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This town was founded as a trading center in 1268 by King Mengrai, who took advantage of the site’s location at the head of a valley. At the beginning of the 19th century the town was destroyed by Burmese raiders, and it lay deserted until 1880. Today Fang is effectively a border town between the areas inhabited by Thais and hill tribes. The local Mien, Karen, and Lahu tribes sell their goods at Fang’s market, and this has made it an important trading center.

Fang is characterized by teak houses. The influence of nearby Myanmar is seen in many structures, such as Wat Jong Paen, located in the north of town. The most impressive temple in Fang, it features a Myanmar-style, multiroofed wihan


Drug trading in the Fang area has been significant in the past, and fighting between rival drug factions in Myanmar still occasionally spills across the border. It is wise to check the situation with the local tourist office before venturing on a guided trek. Sights in the region include, some 6 miles (10 km) west of Fang, sulfur springs whose natural energy is used to power a nearby geothermal plant. To the southwest of Fang, Highway 1249 leads to the peak of Doi Ang Khang, via several Lisu, Lahu, and Hmong hill-tribe villages.

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