Soppong lies in a tight river valley about 130 kms north of Chiang Mai and 30 Km. from Pai to the South and 70 Km. from the provincial capital of Mae Hong Son to the northwest.
No matter how you approach Soppong and the Lisu village you will no doubt experience at least part of the exciting and dynamic highway scenery and mind tingling curves in the road. For motor cyclists it is a joy.
Soppong is known for its many caves that are easily accessible with one large enough to boat through called Tham Lod. The morning and evening spectacle of millions of bats and swifts exchanging roosts flying in and out of the cave is awesome.
The town of Soppong is hardly scenic, more like a neglected cowboy town of the American West. On closer observation one becomes aware of a town on the brink of discovery and rapid development. There is a fine coffee, beer, ice cream treats and most importantly the towns only information point where free local information is dished out to all who enquire.
It’s a river town and if you venture behind the store fronts you will be treated to great views of the Lang River canyon. The best time to swim in the river is in the winter months, especially February thru May, after which the monsoon rains start and the river becomes to wild for swimming but excellent for rafting and kayaking and bird watching. Don’t let the rains scare you, it’s actually our favorite time of year when every growing thing bursts forth in all it’s colorful beauty and splendor. Gardens are bountiful. The nights are cool and days mostly sunny.
If you enjoy hiking, elephant riding, discovering ancient hill tribe villages cultures, biking, birding, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures then you will love Pangmapha district and surrounds. It’s not a night life town but you can find many folks sitting around a twilight campfire having a sociable drink and enjoying lively conversation. It helps if you speak a little Thai; you will soon find many self made teachers eager to entertain them selves by chuckling at your attempts to speak the language.
Soppong Market Day
Every Tuesday a market on wheels comes to town and it’s a great time for shopping local grown produce (like a farmer’s market) of which much is organic.
Our local Market is classed as one of the highlights of Soppong as it is one of the few Markets where you can amble at your own pace and interact with the many ethnic minorities all congregating here once a week after arduous journeys from the high mountains surrounding us. Although market day is the most popular time for tourists to visit Soppong you will still be hard pressed even in peak season to bump into another westerner.
There are is also clothes and fabrics, hardware, knock off CD’s and DVD’s, and delicious home made goodies to munch on, as well as many medicinal and pot herbs to sample. It’s a gay affair not to be missed.