Muang Loei Bus, Phu Kradueng Tour Bus, Khon Kaen Tour Bus, Chum Phae Tour Bus and Sikhinin Tour Bus from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Mueng Loei Bus Terminal and then hire a care to the community. By car, take Highway 21 (Saraburi – Lomsak – Loei) and drive to Amphoe Dan Sai, turn right to Highway 2113 and then drive until you reach Na Haew district. Thai AirAsia and Nok Air also fly directly to Loei from Bangkok. Although there is no direct train line to Loei, you can travel by train from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong and get off at Udon Thani Train Station. From there, travel on a bus to Loei and get off at Phu Kra Dung Bus Stop. From there, hire a car service to the community. Available car rental services include Mueng Loei Car Rent and Wanisa Car Rent.
When planning a trip to Loei, don’t miss out on visiting the Than Sawan Waterfall at Phu Kradueng Park, shopping at the Thai-Lao border market by the Hueng Bridge and Ban Muang Phrae, exploring Tad Hueng Thai-Lao friendship Waterfall, viewing the sea of mist at Phu Hua Hom at Phu Suan Sai National Park.
Chanchala Loei Tel.062-550-1582
Loft Loei Cafe Phu Kradung Tel. 088-561-4642
Ran Sa-Ngiam Farm Tel. 042-871-098
Tum Lak Rim Tung Tel. 096-786-2927
Ban Tipsuwan Resort Tel.086-850-1109
Boonyanuch Resort Tel.095-168-9556
Salinee Resort Tel.081-965-1870
Rak Loei Phu Kra Dung Tel.093-787-9892
Nong Sand Resort Tel. 098-673-1940
Tasanee Resort Tel. 081-320-1195, 080-0180-3535
Na Haew Resort Tel. 093-541-9650
Contact the community
Mr.Pairat Chueaboontee (Village Headman) Tel. 062-429-9716
Nong Khai, a province in the far northeast of Thailand, is known as a gateway to Indochina and is separated from neighboring Laos further north by the wide expanse of water that is the Mekong River. Here, a fusion of faiths, beliefs and cultures creates a unique way of life. Away from the sleepy city center and lively riverside promenade you’ll find “Wang Nam Mok”, a charming community that has been compared to the ‘Chiang Mai of Isan’ (northeast Thailand).
This small village near Wang Nam Mok waterfall is a blend of Northern and Northeastern Thai cultures, which can be seen through traditional “Baysri Sukwan” ceremonies, “Song Larn – Song Wieng” (traditional costumes) and local community products such as cotton textile, chandeliers and local textile products. The traditional lifestyle can also be appreciated by visitors by joining a merit-making ceremony where sticky rice is offered to monks.
On your visit, there are plenty of fun activities to participate in that follow the communities old traditions, such as climbing at the Din Piang cave, visiting Wat Si Mongkol and presenting flower tray at Wat Tesrungsi temple for improved prosperity in life.
There are several ways to travel to the community. By train, take the northeast line from Bangkok Station Hua Lamphong to Nong Khai Station and then hire a care to the community from there. By bus, get on the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999) or Cherdchai Tour Bus that run from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Nong Khai Bus Terminal and then hire a car to the community. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Nong Khai Train Station, and then hire a car service to the community. Although there are no direct flights, you can travel to Nong Khai via van service from Udon Thani Airport. Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air offer flights to Udon Thani. Available car rental services companies include GNO168, Nong Khai Car Rent and OKCARRENT.
When you arrive at Nong Khai, spare some time to visit the Mekong River at Khon Kaen University (Nong Khai Campus) where you can watch the sea fish and freshwater fish and view the scenic river at Wat Pha Tak Sua temple and Wat Hin Mark Peng temple. You can also go on a ride up to the mountains to see the sea of mist at Phu Huay Isan, or study the nature trail of Phu Phipob.
Krua Chantana Tel. 084-601-0585
Dang Nam Nueng Tel. 042-411-961, 042-421-202, 042-460-0647
Thong Moo Yor Tel. 042-451-998
Ban Loft Cafe & Resort Tel. 091-050-4425
Pa Sak Pla Pao Tel. 087-939-8849
Yai Mong Nam Nueng Tel. 085-928-4686
Berng Khong Restaurant Tel. 042-451-330
Chontara Grand River View Tel.042-414-971
Ban Mai Rim Kong Tel.042-441-560
Ban Loft Café & Resort Tel.091-050-4425
Bouy Guest Home Tel.042-441-065
Poopae Resort Tel.042-441-088
Huan Yao Homestay Wang Nam Mok Tel. 086-232-5300, 083-357-7035
Contact the community
Khun Tinnapob Suphantha Tel. 086-232-5300, 083-357-7035