The tiny town of Soppong is often only a quick noodle or rice bowl stop for travelers who are heading towards northern Thailand. While it sits quietly along the highways of Mae Hong Son, there are a lot of tourist-favorite things to do in Soppong.
Thailand is most known for its ancient heritage, white sand beaches, and golden temples. Beyond that, there’s a whole new world that needs to be traversed when visiting Soppong, a small town known for its spectacular mountain views, large cave systems, and trekking adventures.
Here’s what guests can do in the tranquil town of Soppong.
Top 8 BEST Things to Do in Soppong
1. Enjoy a fantastic day at the Tham Lod cave
One of the most popular tourist spots in Soppong is the Tham Lod underground river, which boasts spectacular limestone formations.
Just twenty minutes away from the center of Soppong, Tham Lod is home to thousands of bats and swifts – a few of the most famous sights in the area. Guests are recommended to visit the cave around dusk to witness these creatures fly inside the cave.
Tham Lod can be slippery with its ascending stairs, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
2. Trek in Hill Tribe villages
One of the best things to do in Soppong is trekking through its natural mountain scenery. While the town is not as touristy as the other villages near Chiang Mai, villagers in Soppong give a very warm welcome to tourists who would want to experience their way of living like a real local.
For beginners, it’s easy to book a one-day trek to any of Soppong’s villages – Lahu, Lisu, and Karen. Local guest houses in the area offer site maps for those who want to tour on their own, but there are guided tours available too.
Guests who want to experience a three-day trek involves overnights stays and meals in all these three villages, giving tourists a full experience. The whole itinerary is more than just a long walk through the mountains; it also includes bamboo rafting activities and waterfall visiting.
3. Explore mountain roads on a motorbike
Tourists who are up for an adventure can get off the beaten track when they explore the mountains on a motorbike.
Backpackers know this by heart: there’s no better way to explore a foreign land than when you’re traveling on foot. But to get to places faster, riding a motorbike is one sure way to get lost in the northern part of Thailand without actually feeling lost.
Tourists who are coming from Chiang Mai can go to Soppong by passing through Pai. Traffic reduces when motorists go way up North, and there’s a beautiful scene to marvel at too. From Pai to Soppong, guests will have to travel through curves, but the road remains manageable.
4. Climb a steep hillside at the Coffin Cave
Just about two kilometers west of Soppong, guests will find ancient teak coffins. The most famous go-to stop to check out these relics is Tham Pi Man, which houses teakwood coffins that are more than 2,000 years old.
There are more than 80 known caves in Soppong, which seem to grow in number as the years go by. Some people still find bones and other human remnants when exploring the deeper parts of the caves.
There are several coffin caves in Tham Lod that tourists can explore on their own or with a guide. The most accessible caves that are open to the public may be visited for only 40 baht per person.
5. Join kayaking trips on Lang River
Whitewater kayaking is one of the best things to do in Soppong or in nearby towns. It may not be as long and winding a journey as trekking, but it’s definitely full of thrill and excitement.
The river runs through Tham Lod Cave, so tourists can simply ride a boat through the passageway and see the bats hanging above their heads. It takes between 15 and 20 minutes before reaching downstream, crossing small rapids.
Often combined with trekking for a full-day trip, kayaking Lang River takes about two hours to complete depending on the level of water. No experience is necessarily required; tourists can also choose to kayak on their own or join a group.
6. Relax on a hammock at the Cave Lodge
It’s easy to run out of things to do in Soppong, especially when trekking, cave hopping, and water rafting are already crossed off any traveler’s list. Those who have enough time to spare before they move out of this small town can pay a visit to Cave Lodge.
The Cave Lodge is mostly known for is guided tours for trekking, kayaking, and caving. But it’s actually more than that: Cave Lodge offers overnight accommodations for tourists who need a quick rest before they proceed to their next itinerary.
It’s a haven for tourists who want to meet people from all walks of life: Cave Lodge has bunk beds, ping pong tables, steam saunas, and recreation areas that make any visitor closer to nature.
After all, it’s nice to pause for a while and be overwhelmed with nature’s beauty while resting on a hammock.
7. Run rapids like a pro at Khong and Pai Rivers
Here’s a gift to travelers who want to paddle like a pro: a one-day kayaking trip on Khong and Pai Rivers is the perfect peak for any foreigner’s Northern Thailand tour.
The entryway to the Rivers is an easy grade 1 and 2 rapids from Susa Waterfalls. Two people can ride with local guides in their boats, and the guides have the discretion to interchange passengers depending on their skill and strength.
After two hours on the calm river, guests will have their lunch in a spot on Pai River before proceeding to the largest rapid trip towards the Khong River. Guests should expect a few swims every now and then, but it’s going to heap everyone with excitement.
8. Indulge in a variety of dishes at the Seven Elephants Cafe
The perfect cap to the thrilling Soppong adventure is a nice cup of coffee at the Seven Elephants Cafe located in Soppong, Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son 58150. The restaurant’s atmosphere reminds guests of their experience in northern Thailand, including their living with locals at the Hill Tribe Villages.
Here, tourists can enjoy authentic Thai cuisine and vegetarian food–all while enjoying nature’s splendid view.
Soppong is bustling with great adventures and surprises, with many landmarks and cave systems that remain undiscovered. Indeed, northern Thailand promises more than affordable travel costs; it boasts of its eye-opening culture and extreme sports.