Mae Hong Son has been inhabited since prehistoric period by the archaeological. The  evidences which excavated in the cave in Pang Ma Pha District such as seeds (gourd seeds, cucumbers, long beans, rice grain, the ancient human skeletons in coffins, beads, clay pottery, stone axes, etc.), the archaeologists studied and reported that they were in the age of rocky humans (7000 – 4500 bc.)


From the historical evidence, It  can conclude that the city of Pai was called Ban Don which  founded in 1257 as the same period as the Lanna Kingdom . Pa Ka Zor , who is Shan; gathered people from Burma's cities, then explored and founded  the village until became to be a large community. Later on, The King of Lanna Kingdom would like to take the community as his colony, He brought the army came to attack the town many times. Until in 1477, King Ti-Logaraja (King of Lanna Kingdom) assigned the commander, Sri Jai Ya, came to Ban Don and won over the war. Later on, The commander was promoted as Chao Chai Song Kram, the Ban Don leader.   

Also, Mae Sa Rieng District which we called in this time, in the past it was called Yuam city. There was the frontier of Chiang Mai to protect the invasion of Burma until pre-Rattanakosin era where is the Mae Hong Son located in the present. It was the route that the Burmese Army using to bring their force to attack Ayutthaya and northern Thailand.  People also live along the border between Thailand and Burma along hillside where it is a valley that suitable for planting as the community forest. The people who live in the plains are mainly Shan, others who live on the mountain are mostly Karen, Lua and Lahu.


Around 1831, the same period as King Nangklao (Rama III) of Rattanakosin and Phutthawong (the 4th  ruler of Chiang Ma), at that time Chao Nan Mahawong (he was the viceroy that time and later became the 5th Chiang Mai ruler named Mahotra Prathet) would like to have the wild elephant for doing work, he assigned to “Chao Kaew Moung Ma” as the commander brought the troops traveling to the west boarder of Chiang Mai and caught some wild elephant for working. He spent many days on his traveling from Chiang Mai through Pai until he found a spares forest on the south near by Pai river where wild pigs came to eat salt lick in this area. He found this area was a good location to set up the village, so he stopped by and commanded people who live in the area, mostly Shan and Karen, came to the meeting and announced his objective for them to follow. He promoted Pa Ka Mong (Shan race) to be the village leader called “Gaang” to control and support in building up community.  Pa Ka Mong persuaded people living near by come to live in this area and named the village as “Baan Pong Mu” (Later became Pang Mu). After setting up the village, Chao Kaew Moung Ma brought his troops to inspect around the boarder and looking for wild elephant to a cannel where present many wild elephant footprint in this area, so he stopped to catch them and set up the elephant training area around there. In this area was a wide humus plain with many Shan living around. Chao Kaew Moung Ma acknowledged to set up one more village, so he asked “San Gom”, son-in-law of Pa Ka Mong – came to gather people to set up the village then called “Baan Mae Hong Son”. Pa Ka Mong and San Goom persuaded people came to settle down in this area until became a big community. Later on, they figured out that in this area was plenty of teak, then they decided to sell them to Burma to support city’s economy with the permission of the King of Chiang Mai.



In 1856 which corresponded to the period of Kawilorot Suriyawong, the 6th leader of Chiang Mai, occurring the revolt in a province along Kong river bank (Salaween river) in the east of Burma such as Jam Ka, town, Mok Mai town. Some of their villagers migrated to Baan Pang Mu and Baan Mae Hong Son, some of them migrated to the south of Baan Khun Yuam (Shan village in the mountain), some migrated up north to Pai. At that time, there was a Shan name Shan Ka Lea, he was the great solder of Cho Fa Ko Ran who was the ruler of Mok Mai town by Shan legend). Shan Ka lae was a hard-working, intelligent, faithful, and patient person. After migrated to Baan Pang Mu, he assisted Pa Ka Mong doing his work with honesty, then Pa Ka Mong allowed his daughter married with him. Later on after his wife passed away, he married with Chao Nang Mea, and migrated his family and “Pu Tor” to the south for setting a new town on the mountain at the north of Yuam River called Kun Lom town (Khun Yuam province in the present) .


In 1870, Inthawichayanon, the 7st  Chiang Mai ruler – promoted Shan Ka lae as Pa Ya Sing Ha Nat Ra Ja to rule Mae Hong Son and upgraded from Baan Mae Hong Son to Mae Hong Son town, changing Baan Don to Pai, and assigned Mae Hong Son to be the fortress with Khun Yuam and Pai as boarder line, He also developed and built the city with peace and strengthen.


In 1885, Pa Ya Sing Ha Nat Ra Ja passed away, Inthawichayanon assigned Chao Nang Mea to rule the town and assigned Pu Tor to be Pa Ya Kan Ta Se Ma Ra Ja Nu Rak as the state counselor.


In  1891, Cho Nang Mea passed away, Inthawichayanon assigned Pa Ya Kan Ta Se Ma Ra Ja Nu Rak to be Pa Ya Pi Tak Siam Kate ruled Mae Hong Son.


In 1900, which correlated with King Rama V of Rattanakosin, there was reassigned the administration by combined Mae Hong Son, Khun Yuam, Yuam (Mae Sa Rieng), and Pa under the same unit and called “Chiang Mai-West”, settle town office at Khun Yuam, under Mr. Mode as a leader (Announced by the Minister of the Interior dated July 11, 119)  In the same year, Chiang Mai assigned Mr. Khun Lu, Pa Ya Pi Tak Siam Kate’s son to be Pa Ya Pi San Hong Son Bu Ri. In 1903, the Office was migrated from Khun Yuam to Yuam and changed the name to “Payap Nua” (North of Payap)


In 1907, Pa Ya Pi Tak Siam Kate passed away, Chiang Mai assigned Pa Ya Pi San Hong Son to rule the town. In 2453, King Rama V set up the suburb and Payap city, moved the office from Yuam to Mae Hong Son and named “Mae Hong Son Province”. The King endorsed Pra Son Su Ra Raj (Pluang) to be the first Mae Hong Son provincial governor.


In 1933, correlated with King Rama VII of Rattanakosin, there was an administrative change to monarchy under the King. Mae Hong Son has been transferred directly to the Ministry of Interior until the present.