Baan Rak Thai

Last Updated on April 28, 2023

Mae Aw

Baan Rak Thai is a Yunnan-Chinese village the location on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. They come from Yunnan state south of China and were military KMT troops.

The village has popular into a tourist destination after Pang Oung booming since used the background scenes in advertising movies many years ago. Meanwhile, that makes tourists get to know more about Baan Rak Thai and increasing on social media.

The highlight is delicious food that tastes similar to Thai food. And there is a shopping center where shopping is in the blood of many people.

Previously, I was taking a tourist to this village 20 years ago as a break for lunch and a walk to see the way of life with talking about history a bit.

By now, the locals produce the famous Chinese tea, U-long (No.12), Shing-Shing and serve Chinese original dishes.

A short history of Baan Rak Thai

Chinese refugees settling in Northern Thailand in 1949 after the Communist takeover of China, several Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) fled the mainland.

One group is Chinese Yunnan consisting of the 93rd and 95th divisions moving south into Burma and finally moving to Thailand. The Thai government offered land for residence.

Both divisions were located at the border of Fang District, Chiang Mai, and Mae Salong District, Chiang Rai. Later, some of them moved to Doi Pha Tang, Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai along the border of Laos PRD.

For Mae Aw, it was a small battalion, later distributed in Mae Hong Son, namely Ban Rung Arun and Ban Santichon in Pai.

This village of 1,200 people is known as Mae Aw and changed to Baan Rak Thai which means “the Thai-Loving Village.”

Where is Baan Rak Thai

Mae Aw is the first name if you are searching for this word. Baan Rak Thai which is located close to the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Go up the north of Muang District, Mae Hong Son, a distance of 44 km, going on the rural road 4001 on a steep mountain and it takes about 1 hour.

speed slowly
Slow and steady.

How to get there

Day tour or Taxi Service

You can find a day trip tour or maybe get a join group if available. At least look for a service car with a driver that would be good.

Private Car or Motobike

Self-driving is challenging. You should know and remind that the route is steep and narrow. We recommend and required advanced driving skills.

There are not many rental cars in Mae Hong Son. As for motorbike rental, there are 3 locations, read more on our blog “Where to rent a motorbike“.

From Pai

Usually, tourists buy a day trip tour at shop along the Pai walking street. It operates during the high season and departs early morning.

It’s a cheap tour in a bargain between waking up an early bird and suffering from a long ride in a minivan.

Recommend hiring a car from Chiang Mai for multiple days to travel in the Mae Hong Son loop and add Baan Rak Thai to the travel lists.

Go around Baan Rak Thai

A small village enough that you can cover it on a walk cover them on a relaxing morning or evening walk.. Getting around the lake through the mid of the village to primary school.

Find a restaurant in your favorite location. There are Yunnan dishes, noodles, and tasting tea shops available throughout the village.

trek tour rak thai sam lor
Tricycle tour around the lake.

What to do at Baan Rak Thai


There are 2 piers, the first pier belongs to the community. One is Opposite the Cha Sa tea shop. The other one is under Lee Wine Restaurant. For service fees, please inquire at the gate.

Sam Lor (Tricycle)

It is an electric tricycle decorated in the style of ancient Chinese vehicles. The driver will take you around the village and the lake, will park at highlight spots for taking photos, and also serve as a photographer for you.

Lee Wine Tea Garden

For those who do not stay here, you can enter to take pictures of the tea garden and the pink blossom flowers after 9 a.m. with an entrance fee of 20 THB per person.

baan rak thai pinky flower
The pink blossom flowers during January.

Best time to visit Baan Rak Thai

Of course, it’s Mae Hong Son’s good weather starting from the end of October – February, the weather will be the coldest in January. You will see a beautiful atmosphere in the morning and a clear sky without white clouds in the afternoon.

As for the rainy season, June – September, if you don’t come across the monsoon in some weeks. The sky will be deep blue and fluffy white clouds floating.

And should avoid travelin.g during Mar – April, as those are smoky and hottest, so it may go to the beginning of May.

On average, the weather at an altitude of about 1100 m ASL is cool throughout the year. See on blog “The best time to visit Mae Hong Son“.

baan rak thai from dam
Walking around the reservoir Baan Rak Thai.

Facilities in Baan Rak Thai

Mini Store

Baan Rak Thai does not have a 7-Eleven in the village. But there are general groceries such as drinking water and snacks. You should have all the essential things you might need before you go there.


The mobile signal within the village is not a problem. There is internet data for all campaigns. You can online from here without interruption.

Gas Kiosk

There is a small self-service gas kiosk. Gas prices are a bit more expensive than in other places but I think you can guess why. It should be filled up enough for the 50 km return trip according to the km/l consumption of your vehicle.


By the way, you shouldn’t expect ATMs in the village. But you can pay through the banking app transfer. You can now open an online account on the banking app. Just verify your identity and top up, it’s very convenient.

It also carries petty cash. The cost of accommodation and food 2 meals should not exceed 3,000 THB per person.

baan rak thai lee wine
Accommodation on the hill slope.

Variety of accommodations

Baan Rak Thai has two well-known accommodations, Lee Wine and Cha Sa, which you can book yourself online.

Originally, there was only a guesthouse by the lake. Construction using clay as a traditional house. But there is hardly anyone coming to stay because most of them are concentrated in Pai.

By now, there are many lodging. Most of them are small accommodations with 3-8 rooms and various types of tents, with prices starting from 500 THB.

Contacting to reserve a room is difficult. So you should be patient and effort. I will be up to date when I found new places.


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