Long-tail boat trips on the nearby Mae Nam Pai are popular, and the same guesthouses and trekking agencies that organise hikes from Mae Hong Son can arrange river excursions. The most common trip sets off from Tha Pong Daeng, 4km southwest of Mae Hong Son. Boats travel 15km downstream to the ‘long-neck’ village of Huay Pu Keng (700B, one hour) or all the way to the border outpost of Ban Nam Phiang Din (800B, 1½ hours), 20km from the pier, before returning. Boats can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers.
Mae Hong Son’s location at the edge of mountainous forest makes it an excellent base for hikes into the countryside. Trekking here is not quite the large-scale industry it is elsewhere, and visitors willing to get their boots muddy can expect to find relatively untouched nature and isolated villages.
Multiday hikes in groups of two people range from 1000B to 3000B per person, per day. As is the case elsewhere in Thailand, the per-day rates drop significantly with a larger group and a longer trek.