a VirtualTourist member asked on Sep 13, 2013
I bought flight tickets from Chiangmai to Mae Hong Son by mistake, in fact my destination is Pai! Understanding that it may take a few hours from MHS to Pai by van, shall I give up the flight and take a van from Chiangmai to Pai instead? Or will it be easy to hire a taxi from MHS to Pai and approx how much will it cost?
My experience tell me that either way is almost the same, Pai is in between. Since you have brought the ticket why not spend a day of two at Mae Hong Song? If you fly to Mae Hong Song then travel back to Pai, you will have to spend some time on the flight and travel back to Pai this decision is not advisable, you might as well just buy a bus trip to Pai which will save you some precious time. Mae Hong Song is a quite and laid back town, to me I love it.
Don't give up on MHS too soon ... As said above, spend some time there, it's really nice.
Thanks for the advice. The wrong flight simply defeated my purpose of time saving. As I've already booked lodging in Pai, perhaps I'll spend a few hours in MHS at least visit the lake, then take a van to Pai
Good advice by limkahwan, as Pai is around halfway between MHS and CM. Better to arrive at the smaller town and catch a bus to Pai. MHS is certainly worth a look around before you join the hoards of foreigners sitting in cafes and restaurants in Pai.
Many thanks for the advice, let me take it as a bonus to visit MHS
Agree with David about Pai. I personally don't like it very much. It's a small town that has too many tourists (Thai and foreigners). I like MHS more.
I first visited Pai back in '92 when there were 4 or 5 simple GHs by the river and a few backpackers. It was a really beautiful place back then but now it is the Khao San Road of the north with restaurants, GHs everywhere, massages, etc where foreigners sit for hours together without really seeing interacting with the locals. I was quite dissappointed with my last visit there a few years ago. however if you have never been there you can enjoy hot springs, waterfalls, elephant rides and rent a bike/motorbike and explore the area.
MHS is beautiful with a lake in the center, a wat nearby with a few GHs scattered around the lake. There is also a Wat a couple of kms out of town with a good view. There are trips to see the longneck women which i don't recommend.
Halfway between MHS and Pai you will reach Soppong and There is a wonderful Gh run by an Australian (John Spies) that i have known for 20 years. He will arrange trekking, cave trips and his lodge is well worth a stay. Take a look at the website.