Pang Mapha district

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Pang Mapha
School of rock mahseer at Tham Pla–Namtok Pha Suea National Park, Pang Mapha
District location in Mae Hong Son province
District location in Mae Hong Son province
Coordinates: 19°31′21″N 98°14′46″E / 19.52250°N 98.24611°E / 19.52250; 98.24611Coordinates: 19°31′21″N 98°14′46″E / 19.52250°N 98.24611°E / 19.52250; 98.24611
ProvinceMae Hong Son
SeatSop Pong
 • Total798.375 km2 (308.254 sq mi)
 • Total19,708
 • Density24.7/km2 (64/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code58150

Pang Mapha (Thai: ปางมะผ้า, pronounced [pāːŋ mā.pʰâː]) is the northernmost district (amphoe) of Mae Hong Son province, northern Thailand.


In the Shan language, mapha or makpha (มะผ้า or หมากผ้า) means 'lime' and pang means 'hill', so a rough translation into English might be 'lime hill'.


Several prehistoric sites are known within the Pang Mapha area.[1] The most famous one is the Spirit Cave, discovered by Chester Gorman in the mid-1960s, was occupied from about 9000 till 5500 BCE by Hoabinhian hunters and gatherers. Two other significant sites nearby are the Banyan Valley Cave and the Steep Cliff Cave. Much more recent are the coffin caves like Tham Lot.

During World War II Japanese troops built a road from Pai to Mueang Mae Hong Son and further to Burma. Later people used the road for transport, using Ban Soppong Mae Umong (บ้านสบป่องแม่อูมอง) as the overnight stop. The government built a police station in 1948 in the area called Pang Mapha. In 1977 the government improved the road, many people from other districts and provinces, hill tribes and refugees from Myanmar moved to the area. This created problems like drug trafficking and deforestation. To improve the administration of the area, the government created the Pang Mapha minor district (king amphoe) on 1 April 1987, by splitting the two tambons Sop Pong and Pang Mapha from Mueang Mae Hong Son district.[2] It was upgraded to a full district on 5 December 1996.[3]


The Daen Lao Range dominates the landscape of this district. Neighboring districts are (from southeast clockwise): Pai, Mueang Mae Hong Son of Mae Hong Son Province and Shan State of Myanmar.

The main river of the district is the Khong River.

Tham Lot cave is in Tham Lot District.


The district is divided into four sub-districts (tambons), which are further subdivided into 38 villages (mubans). There are no municipal (thesaban) areas. There are four tambon administrative organizations (TAO).

No. Name Thai name Villages Pop.
1. Sop Pong สบป่อง 8 7,398
2. Pang Mapha ปางมะผ้า 11 4,017
3. Tham Lot ถ้ำลอด 7 3,784
4. Na Pu Pom นาปู่ป้อม 12 4,509


  1. ^ Wipatayotin, Apinya (11 February 2018). "Finding common ground" (Spectrum). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  2. ^ ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง แบ่งเขตท้องที่อำเภอเมืองแม่ฮ่องสอน จังหวัดแม่ฮ่องสอน ตั้งเป็นกิ่งอำเภอปางมะผ้า (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 104 (67 ง): 2485. April 9, 1987.
  3. ^ พระราชกฤษฎีกาตั้งอำเภอเหนือคลอง อำเภอนายายอาม อำเภอท่าตะเกียบ อำเภอขุนตาล อำเภอแม่ฟ้าหลวง อำเภอแม่ลาว อำเภอรัษฎา อำเภอพุทธมณฑล อำเภอวังน้ำเขียว อำเภอเจาะไอร้อง อำเภอชำนิ อำเภอโนนดินแดง อำเภอปางมะผ้า อำเภอสนธิ อำเภอหนองม่วง อำเภอเบญจลักษ์ อำเภอโพนนาแก้ว อำเภอบุ่งคล้า อำเภอดอนมดแดง และอำเภอลืออำนาจ พ.ศ. ๒๕๓๙ (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 113 (62 ก): 5–8. November 20, 1996.

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