Mae Hongson

 Mae Hong Son (Thai: แม่ฮ่องสอน, pronounced [mɛ̂ː hɔ̂ŋ sɔ̌ːn]), also spelled Maehongson, Mae Hong Sorn or Maehongsorn, is one of the northernprovinces (changwat) of Thailand, and at the same time the westernmost. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Shan State ofMyanmar, Chiang Mai and Tak. To the west it borders Kayin State and Kayah State of Myanmar again. It was formerly called Mae Rong Son.[1]

Mae Hong Son (The City of Three Mists) is nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by the high mountain ranges of the Shan Hills, Mae Hong Son has long been isolated from the outside world. It is the most mountainous province in Thailand and composed of a total of 13,814 square kilometers. It is virtually covered with mist throughout the year, the name refers to the fact that this terrain is highly suitable for the training of elephants. Former governors of Chiang Mai used to organize the rounding up of wild elephants which were then trained before being sent to the capital for work. Today, Mae Hong Son is a "dream destination" for visitors.[citation needed] Daily flights into its small airport bring growing numbers of tourists, attracted by the natural scenery, numerous hill-tribe communities and soft adventure opportunities.

Location and boundaries[edit]

The Salween river at Mae Sam Laep,Amphoe Sop Moei. Left is Myanmar.

Mae Hong Son Province is situated in northern and northwestern Thailand at 17° 38′ - 19° 48′ N and 97° 20′ - 98° 39′ E and furthest from Bangkok in the north at a distance of approximately 924 km. It boasts an area of approximately 12,681.259 km² or around 7,925,812.5 rai, which is third largest in Northern Thailand and seventh largest in the country. It is approximately 250 km from north to south and approximately 95 km from east to west.

To the north and west it connects to a total of three states in the Union of Burma, namely the southern portion of Shan State; Kayah State andKawthoolei State via the West Thanon Thongchai Mountains and the rivers Salween and Moei which serve as natural boundaries between the countries. To the south it connects to the district of Tha Song Yang, Tak via the rivers Yuam and Ngao which serve as a provincial boundary. To the east it connects to the districts of Wiang HaengChiang DaoMae TaengMae ChaemHot and Omkoi in Chiang Mai Province via the Central andEast Thanon Thongchai mountain ranges that serve as a boundary line between the two provinces.

Every district in Mae Hong Son Province shares a common border with the Union of Burma approximately 483 kilometres in total length. Of this, approximately 326 kilometres is land and 157 kilometres are rivers (not counting the Salween, 127 km, and Moei, 30 km).[1]

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