Mae Hong Son Province

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son Temple (132668251).jpeg
Flag of Mae Hong Son
Official seal of Mae Hong Son
Map of Thailand highlighting Mae Hong Son Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Mae Hong Son Province
CapitalMae Hong Son
 • GovernorSuwaphong Kitiphatphibun
(since October 2019)[1]
 • Total12,681 km2 (4,896 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 8th
 • Total282,566
 • RankRanked 70th
 • Density22.3/km2 (58/sq mi)
 • Density rankRanked 77th
Human Achievement Index
 • HAI (2017)0.4637 low
Ranked 77th
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
postal code
calling code052 & 053
ISO 3166 codeTH-58

Mae Hong Son Province (Thai: แม่ฮ่องสอน, pronounced [mɛ̂ː.hɔ̂ŋ.sɔ̌ːn]; formerly called Mae Rong Son), also spelled Maehongson, Mae Hong Sorn or Maehongsorn, is one of the northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand, on the country's western border. Neighboring provinces are (clockwise from north) Shan State of Myanmar, Chiang Mai and Tak. To the west, the province borders Kayin State and Kayah State of Myanmar. Mae Hong Son's nickname is "the city of three mists". It is hemmed in by the high mountain ranges of the Shan Hills and is the most mountainous province in Thailand, occupying 12,681 square kilometres (4,896 sq mi).[2] The province is often covered with mist. Mae Hong Son town was originally established in the early-19th century as an elephant training camp as ordered by the then King of Chiang Mai. As of 2012 Mae Hong Son was the poorest province in Thailand.[5]



Salween River at Mae Sam Laep, Sop Moei District. Left is Myanmar.

Mae Hong Son Province is approximately 924 kilometres (574 mi) north of Bangkok by road. 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, and Kawthoolei State, via the Dawna Range, and the Salween and Moei Rivers. These formations serve as natural boundaries between the countries. To the south, it borders the district of Tha Song Yang and Tak, via the rivers Yuam and Ngao, which serve as a provincial boundary. To the east it borders the districts of Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao, Mae Taeng, Mae Chaem, Hot and Omkoi in Chiang Mai Province, via the central and east sections of the Thanon Thongchai mountain ranges, which serve as a boundary between the two provinces.

Every district in Mae Hong Son Province shares a common border, measuring approximately 483 kilometres in total length, with Myanmar. The common border consists of approximately 326 km (203 mi) of land boundary and 157 km (98 mi) of river boundary (not counting the Salween, 127 km (79 mi), and Moei, 30 km (19 mi)).[6]


Most of the areas of Mae Hong Son Province are the complex mountain ranges of the Thai highlands, parts of which are still covered with rain forest. Of the approximately 6,976,650 rai of national forest reserves, it is estimated that 88 percentage is forested.[7]

The Daen Lao Range, in the northernmost portion of the province, marks the northern boundary between Thailand and Burma, while the Dawna Range in the west serves as the boundary between Thailand and Burma. The Thanon Thongchai Range in the east of the province serves as the boundary between the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai. The highest point of the province is Doi Mae Ya (ยอดเขาแม่ยะ), in the Pai District in the province's northeast, at 2,005 metres (6,578 ft) elevation.[8]


Mae Hong Son province has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification category Aw). Winters are dry and warm. Temperatures rise until May. Mansoon season runs from May through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm. Temperature statistics: It's maximum temperature is 44.6 °C (112.3 °F) on 28 April 2016 and the lowest temperature is 3.9 °C (39.0 °F). The highest average temperature is 35.6 °C (96.1 °F) on 25 December 1999 and the minimum average temperature is 18.0 °C (64.4 °F). The average relative humidity is 96.99% and the minimum relative humidity is 20%. Annual rainfall is 1,064.9 millimeters and on 23 April 1968 was for 24 hour the rainfall 130.4 mm. The number of rainy days was 130 days for a year.[9]
Weather box Mae Hong Son and Weather box Mae Sariang

National parks[edit]

There are 4 national parks an 1 proposed national park, with total area of 3,411 (8,834 sq.mi).[10]
* Huai Nam Dang National Park, 1,252 (3,243 sq.mi)
* Salawin National Park, 721 (1,867 sq.mi)
* Tham Pla-Namtok Phu Suea National park, 630 (1,631 sq.mi)
* Namtok Mae Surin National park, 396 (1,026 sq.mi)
* Mae Ngao National park (postponed), 412 (1,067 sq.mi)

Wildlife sanctuaries[edit]

There are 6 ordinances, with total area of 3,684 (9,541 sq.mi).[11]
* Lum Nam Pai Wildlife Sanctuary, 1,180 (3,056 sq.mi)
* Salawin Wildlife Sanctuary, 955 (2,474 sq.mi)
* Mae Lao-Mae Sae Wildlife Sanctuary, 514 (1,331 sq.mi)
* Doi Wiang La Wildlife Sanctuary, 466 (1,207 sq.mi)
* Mae Yuam Fang Khwa Wildlife Sanctuary, 292 (756 sq.mi)
* Sun Pan Dam Wildlife Sanctuary, 277 (717 sq.mi).

Water resources[edit]

There are 31 water reservoirs with total capacity of 12.31 million cubic meters, such as:

  • Huai So Tue, capacity 1,880,000 cub.m.
  • Huai Fai Kho, capacity 950,000 cub.m.
  • Huai Mae Hong Son, cap. 734,000 cub.m.
  • Huai Mae Salap, cap. 700,000 cub.m.

Further there are 617 groundwater wells, which are used to drill groundwater for general use.[12]

Mineral resources[edit]

Among the minerals that have been discovered in the province are: limestone, coal, lignite, lead, zinc, tin, tungsten, antimony, fluoride and feldspar. The mineral area is approximately 2,440 (19% of provinces area).[13]


The territory of Mae Hong Son Province was formerly part of Mawkmai State, one of the Shan States which had been founded in 1767 by Hsai Khiao, hailing from a noble family of Chiang Mai.[14] As a result of the Anglo-Siamese Boundary Commission of 1892-1893, Mae Hong Son District was ceded to Siam,[15] but the adjacent Möngmaü and Mehsakun trans-Salween Districts also claimed by Siam (as territories on the eastern side of the Salween River), were kept as part of British Burma.[16]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of districts

The province is divided into 7 districts (amphoes). These are further subdivided into 45 subdistricts (tambons) and 415 villages (mubans).[17]
Local government consists of 50 organizations: 1 Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO). Mae Hong Son itself is a Town municipality (thesaban mueang), which covers tambon Chong Khom. There are 6 Subdistrict municipalities (thesaban tambon) and 42 Subdistrict Administrative Organizations (SAO).[3][18]

  1. Mae Hong Son
  2. Khun Yuam
  3. Pai
  4. Mae Sariang
  1. Mae La Noi
  2. Sop Moei
  3. Pang Mapha


Ethnic diversity[edit]

Tai Yai people is the largest population group in the province, they migrated from Shan State in Myanmar. Further there are 7 hill tribes which consists of 63 percentage of the total province's population, namely Karen, Lahu, Lisu, Lua, Miao, Chinese Yunnan and Pa-O people. The Karen are not one single group, but rather a mix of closely related tribes. Among the smallest of the Karen tribes in Thailand are Kayan Lahwi. This group's women are recognized by the large brass rings they wear around their necks. Population density is 22.0/ the lowest of all provinces.[19]


  • Tai Yai people have their own language. The written language with round alphabets is like Mon and Burmese script.
  • Karen and Chinese Haw have their own spoken and written language.
  • Lahu, Lisu and Lua people have their own spoken language, but written language uses the Latin alphabet.[20]


Most religious followers in Mae Hong Son, namely 77.5 percentage, believe in Buddhism, followed by Christianity at 20.9 percentage and Islam at 0.5 percentage. About 1.1 percentage believes in animism and other religions.[21]


The provincial seal, Rup chang nai thong nam (รูปช้างในท้องน้ำ), meaning 'image of an elephant in a body of water', is a reference to the training of wild elephants for battle and various types of animal labour. "Rup chang nai thong nam" was selected as the provincial seal because it refers to Mae Hong Son's founding, which began with Lord Kaeo of Ma being sent to capture elephants for the Lord of Chiang Mai (1825–1846). Once in Mae Hong Son, he gathered the scattered Shan settlements to establish two main villages, Ban Pang Mu and Ban Mae Hong Son, that would be ruled by their elected leaders.

The provincial flag is horizontally divided in dark brown/blue/dark brown (1:3:1) with the image of the provincial seal in the middle of the flag.[22]

The provincial tree is the Millettia brandisiana (Thai: กระพี้จั่น; RTGSkraphichan).

The provincial flower is the Tree marigold (Thai: บัวตอง; RTGSbuatong).

The official provincial slogan promoted by the Thai government is หมอกสามฤดู กองมูเสียดฟ้า ป่าเขียวขจี ผู้คนดี ประเพณีงาม ลือนามถิ่นบัวตอง (RTGSmok sam ruedu, kong mu siat fa, pa khiao khachi, phu khon di, prapheni ngam, lue nam thin bua tong) "Mists throughout the three seasons, the Kong Mu (monastery) that scrapes the sky, verdant forests, gentle people, beautiful customs; renowned land of sunflowers".



Higher educational institutions are:
* Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, Mae Hong Son campus.[23][circular reference]
* Mae Hong Son Community College.[24][circular reference]
* Nawamintrachinaracha Industrial and Community Education College.
* Mae Sariang Industrial and Community Education College.
There are 8 secondary schools in Mae Hong Son province.[25]


Every district has a hospital. There are also 72 subdistrict health promoting hospitals. Further there are 63 public health centers, 10 insect-induced disease control centers, 15 malaria clinics, 21 community malaria centers and 1 health service (Thanyarak Mae Hong Son hospital).[26]



There are 4 major roads in the province:[27]
* Highway from Hot district of Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, distance 345 km
* Highway from Mae Tang district of Chiang Mai province to Mae Hong Son, distance 246 km.
* Highway from Mae Sot district of Tak province to Mae Hong Son.
* Highway from Mae Chaem district of Chiang Mai province to Khun Yuam district of Mae Hong Son province, distance 90 km.

Public transport[edit]

Two bus companies (Prem Pracha Transport Co and Sombat Tour Co.) operate 4 bus services:[28]
* Bangkok - Mae Hong Son, distance is 928 km, travel time is 17 hours.
* Chiang Mai - Mae Sariang - Mae Hong Son,distance is 359 km, travel time is 8 hours.
* Chiang Mai (Pai district) - Mae Hong Son, distance is 250 km, travel time is 6 hours.
* Mae Sot district of Tak province - Mae Sariang district of Mae Hong Son.

Air transport[edit]

Bangkok Airways provides daily flights between Chiang Mai International Airport and Mae Hong Son Airport.[29]
From 2011 till April 2017 Kan Air provided flights between Chiang Mai International Airport and Pai Airport.


Mae Hong Son is generated with electricity from power stations in Chiang Mai province (districts Chom Thong, Hot and Mae Taeng), including 8 power sources within Mae Hong Son province, such as:[30]

  • Pha Bong Dam Hydro Plant
  • Mae Sa Nga Dam Hydro Plant
  • Mae Sariang Hydro Plant
  • Mae Hong Son Diesel Power Plant
  • Pha Bong Solar Power Plant

In 2015 of all households 83 percentage were electricity-distributed, 17 percentage were without electricity.[31]


As of 2018 there were 65,153 households, of which: 2.1 percentage used telephone, 15.2 percentage used computer with no internet connection and 45.5 percentage used computer with internet connection.
As of 2018 there were 182.615 people aged 6 years and older, of which 22.2 percentage used computer, 38.9 percentage used internet and 81.3 percentage used mobile phone.[32]

Human achievement index 2017[edit]

Since 2003, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Thailand has tracked progress on human development at sub-national level using the Human achievement index (HAI), a composite index covering all the eight key areas of human development. National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has taken over this task since 2017.[4]
Province Mae Hong Son, with an HAI 2017 value of 0.4637 is "low", occupies 77th place in the ranking and remains at the bottom of this rank list.

Index for the province Mae Hong Son[4]
HAI indices Map Index Rank list
Health 2 0.5574 45th
Education 3 0.2043 75th
Employment 4 0.7195 9th
Income 5 0.3062 74th
Housing and environment 6 0.5969 76th
Family and community life 7 0.4522 69th
Transport and communication 8 0.2359 77th
Participation 9 0.6371 19th
HAI 2017 1 0.4637 77th

Events and festivals[edit]

  • Poi Sang Long Procession (งานประเพณีปอยส่างลอง)
  • Chong Phara Procession (งานประเพณีจองพารา)
  • Bua Tong Blossom Festival (งานวันดอกบัวตองบาน)
  • Loi Krathong Festival (ประเพณีลอยกระทง หรือ งานเหลินสิบสอง)
  • Small World Festival[33]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • "A Season in Mae Hong Son", in: Forbes, Andrew, and Henley, David, Ancient Chiang Mai Volume 3. Chiang Mai, Cognoscenti Books, 2012. ASIN: B006IN1RNW


Reports (data) from Thai government are "not copyrightable" (Public Domain), Copyright Act 2537 (1994), section 7.



  1. ^ "ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง แต่งตั้งข้าราชการพลเรือนสามัญ" [Announcement of the Prime Minister's Office regarding the appointment of civil servants] (PDF). Royal Thai Government Gazette. 136 (Special 242 Ngor). 18. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b Advancing Human Development through the ASEAN Community, Thailand Human Development Report 2014, table 0:Basic Data (PDF) (Report). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-974-680-368-7. Retrieved 17 January 2016, Data has been supplied by Land Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, at Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b "ร่ยงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ศ.2561" [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2018]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. (in Thai). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c ดัชนีความก้าวหน้าของคน ปี2560 [Human Achievement Index - HAI year 2017] (PDF). (Report) (in Thai). National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). 2017. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-974-9769-33-1. Retrieved 14 September 2019, Maps 1-9
  5. ^ "Richest 0.1% own half of nation's assets". The Nation. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Location". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Forest resources". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Topography". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Climate". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  10. ^ "National Parks". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Wildlife sanctuaries". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Water resources". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Mineral resources". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  14. ^ Ben Cahoon (2000). "World Shan and Karenni States of Burma". Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  15. ^ Home News General - Thailand and Britain Swap Boundary Maps Archived 2015-12-25 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 17, p. 236.
  17. ^ "Changwat Amphoe Tambon Khet Kwang version 14" (PDF). Directory by Office of the Royal Society. 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019 page 152
  18. ^ "local government organization information separated by provinces". Department of Local Administration. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2019, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Population". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Language". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Religion". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Symbols". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, Mae Hong Son campus".
  24. ^ "Mae Hong Son Community College".
  25. ^ "Education". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  26. ^ "Healthcare". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Roads". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  28. ^ "Public transport". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  29. ^ "Air transport". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  30. ^ "Power stations". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Electricity". Mae Hong Son province. 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Small World Mae Hong Son Festival". Web Sawadee Public Company Limited. Retrieved 6 December 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 19°17′17″N 97°57′52″E / 19.28806°N 97.96444°E / 19.28806; 97.96444