Hill Tribes and Volunteer work, Chiang Mai

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  • Hmong Lady I bought the glazed fruit from
    Hmong Lady I bought the glazed fruit...
    by balhannah
  • Rice paddies at the White Karen Village
    Rice paddies at the White Karen Village
    by balhannah
  • Home with Mango Leaf roof
    Home with Mango Leaf roof
    by balhannah
  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    HMONG TRIBAL MARKETS

    by balhannah Written Aug 20, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hmong Lady I bought the glazed fruit from
    2 more images

    Favorite thing: STOP 4 on DOI INTHANON NATIONAL PARK TOUR

    Just up the road from the ranger station is a Hmong market, which sells produce from the Royal Project and Hmong villages around Mae Chaem.
    Actual Hmong hill tribe people live here.

    We stopped to have a look at their wares (mainly produce), and to see them dressed in their colourfully embroidered clothing.
    After buying some sort of glazed Cherries, Kiwi Fruit, and other fruits which tasted quite good, they were happy to be photographed.

    No pressure here either to buy!

    Even if you are not on a tour, I would stop here, as it was interesting to see what they grow and sell, and also, they were dressed in a few different Hmong outfits, all very colourful. They were pleasant people, and a smile goes a long way!

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    WHITE KAREN VILLAGE

    by balhannah Updated Aug 20, 2009

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    Smoking ????
    3 more images

    Favorite thing: STOP 3...........DOI INTHANON NATIONAL PARK TOUR.

    On my way through Doi Inthanon National Park with a tour, one of our stops was a White Karen Village.

    This time it WAS NOT A SET UP, it was where they lived, worked, went to Church, and made their scarves, blankets, etc to sell to the tourists.
    In saying that, there was NEVER ANY PRESSURE PUT UPON YOU TO BUY! such a pleasant change to every other Tribal village I had been.

    We were told about their lives & homes, shown their Rice Paddies, then were allowed to walk around their village, all very interesting.
    I learnt that the roofs are made of Mango leaves and have to be replaced between 5 -8 years. They are getting more modern, and starting to use Iron. Recently, a new Church had been built.

    Also, the Karen occupy lowland areas, working in agriculture which includes rice cultivation. They are also skilled weavers and the most environmentally conscious of the hill tribes - practicing crop rotation, thus preserving the forest.

    An old woman was sitting on her verandah, SMOKING ?????

    The weaving they do is beautiful, I watched for a while, then had my photo taken with one of the Ladies.
    It was really interesting for me, learning about their culture and seeing their homes and how they lived.

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    Volunteer (4)

    by SumTingWong Updated Jun 19, 2003

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    Working on a voluteer project

    Favorite thing: Volunteer work is helpful and rewarding. Please, be more than just a tourist and do some volunteer work. Chiang Mai Province is just the place. Many trekking companies offer volunteer opportunities while on treks. Spend an extra day in a minority village laying pipes or teaching at the school. It all helps the people and their lives, especially in these minority villages. I helped lay down pipes and build a water tank, as well as being volunteer English/Thai teacher. You can also volunteer in a Thai town outside of Chiang Mai. This is also an amazing experience because you get to experience the Thai people and children. You can also help by doing some labor volunteer work if you want to. Wats are almost always in need of some help and if you want to do an actual project there are companies that can help you too.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

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    Volunteer (3)

    by SumTingWong Updated Jun 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Volunteer work is helpful and rewarding. Please, be more than just a tourist and do some volunteer work. Chiang Mai Province is just the place. Many trekking companies offer volunteer opportunities while on treks. Spend an extra day in a minority village laying pipes or teaching at the school. It all helps the people and their lives, especially in these minority villages. I helped lay down pipes and build a water tank, as well as being volunteer English/Thai teacher. You can also volunteer in a Thai town outside of Chiang Mai. This is also an amazing experience because you get to experience the Thai people and children. You can also help by doing some labor volunteer work if you want to. Wats are almost always in need of some help and if you want to do an actual project there are companies that can help you too.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

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    Volunteer

    by SumTingWong Updated Jun 19, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    School room

    Favorite thing: Volunteer work is helpful and rewarding. Please, be more than just a tourist and do some volunteer work. Chiang Mai Province is just the place. Many trekking companies offer volunteer opportunities while on treks. Spend an extra day in a minority village laying pipes or teaching at the school. It all helps the people and their lives, especially in these minority villages. I helped lay down pipes and build a water tank, as well as being volunteer English/Thai teacher.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

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    Chiang Mai Trekking

    by SumTingWong Updated Jun 19, 2003

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    Karen student writing my lesson

    Favorite thing: Trekking in Chiang Mai Province is excellent. The hilltribe villages are great to visit and interact with. If you have some extra days in Chiang Mai go trekking in Chiang Mai's National Park! I have more picts under travelogues and tips from trekking!

    Fondest memory: Volunteer teaching in a Karen Village.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Backpacking

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    Eco Tour by the Hilltriebes

    by suraphona Updated Mar 4, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Festivals and activities in Khlong Lan vary every month, including the Muser, Lisu and Yao tribes.
    New Year festivals in Jan-Feb.
    Ploughing ceremonies in March.
    Beehive searching in April. C
    orn growing in May.
    Rice growing in June.
    Pest clearance in July.
    Merit-making for better corn in August.
    Corn harvesting in September.
    Vegetable growing in October.
    A rice-eating festival in November.
    Hmong New Year celebrations in December.

    Six hilltribes in Khlong Lan district are offering eco-tours and homestays to tourists who want to experience the lifestyle and culture of highlanders.

    Eco-tours would create income and jobs for hilltribe people, encourage respect for hilltribe culture among children, and protect communities from drugs.

    Each tribe has its own food for which it is well known: the Karen tribe have their chicken soup boiled with turmeric and acacia.
    The Hmong people make a herbal chicken soup which relieves muscular pain.
    The Muser tribe makes chili paste mixed with pork.
    The Yao tribe is fame for its fried leaves with minced pork.
    The Lisu tribe for its somtam with minced pork.
    The Leu tribe for its spicy catfish.

    Fondest memory: Visit local attractions such as
    the Khlong Lan waterfall,
    Tao dam,
    Mae Wong forest,
    and hilltribe villages.

    Hilltriebs-guides are being trained to promote this project.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Hilltribe Trekking

    by herzog63 Written Mar 1, 2003

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    Yao Child

    Favorite thing: If you would like to see some traditional Hilltribes you should have an opportunity around Chiang Mai. As more and more people discover this you have to deeper into the forest to find people that are still living in their traditional ways. Alot of the villages that are close to Chiang Mai probably have tv and statellite dishes! Alot of them still dress in their traditional clothing because it is such a draw for the tourists! If you would like to read about my trek that I did in 1984 you can read about it on my other Chiang Mai page. But the tips in it may not be accuarate as it was 20 years ago but you might find it interesting.
    You can find lot's of trekking agencies in and around Chiang Mai.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Safari

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    Hitting the hills....part 22

    by herzog63 Written Feb 27, 2003

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    Cute Kid

    Favorite thing: The 3 rd day was going to give us a strange twist and quite a bit of hard hiking. We got up early and had some rice for breakfast and were on our way fairly early. I was pretty much fully recovered from the first second days stomach problems that I had. And I was feeling good about hiking. This was a day when some of us where feeling quite strong a couple in the group were not. I think their legs were feeling like rubber and really sore as the pain in their legs finally caught up with them. So a small group of us with one of the guides would walk ahead for 30 minutes or so and then find a good spot and then wait for the rest of the group to catch up. We did this a few times in the morning until we reached a village where we would be taking our lunch. It was a great village of what I think were Yao people. The kids were shy yet always curious of us. It was fun playing games to make them laugh. Some of the kids would only hide behind their mothers. After our wonderful lunch..Not the food just the kids and the people were wonderful. The food was plain rice soup with something else floating in it. It was ok but I was just getting tired of eating the same thing every day! I wasn't expecting any special food either....
    After we said our good-byes to the kids we were on our way. The next stretch of hiking had alot up uphill walking and not much down hill! I enjoyed the scenery as we could see a couple of villages on the hill sides. At one point we were on a stretch of the trail and a couple of guys came out of the bushes carrying some really long rifles. At first I was a little startled as the year before my roommate from Alaska had been caught in a hold-up on a hill tribe trek and all of the people in their group lost all of their valuables! So I thought that might be happening now! Our guide greeted them and spoke with them for a minute or so and he told us they were hunting for small game. Wheewwww! I was glad they were'nt hunting for foreigners!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Opium in the villages part 19

    by herzog63 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Yao Tribe

    Favorite thing: In some of the villages I could hear motorcycles riding on the trails in the middle of the night. Our guide told us that they were probably Opium Smugglers. Which sounded pretty exciting as long as we didn't get caught up in the middle of anything. We saw quite a few of the old men smoking the Opium too. The Yao villages seemed to have more of it then the others.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    New Year Celebration Part 18

    by herzog63 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    New Year Celebration

    Favorite thing: This lady here is dressed up for the New Year Celebration. We were told by our guide that we had arrived at the village during the End of the Harvest New Year Celebration and we could enjoy the festivities with them. I thought to myself "ok, what is this going to cost" as it sounded like something that was set up to get more money from the 'Farang' but we weren't asked to pay anything! After I left the village I felt bad for even thinking that way. (Although over the years I have run into similar scams!) We had a great evening of traditional dancing and eating food. It was Fantastic!

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    The kids in the villages were great! part17

    by herzog63 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    local kids

    Favorite thing: In all of the villages that I visited they kids where just kids! They were all curious of us and not one of them ever asked for anything like candy or pencils which is quite common in other places that charity organizations have been to. We all showed them pictures of where we were from and they enjoyed looking at the pictures in our books.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    The women work hard! Part 16

    by herzog63 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Hill tribe Lady

    Favorite thing: In this village it appeared that the women work very hard! I noticed in the fields that it was only women working. And the women would haul quite large loads on their backs as they walked with the small horses.The men seemed like they were building houses and relaxing. We did ask our guide some questions about it but I don't really remember the answers.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hill Tribes You'll be the first to ever visit! Pt1

    by herzog63 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Lisu Tribe

    Favorite thing: I signed up for a Hill Tribe trek through my guest house which I don't remember the name of. Our main guide was a Karen originally from Burma and he seemed quite knowledgable about the area. He said he spoke several of the local dialects which would be useful on the trip. Our 2nd guide would be a Pakistani that didn't speak any of the local dialects but he spoke Thai. Seemed odd to me but he was a nice guy. There ended up being 7 of us foreigners in the group a couple of them knew each other already but this was my first meeting any of them.
    I would recommend that if you have the time meet all of the people that will be in your group to make sure they are all of the same capabilities that you are or have the same attitudes that you have so there won't be any conflicts on the trail! I didn't meet them until it was time to pile into the truck and I sensed right away that one of them wouldn't fit in! And I was right! But oh well the trip went on.

    Fondest memory: One of the gimmicks that is used and it got me is that "You will be the first group to ever trek in this area"! That got me excited! I felt like I was going to be some sort of junior anthropologist. And as we got to each village the people were certainly curious enough about us that it had us believing that we were the first foreigners to ever visit. There were NO giftshops or softdrinks for sale which is really what made me believe it! Who knows maybe we were the first to visit.

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    • Adventure Travel

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    Volunteer (2)

    by SumTingWong Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Thai School Children

    Favorite thing: Volunteer work is helpful and rewarding. Please, be more than just a tourist and do some voulenteer work. Chiang Mai Provence is just the place. Many trekking companies offer volunteer oppertunities while on trekks. Spend an extra day in a minority village laying pipes or teaching at the school. It all helps the people and their lives, especially in these minority villages. I helped lay down pipes and buile a water tank , as well as being volunteer English/Thai teacher. You can also volunteer in a Thai town outside of Chiang Mai. This is also an amazing experience because you get to experience the Thai people and children.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

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