Sop Moei is one of the most unspoiled corners of Thailand thanks to the lack of organised tourism in this isolated section of the country. Most people who make their way to this largely undiscovered northern Thailand district are mainly attracted by Sop Moei’s outstanding natural beauty and breathtaking national parks.
MAE NGAO NATIONAL PARK
Many of Sop Moei’s most spectacular natural attractions are located within Mae Ngao National Park. The serene landscape of this national park is filled with impressive mountain ranges, fragrant teak forests, and crystal clear bodies of water. The Ngao River flows 42kms across Mae Ngao National Park and is part of the border between the provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak. This important river serves as a significant means of transportation for local hill tribes as well as a prime rafting spot for tourists.
A two day round trip by foot through the jungle is the only way to reach Mae Ngao National Park’s Doi Pui Luang mountain. Climbers can also camp 1,700m above sea level at the main Doi Pui Luang sightseeing spot, where the weather is cold and the view is foggy during the coldest winter months.
Oloh-gro and Mae Wa-luang are a couple of Mae Ngao National Park’s most spectacular waterfalls. The route to the multi-tier Mae Wa-luang waterfall takes hikers past many different types of birds and plants. The three day round trip to the 150m high Oloh-gro Waterfall, which stands in Mae Ngao National Park’s southeast corner, includes two overnight stays at a traditional Karen village. It takes about three hours to hike from the Karen village to the Oloh-gro Waterfall.
Mae Ngao National Park: M. 8, Baan Mae Ngao, T. Mae Suat, A. Sop Moei, Mae Hong Son 58110 | Entrance Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 071 471 | Website | Map
MAE SAM LAEP
Mae Sam Laep is a picturesque village located on the Salawin River’s edge near northern Thailand’s border with Myanmar. The 45kms drive along the hilly and curvy Route 1194 between Mae Sam Laep and the larger town of Mae Sariang is a scenic adventure in its own right.
Mae Sam Laep consists of a series of hillside bamboo shacks facing the Salawin River. A single concrete track containing a handful of noodle and rice shops leads to the river. Mae Sam Laep’s main draw for tourists, however, is the boat pier where long and skinny wooden vessels with roofs depart for journeys to Tha Ta Fang.
Mae Sam Laep: T. Mae Sam Laep, A. Sop Moei, Mae Hong Son 58110 | Tel: +66 53 071 586 | Website | Email | Map
SALAWIN NATIONAL PARK
Mae Sam Laep is situated near another breathtaking Sop Moei national park, Salawin. Salawin National Park shares its name with the rocky Salawin River. This flows past the forested Dawna mountain range, a Karen village named Ta Tar Fan, limestone hills which stand up to 1,000m tall, and the country’s second tallest teak tree.
Asian redwood and teak trees grow along Salawin National Park’s several hiking trails. Those who wish to camp in tents or spend at least one night in one of Salawin National Park’s bungalows can make advance arrangements with the Royal Forest Department. The main headquarters at Salawin National Park is conveniently located just six kilometres from Mae Sariang. Visitors can also travel by boat between Mae Sam Laep and the main Salawin National Park headquarters.
Salawin National Park: P.O. Box 8, A. Mae Sariang, Mae Hong Son 58110 | Entrance Fees: Adult 100 B / Child 50 B | Tel: +66 53 071 429, +66 81 366 7356 | Website | Map