"Village Of Long Neck Women" Top 5 Page for this destination Chiang Dao by Mikebb

Chiang Dao Travel Guide: 37 reviews and 171 photos

Arriving in Chiang Mai for our 3 night visit during March we were determined not to miss the Long Necked Karen Women. A few days earlier we were in The Golden Triangle at Chiang Saen town on the banks of the Mekong River with Laos just 300 metres away and missed visiting the Hill Tribe people.

We took a 3 hour guided tour to Baan Tong Luang, only a 30 minute drive from Chiang Mai to see the refugee village established in 1995 for the hill tribe people. The Hill-Tribes Village, set in a rural area at the base of a hill houses families from five idigenous tribes.

The Longnecked Karen Tribe women wear the golden rings on their neck and they were the reason for our visit. We had read about these people and seen them on television.

The other 4 tribes were a bonus. The White Karen Tribe, unmarried girls and women wears white dresses only, and after they marry they wear highly colorful costumes.

The Lahu Tribe women wear very large earring whilst the Pa Long Hill-Tribe women wears very colourful sarong's, a wide silver waistband and black rattan amulets for protection from evil spirits.The Hmong Tribe women wear heavily embroidered costumes and the men wear baggy trousers.

We were welcomed into the Long Necked Women village which appears to be a commercial tourist operation. We were there for approximately an hour as we walked up the village main street with small shopfronts attached to each house.

The Long Necked Women were shopfront usually working their weaving machines. As we approached each shop they stopped and spoke to us and welcomed photographs.

My wife did not like the village, the main reason being she thought it degrading the women.

  • Last visit to Chiang Dao: Mar 2010
  • Intro Updated Apr 20, 2010
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Reviews (13)

Comments (8)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    I certainly agree with your wife not liking the visit to the Longnecks. If you investigate the past you maybe you will be shocked at what went on,and how they got to Thailand in the first place !! I have seen them myself but in Myanmar. And i believe that only the old were original Longnecks, but i got the impression that the younger ones were locals, the rings were looser and covered with a scarf and i had the feeling that maybe it was a scam and they could take them off at night. This was in the grounds of an exclusive hotel where they had souvenir shops.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    I went to the same village as you did. I didn't like the set-up either, all for the Tourist! I thought they looked so sad!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    A shame those women have to wear those heavy neck-rings - strange customs in this world! Too bad about the rice field man-made drought. The book 'Climate Wars' predicts India will divert a lot of Himalayan Mts. meltwater before it reaches Pakistan.

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    absolutely fascinating, the histories of these tribes and their traditions must be great folklore. and great picture of a dragonfly- i have always been afraid of them.

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    This must have been a fascinating but disturbing visit at the same time, I can well understand your wife's feelings. Very interesting tips!

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2010 at 5:29 AM

    I'd heard of the long necked ladies, Mike, but hadn't realised the downsides of the weight of rings and wasting of muscles. Interesting about the drought and water problems there also.

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Interesting way to spend a little bit of time...Ive seen a television show outlining the lack of status that these people endure. Thai government wont grant them citizenship and they cant return to theyre home country..a nasty dilemma.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    I've seen a national geographic special about these very special ladies. It was fascinating. Wonderful page Mike!


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