Pang Tong Palace / Mae Hong Son , This ‘unseen’ spot in Mae Hong Son area is unknown to tourists and you probably won’t even find English information about it online – as I personally struggled with it. This place is mostly known to the local heavy bikers, for whom Mae Hong Son is a piece of heaven. It abounds with lovely nature – the most beautiful in northern Thailand – and doesn’t suffer from the tourist crowds that rush to visit Chiang Mai and other sites in the north.
Pang Tong Palace is one of the royal family’s projects, that were designed to promote agriculture in Mae Hong Son area. Specifically, their intent was to promote the research, study and development of local agriculture for the villagers – and trade the opium crops for modern agriculture as their new and improved source of income.
The site covers a large piece of land, which can be explored by car. It features beautiful gardens, coffee and fruit plantations of all sorts, sheep, horses and other animals. There is also a little zoo there, with wild cats, peacocks and large birds such as the famous Hornbill.
The Pang Tong Palace is groomed and adorned, with spectacular gardens, flowers of various sorts including orchids for instance. You may travel freely by foot or drive around by car, enjoy the lovely flowers, feed the local sheep, feast your eyes on the wide selection of birds, peacocks etc.
One of the most interesting animals you’ll find here is the Asian Palm Civet – a special cat breed, which is connected to the production of the most expensive coffee in the world.
This cat species picks and eats the best, ripest coffee beans, and once the beans are partially digested in the cats’ stomach, they are secreted, collected, cleaned and dried, before they are roasted like other coffee beans. The common claim is that the coffee been selection and partial digestion by this wild cat species results in a unique, high quality taste. You can have a taste in the local villages, but personally I haven’t tried it yet.
The local heavy bikers in Mae Hong Son area also make this place distinct – as you won’t meet them elsewhere – in crowded tourist destinations. Here you can see them everywhere, and they are always nice and friendly, happy to greet and talk to you.
The following sites are a short drive away from Pang Tong Palace:
My opinion: a lovely place to visit
♥ Pang Tong Palace is included in Tiptop Travel tour plans in northern Thailand
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