Mae Sariang is one of the greatest spots to stop along the Mae Hong Son as you discover the stunning scenery and rich culture of the isolated Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand. I would characterize my time in Mae Sariang as tranquil. Mae Sariang, a tranquil hamlet wedged between the northern Thai mountains and the River Yuam, located about 200 kilometers from Chiang Mai.
Take a look at the Mae Sariang Morning Market
The Morning Market is the best site to see how the locals of Mae Sariang live a modest existence, therefore I would advise you to go there first on your first day there. I would advise you to attend between 5:30 AM and late 8 AM, when the Morning Market opens and the throng begins to thin out. You can find several shops selling fresh fruits and vegetables inside the market, as well as a Halal congee breakfast establishment where you may sit and observe Mae Sariang’s leisurely way of life. You may leave your car at Wat Jong Soong, another worthwhile destination worth seeing, and then go over to the early-morning market.
Visit Wat Jong Soong to see the Burmese temples
Wat Jong Soong is a temple that is conveniently close to the Morning Market. You will need to park your car here when you visit the Morning Market, and the temple itself has some really lovely Mon-style structures and pagodas. Given that Wat Jong Soong is more than a century old and has survived the fire catastrophe that severely destroyed the majority of the temple in the late 19th century, its well-preserved Mon-style pagodas are indeed a sight to see. You may also discover modern structures with multi-tiered roofs, vibrant paint jobs, and Thai Northern style paper lanterns surrounding them that are designed in an architectural style called Mon that is unique to Thailand, like the structure pictured above. Before we proceed to our next destination, the Mae Sariang Museum, spend 10 to 20 minutes exploring the temple grounds.
Consider visiting the Mae Sariang Museum
The stunning Mae Sariang Museum, built in the Mon architectural style, is one of the first structures you will see when you arrive in Mae Sariang. Mae Sariang and Mae Hong Son province have a touch of Mon culture all over the place because of their proximity to the natural boundary between Myanmar and Thailand.
The Mae Sariang Museum, a building with a towering, multi-tiered roof architecture evocative of those in Mandalay, Myanmar, is the product of the fusion of several civilizations. From the outside, it is a stunning building and a significant local landmark that should not be overlooked. Although I was unable to view the exhibits inside the museum since it was closed due to COVID-19, I still think it is worth mentioning because of its stunning appearance.
Wat Chom Thong Viewpoint Climb
For Thais, visiting the three “Chom” temples for blessings is one of the most well-liked activities in Mae Sariang. They called it the “3 Chom” temples because the names of the three temples, which I will list here, all begin with the letter “Chom.” Because the three temples are perched atop three distinctively tall hills that surround Mae Sariang, they provide fantastic views of the town from all three directions. The Wat Chom Thong, the first Chom temple and the one closest to the town center, is one you should visit early in the day when the sun is still tolerable.
You may drive up to Wat Chom Thong, where there is a 300-step climb up to the summit for a breathtaking view of Mae Sariang and the surrounding mountains and rice paddies. At the peak, there is a sizable golden Buddha figure and an open platform from which you can see the entire surrounding area. I promise you the view from the platform is worth every effort it took to get it. To really experience Mae Sariang’s aerial magnificence, if you have a drone with you, take it up in the air and fly about.
Enjoy the Scenery Wat Phrathat Chom Mon is located across the Yuam River
Another “Chom” temple, Wat Phrathat Chom Mon, is situated across the huge river Yuam and provides another fantastic vantage point of Mae Sariang from the opposite side of the river. Wat Phrathat Chom Mon, which is in the northern region of Mae Sariang, requires a little bit of a drive via some dubious roads, but you will also get to view the area’s more rural side, where inhabitants care to their rice fields. The pagoda gives a distinct viewpoint from the other “Chom” temples with a closer look over the River Yuam and the mountains around it. You may drive to it without having to walk there.
Viewpoint Wat Chom Kitti is a must-see
Last but not least, Wat Chom Kitti, which lies south of Mae Sariang Town, provides yet another stunning perspective of the surrounding countryside and Mae Sariang environment. To get to Wat Chom Kitti, you must climb a steep, winding road to the summit of the Chom Kitti hill, where you may stroll and see a white pagoda built in the Mon style as well as an observation platform with a 360-degree view of Mae Sariang.
Mitmaitre Coffee serves beverages next to the Yuam River
Now that you have seen all three Chom temples, we can go on to something a little more pleasant. Let’s start with a coffee at Mitmaitre Coffee Shop, a well-liked café among the locals, which is located by the Yuam river. There is no better spot to drink coffee, take in the scenery, and let time pass than the Mitmaitre Coffee Shop, which is located directly by the River Yuam. This café has a Thai traditional wooden structure and a platform that has been created by the river.
An iced coffee costs roughly 50 THB, which is a pretty inexpensive offering for the view you enjoy from the café. The coffee and pastries are likewise reasonably priced. Every day at midday, when residents come out to mingle with their peers, the Mitmaitre Coffee Shop, which is open from 8 AM to 7 PM, is crowded. Fortunately, the café has a ton of chairs, lots of plug connections, and quick WI-FI, so if you’re searching for somewhere to catch up with your loved ones back home, this cafe is a terrific location to stop by.
Through the evening walking street, eat your way around
Mae Sariang differs from other walking streets in Thailand in that it does not need you to plan and time your trips to coincide with weekends or specific days of the week. Every evening, except on Tuesday and Thursday, Mae Sariang Walking Street takes place in a different location depending on the day you visit. You may enjoy inexpensive street cuisine there, ranging from 15 THB noodles to 10 THB sweets and snacks. For about two dollars, you can have a full three-course feast of street cuisine. The price stays the same!
Typically, the walking street begins at 4 PM and lasts until 7 or 8 PM. The walking street may be found at the following areas on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday while you are visiting Mae Sariang.