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Mae Hong Son


Maehongson, Thailand's northern border city, hiding itself in between the towering mountains with densely forested slopes, stretching to the Burmese border. Maehongson is known for its charm of scenery and culture. The people of Maehongson consists of the Shans who live in the city and the hill tribe people who live in remote villages on mountain tops where elements of lifestyle have changed little in hundreds of years. The Shans' ancestors came from Shans region in Burma. The hill tribe people consist of Karen, Lisu, Mhong, Lahu, and Lua. Both the Shans and the hill tribemen have their own distinctive cultures. They have their own lilting dialect, their own architectural lifestyles, their own customs and traditions, and their own delicious cuisine. Throughout the year, Maehongson holds many festivals and events. Tourists can observe the distinction cultures from these events. There are different dances, rituals, and ceremonies for different events and festivals. Even the foods are different for each event. The most remarkable tradition and also the most important event for the Shans is "Poy Sanglong Festival" which is the ordination ceremony for the Shans' boys. The event is held in March and there is one big celebration throughout the city. The city is covered with the mist all year long. Maehongson gains its nickname of "the City of Three Mists" from the fact that it has dewy mist in the winter, forest fire mist in the summer and rainy mist in the rainy season.

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