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The once remote province (province, not state, since thailand is a single-state country!) of Mae Hong Son has long been settled by a multitude of ethnicities. The islamic population, according to what I read, came chiefly from across the border in Burma (Myanmar). This mezquite has a very nice, airy feeling to it, a good lifter of one's spirit in this province which has earned the name of "Mόang Sahm Mohg," or Land of Three Fogs. It was indeed foggy practically all the time during the few days I spent there last August.

Mae Hong Son has been compared to Idaho for being the most remote region in their respective countries. Having lived in Idaho for 11 years and having visited Mae Hong Son for a few days, however, I must say that Idaho is still much less trodden than Mae Hong Son by tourists from all over the world. Visiting supposedly exotic sites in Mae Hong Son is as much an experience in hearing the world's languages as it is in seeing the sites themselves, which may not be a bad thing after all. Interestingly enough, it was only 40 years ago or so when the only ways to go into Mae Hong Son were on foot, on horseback or elephantback, and by helicopter! Automobiles and regular airplane couldn't enter the rugged landscape. Today there are regular flights in and out of there, and the few highways that they have are better maintained than many of the mountains roads here where I live in Idaho. However, the roads in Mae Hong Son are more winding than the ones in Idaho that I've traveled on, so if you fall asleep driving, well, you may be in serious trouble!

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