None of Mae Hong Son‘s provincial districts lie further north than Pang Mapha. The name appropriately translates to ‘lime hill’ in English. The district shares the same name as Pang Mapha Village. This village is better known as Soppong.
The isolated Pang Mapha section of northern Thailand is most famous as the home of some of the world’s largest prehistoric caves. Much of Pang Mapha’s history lies within these caves. The best known of Pang Mapha’s caves, the Spirit Cave, was inhabited as early as 9000 BC, but not officially discovered until the 1960s.
Pang Mapha became a popular overnight stop as the halfway point between Mae Hong Son and Pai. The Japanese originally constructed the main road between these two northern Thai communities during WWII. The Khong River is Pang Mapha’s main waterway, while Daen Lao is the dominant mountain range. Pang Mapha’s other natural attractions include wild orchids, authentic teak forests, and plenty of birds and butterflies.