The What’s Up Guide To Getting To And Getting Around Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son Airport

Mae Hong Son is much easier to access today compared to even just a few decades ago. There were no direct roads to this isolated region until WWII, and no completely sealed roads between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai until the late 1980s. Today, passengers can travel to Mae Hong Son by air, bus, or private automobile.

Last Updated: November 2019

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GETTING TO MAE HONG SON

 By Air 
Bangkok Airways and Wisdom Airways both fly between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. This gives a choice of four to five flights a day in each direction. Flight time is up to 40 minutes to Mae Hong Son’s tiny airport. Advance tickets for Bangkok Airways’ flights are available on the airline’s website.

Approaching the mountains of Mae Hong Son from the air is a truly unforgettable experience. The airport is located on the town’s northern edge, and within walking distance of Nong Chong Kham Lake. Smoke from burning fields during the dry season and mist during the wet season can impact flight schedules and there are occasional delays and cancellations.

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 By Bus and Road 
Driving between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son takes between five to six hours. Route 1095 provides an especially spectacular journey between Pai and Mae Hong Son, but windy roads and steep mountains can make this drive challenging for less experienced motorists. Route 108, the main road between Mae Hong Son and Mae Sariang, is an easier, but longer, drive. 

It takes regular buses between seven and eight hours to travel between Chiang Mai’s Arcade bus terminal and Mae Hong Son’s new bus station. Minibuses can travel from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son in as short a time as five and a half hours, but cost more than regular buses. The two main bus routes are the southern route through Mae Sariang and a faster northern route through Pai. The seats on the smoother southern route tend to be larger and more comfortable than the seats on the more winding northern route through the mountains.

The overnight bus journey from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal to Mae Hong Son lasts approximately 15 hours. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the new Mae Hong Son bus station at the community’s south end to the centre of the provincial capital. Another option is to make a rail journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then board a bus to Mae Hong Son.

BUS TIMETABLES – SOMBAT TOUR (via Mae Sariang)
Bangkok – Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son – Bangkok
A/C Bus Departure Arrival Day Fare (B) A/C Bus Departure Arrival Day Fare (B)
* 1st Class 17:00 08:00 Daily 788 1st Class 15:00 06:00 Daily 675
** VIP 17:29 08:09 Daily 1,050 1st Class 16:00 07:00 Daily 788
* 1st Class 18:00 09:00 Daily 675 VIP 16:29 07:00 Daily 1,050
Note: * = Bus departs from Mo Chit Bus Station | ** = Bus departs from Sombat Tour – Vibhavadi Office
Fares and Timetables: Do change, we recommend you to check with the bus company before making reservations.
Sombat Tour: Mo Chit – Tel: +66 2 030 4999 | Vibhavadi – Tel: 1215 | Mae Hong Son – Tel: +66 53 684 222

BUS TIMETABLES – PREMPRACHA TRANSPORT (via Mae Sariang)
Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai
Bus Type Departure Arrival Day Fare (B) Bus Type Departure Arrival Day Fare (B)
Fan Bus/Coach 08:00 16:30 Daily 300 Fan Bus/Coach 08:00 17:30 Daily 300
Fan Bus/Coach 20:00 04:30 Daily 300 Fan Bus/Coach 20:00 05:00 Daily 300
Fan Bus/Coach 21:00 05:30 Daily 450 Fan Bus/Coach 21:00 05:30 Daily 450
Fares and Timetables: Do change, we recommend you to check with the bus company before making reservations.
Prempracha Transport: Chiang Mai Bus Station 2 – Tel: +66 90 514 1111 | Mae Hong Son Bus Station – Tel: +66 53 684 100

MINIBUS TIMETABLES – PREMPRACHA TRANSPORT (via Pai and Soppong)
Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai
Bus Type Departure Arrival Day Fare (B) Bus Type Departure Arrival Day Fare (B)
Minibus 06:30 12:30 Daily 250 Minibus 07:00 12:30 Daily 250
Minibus 07:30 13:30 Daily 250 Minibus 08:00 13:30 Daily 250
Minibus 08:30 14:30 Daily 250 Minibus 09:00 14:30 Daily 250
Minibus 09:30 15:30 Daily 250 Minibus 10:00 15:30 Daily 250
Minibus 10:30 16:30 Daily 250 Minibus 11:00 16:30 Daily 250
Minibus 11:30 17:30 Daily 250 Minibus 12:00 17:30 Daily 250
Minibus 12:30 18:30 Daily 250 Minibus 13:00 18:30 Daily 250
Minibus 13:30 19:30 Daily 250 Minibus 14:00 19:30 Daily 250
Minibus 14:30 20:30 Daily 250 Minibus 15:00 20:30 Daily 250
Minibus 17:00 22:30 Daily 250
Fares and Timetables: Do change, we recommend you to check with the bus company before making reservations.
Prempracha Transport: Chiang Mai Bus Station 2 – Tel: +66 90 514 1111 | Mae Hong Son Bus StationTel: +66 53 684 100

GETTING AROUND MAE HONG SON

Yellow songthaews, which depart early in the morning from the Panith Wattana Road’s market, or moto taxis and tuk tuks from Mae Hong Son bus station are the main means of public transportation between the provincial capital and the province’s smaller villages. The town of Mae Hong Son is small enough to easily navigate on foot, but at least one internet shop provides bicycles for rent. Some guesthouses and travel agents hire scooters or motorcycles, while a handful of restaurants and tour agencies also rent automobiles.

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