Map &

Been here?
Rate it

Top Tours

Doi Suthep National Park Beginner Downhill Bike Ride from Chiang Mai
From THB1,550.00
1-Day Advanced Downhill Single Track Doi Suthep National Park in Chiang Mai
From THB1,950.00
1 Day Bike and River Kayak Adventure from Chiang Mai
From THB1,950.00

The Karen Long Neck Hilltribe Settlement Tips (23)

Long-necked village

I came here, wherever it was, as part of a long-necked tribe daytrip I did from Chiang Mai. We arrived after visiting an orchid farm and riding elephant at the Chok Chai Elephant Camp but things just seemed to be very touristy with lots of souvenir stalls selling tribal arts and crafts and jewellery items. The girls here come from several different tribes but the main one is the famous long-necked Karen tribe so we did the obligatory photo opportunities and I bought a hand-made wooden women figure. Behind the stalls are a few wooden/bamboo houses which were being lived in and indeed the girls were busy doing daily jobs whilst being dressed in traditional tribal clothes but it still seemed to me to be a show for tourists.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Nov 28, 2009

Paduang Longneck & Big Ear Village

After our half day activities at the Chiang Dao elephant camp and lunch, we were bought to this Karen Paduang Longneck & Big Ear village which was about 15 min ride further up Chiang Dao elephant camp.

We were told by our tour guide that we were allowed to take as many photos as we like but in return we should respect their culture as they were... Basically i think this village was built by some proprietors and they find some longneck and big ear hilltribe peoples to live in it. Then in return, they are require to sell the merchandise which bring profit to themselves and also the proprietors. Althought the some part of the village looked like a market place selling the merchandises, but i can still see the rest of the village where built for them to live in.

Our tour guide help us to chat with a young longneck girl who was part of the merchandise seller. She said she was bought to this village a few years ago from somewhere else. She claimed she has a few bro & sis and sadly she can't even remember their face, nor her parents anymore. It was quite a sad story to hear. Most of the longneck people are like refugees with no residenship... they might be born in Thailand, but the government doesn't recognise them, and they have nowhere else to go... The only place they can go is within the village set up by the proprietors... without the ID, they might be caught by the authorities and face the risk of being sent back to Myanmar which they don't really belong to...

PS_Lee81's Profile Photo
Aug 29, 2007

Not the sort of Long Necks (beer) Texans used to.

The trip to the Long-neck village was high point of our trip. It's not for the elderly or handicapped though. It is a very narrow path winding its way into a valley where the long neck people live. Then, there is the even more difficult trek back out of the valley. Definitely a difficult trek for those out of shape. Well worth it if you're up to it. Great photo ops with long neck women and children. Of course, lots of souvenirs to be bought too.

FlyinFree's Profile Photo
Jul 18, 2007

Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son, Thailand's northern border city, hiding itself in between the towering mountains with densely forested slopes, stretching to the Burmese border. Mae hong son is known for its charm of scenery and culture. The people of Mae Hong Son consists of the Shans who live in the city and the hilltribe people who live in remote villages on mountain tops where elements of lifestyle have changed little in hundreds of years. The city is covered with the mist all year long. Mae Hong son gains its nickname of "the City of Three Mists" from the fact that it has dewy mist in the winter, forest fire mist in the summer and rainy mist in the rainy season.

Then continue to "long-neck" or "giraffe tribe”. But the women who wear these brass rings on their neck belong to a sub-group of the Karen known as the Padaung. There are other sub-groups who do not and never have practiced this custom. A further myth is that these rings act to elongate the wearer's neck. Any chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon will tell you that this would lead to paralysis or death. In fact the appearance of a longer neck is a visual illusion. The weight of the rings pushes down the collar bone, as well as the upper ribs, to such an angle that the collar bone actually appears to be a part of the neck!

venteeocho's Profile Photo
May 31, 2007
Sponsored Listings

Hotels Near Chiang Mai

Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Rd, Mae Rim, Chiang Mai, 50180, Thailand
Show Prices
40/1 Moo 2, Sankhampaeng Rd. T. Tasala, A. Muang, , 50000, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, 50000, Thailand
Show Prices
Ratchamankha Road Chiang Mai 154, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50200, 50200
Show Prices
100 Moo 9 Km. 12, Mae Rim-Samueng Rd, PO Box 46, Chiang Mai, 50180, Thailand
Show Prices
Rakaeng Road Muang District Chang Klan 129/9, Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50100, Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai
Show Prices
5 Soi 3kor, Intawaroroj 3 road, Sriphoom, 50200
Show Prices

Smiling with their long necks and Puma outfits

They look exotic regardless of their Puma sweatshirts and Diesel flip flops.
Ask before you take pictures.
Bring gum or crayons for the kids - they will smile on your pictures.

Save your money and buy your souvenirs here. Help the locals a little.

Story goes.... a long time ago when they were still many tigers alive, they ate people.
Men were given guns and woman were given neck rings so the tiger doesn't have such an easy time biting their head off.

Anita_Porec's Profile Photo
May 16, 2007

A human zoo or just poor people needing help ?!

A lot of theories exist about the use of necklaces by Karen longneck women. Some say it was to protect of tigers attacks when they were still in Burma others say they continues using it just to continue to win a change (only middle of survival that they possess) in detriment of their health, because to prolongate the neck, the bones of the thorax go down harming their health.
They say that if tourists don't visit them anymore, they would be forced to remove the necklace and to stop with that mutilation. But what would happen to that tribe? Would they suffer without government help?
The answer still is not known, nor what is right or wrong.
It fits to you to decide if you should go there or not.

Fernandocramos's Profile Photo
Apr 24, 2007

Pay attention with your gifts.

I read some reviews talking about give to the children some gifts when visiting the tribe.
I though it would be many childrens so I bought some stickers and gave it to them.
They didnt know what to do with it, and sometime later whem I look back, I could saw this image.

Fernandocramos's Profile Photo
Mar 28, 2007

The touristy way to see the long necks

You can visit a hill tribes village where there are several different types of minorities living together. It is a rather touristy, and expensive place to go, but if you can’t make out to see the real thing than this is your only option. The most exciting thing here is the long necks. Entrance price is 500 bath. Be weary of most goods that are for sale in the shops inside the village. Some or non authentic, poor quality or made from inferior material.

Mr.Sparkle's Profile Photo
Feb 24, 2007

Top 5 Chiang Mai Writers

balhannah's Profile Photo


View Member
SumTingWong's Profile Photo


"Chiang Mai"
View Member
DarkRay's Profile Photo


"Chiang Mai Trip 2005: Wed 4th May - Sun 8th May"
View Member
blueskyjohn's Profile Photo


"Chiang Mai"
View Member
vigi's Profile Photo


"Jungle Trek and Elephant Ride in Chiang Mai"
View Member

Karen Long Neck Women

We travelled all the way from Mai Sai to Pa Dong to visit the Karen Long Neck Women. Our tour guide said that this is a real Long Neck Women Village. There were 2 other tribes residing in the same area.

The brass ring on the neck is not individual accumulated rings on the neck but a brass spiral coil that goes around the neck. The coil on the neck can be taken out and the life of the women will not be die immediately once they remove the coil.

Two ladies have their coil remove and examined and x-ray by doctors and they did not die and has proven the myth wrong.

The brass coil are indeed very heavy. I had them on for a min and will not choose to wear it for the rest of my life.

imstress's Profile Photo
Jan 09, 2007

Long Neck Girls

On a day trip we did the usual tourist thing of visiting a hill tribe village. Of course the long neck women and girls were there putting on a weaving display for us.
I found it a little bit sad to see these people on display to the world, but then I guess it's become a way of life for them. I believe the men have been assimilated into the local area and have some sort of work to occupy themselves during the day.
One little girl was able to speak a little bit of English and told me that the rings around her neck made her very hot. I was HOT without the rings!!

aussiejen's Profile Photo
Sep 18, 2006

Choice of tours

We were interested, as most people are, to see the famed "giraffe neck women" tribe near Chiang Mai. We did a "hilltribe tour", which was extremely long and bumpy, with very little actual "guiding" along the way. The tour guide had very good English, but slept a good way to the destination - a long trip which would have been improved significantly with some commentary.

When we got there, it was really little short of a circus -we kind of walked our way through a "display" of people standing in front of market stalls which could have been almost anywhere in the country. The pushy, tourist savvy Akha women came first - and what was left of you stumbled down to the big earring people, and finally to the long necked girls. These were a forlorn little bunch, sitting inside little market stalls, selling all the things you can buy anywhere. The only "novelty" was them. We felt quite uncomfortable for them, and there was a sense of exploitation - probably of them and us!

There was nothing natural about the environment - such as seeing how a natural hilltribe would live - some of the girls sat on the porch of little houses, and television could be seen in the background. Some of the little kids were fun to watch, and were quite mischievous! The little one at the corrugated door is actually imprisoning a little friend in the toilet! She was lively and cheeky - the other girls were very docile, and looked totally miserable.

One of the saving graces for this tour was that we stopped at a Hmong village on the way home - where there was no people circus display - but they were having a festival, and were dressed traditionally, and having what amounted to a fair.

thedouglas's Profile Photo
May 03, 2006

The Karen and Akha tribes of Chiang Mai

Visitors should take some time and visit the wonderful people of the Karen tribe in Chiang Mai. They live near the border of Burma, and the time taken to reach their village would be about 4 hours or so from town. Do NOT liken seeing these indigeneous people as seeing the animals in the zoo. They have a rich culture, and as they do speak a spattering of the English language, you can also ask them about their lifestyle.

Traditionally the women who could afford it would start wearing brass coils on their necks, arms and legs from the time they're 5 years old. The coils would be polished daily so that'd they'd have a high sheen. They'll upgrade their coils whenever they can afford it. The average weight of a coil on an adult woman's neck is about 3 - 5 kg!!! You can buy nice hand-woven cloth at the village. It'll help improve their way of life.

The Akha village is situated right next to the Karen's. Women of the Akha tribe chew betel nut leaves which will leave an unsightly reddish-blackish stain on their teeth. The Akhas are known for thier toolwork and you can buy wood carvings and silverware at their village.

ladyleo0408's Profile Photo
Feb 07, 2006

Things To Do Near Chiang Mai

Things to Do

Tha Phae Gate

Tha Phae Gate is part of the eastern wall of the old city in Chiang Mai. Built back in 1296 during the founding of Chiang Mai. Originally there was and outer and inner gate. The outer gate was named...
View More
Things to Do

Bhubing Palace

So this place was built in the 1960s as a home for Thai royalty when they came to Chiang Mai to visit as well as serve as guest quarters for foreign dignitaries. Please read more on Wikipedia. What I...
View More
Things to Do

Butterfly and Orchid Farm

It's a strange but beautiful production - butterflies. As a matter of fact the "factory" is a tropical garden, recreating the natural condition for butterflies create and grow. Wonderful flowers,...
View More
Things to Do

National Museum

This temple is a unique and elegant temple located next door to the Chiang Mai National Museum, about 2km north-west of the old city, along the Superhighway. It was built in 1455 during the reign of...
View More
Things to Do

Snake Farm

It is hard to imagine snakes being mistreated like this. After all, they are not difficult to take care of. But this place blew my mind in the worst possible way. The snake show was one thing: loud,...
View More
Things to Do

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden

This international botanical garden extends over a mountainous area of 560 acres was established to honour Queen Sirikit in 1992. The garden has an excellent collection of Thai and foreign plants laid...
View More

Getting to Chiang Mai


Baan Tong Luang, Mae Raem Subdistrict, Mae Rim, Th


We don't yet have hours for this Things to Do. Help us improve our info!