A World of Many Cultures
A World of Many
The scenic landscape of Chiang Rai has been the home for several ethnic hill tribes, each with
their unique traditions and means to make a living. We bring you during this day tour
to a few lesser-known settlements, centres for handicraft and traditions.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Using the gently rolling hills of the Chiang Rai as their background, the numerous ethnic minorities found in the northern part of Thailand, affectionately named ‘hill tribes’ because of their mountain-side settlements. Their commercial talents once were interrupted due to the influence of drug trafficking of which the Golden Triangle has received its former, notorious reputation.
Nowadays, agriculture and handicraft are the primary sources of income, besides the growing interest of explorers and travellers. With most of the settlements dating back for more than 100 years, the significant differences between the minorities may not be known to the inexperienced eye, hence tours such as this one lift the veil between the main Doi Mae Salong hill tribes.
08:30 - 16:30
Our World of Many Cultures version commences with meeting your English-speaking guide at the lobby of your hotel. The drive up in northern direction heads deep into the mountains as we make our way to Baan Mae Ma and Baan Dai, around 400 metres above sea level. Both villages are examples of Lanna-style architecture and are now one of the few remaining places where one can admire traditional means of spinning thread for garments. The majority of turning colourful tread into fabric for clothes and costumes that represent the various tribes are still hand-woven.
From here, we head towards Doi Mae Salong, one of the most famous settlements in the region. Once known as Santi Khiri, it was established by former Chinese nationalist soldiers to settle down and start a new life. Almost all of its residents still have close ties with the original settlers. It is here where the Yai also found a place they call home, known as Baan Lao Sib. Similar to the Baan Mae Ma and the Baan Dai villagers, the expertise of primarily the women lies in the creation of stunning fabric.
With lunch at a local restaurant included, we continue our visits to the various authentic settlements in the afternoon as we head to a Lisu village, called Baan He Ko. As one of the seven main hill tribes in the area, the Lisu have their own distinct colourful and unique costumes, traditions and skills to make a living. Admiring the fine art of crafting extraordinary materials, the use of their creations are reflected in still seeing a large number of Lisu wearing their traditional costume up until today. I
t is time to head back to Chiang Rai via winding roads, passing plantations and orchards, giving visitors a final scenic view of the region.