After a nice morning of alms offerings and seeing Doi Suthep, it was time to visit the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe. I was really looking forward to it and can still remember when I first learned about the Karen people while visiting a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in Florida. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to meet them!
The people were very nice. They invite you to talk to them and ask questions. The women are extremely talented in weaving and wood carving. They make some beautiful hand-woven scarves.
The selling of scarves, clothing, and jewelry are a major source of income. So be sure to purchase a few things when you visit. My sister picked out a couple scarves to give as souvenirs. There were lots of colors to choose from. They also make lovely jewelry.
We quickly recognized their elongated necks covered with the heavy brass rings. They also wear them on their forearms and shins. They’re made out of one solid piece of metal and were quite heavy!
In the early days, the brass rings were worn for beauty and protection against tigers. Today, many of the Karen women wear the rings to hold onto their heritage. They simply want to keep the tradition going.
We also met a couple other women from other tribes. They wear different traditional clothing and do not wear the brass rings around their neck.
You’ll have opportunities to take photos with them and bring back some unique souvenirs.
While the main tourist attraction to the Hill Tribes of Thailand are the Karen Long Necks (Paduang), there are also many other groups and tribes you can visit.
We had such a nice time during our short visit to the Karen Long Neck Hill Tribe village. I highly suggest making the trip and experiencing it.
Long Neck Village
Chiang Mai Tour Center