will close on Feb 27th.

Please save any personal content and exchange contact info with other members you?d like to stay in touch with. Thank you for your contributions to the VirtualTourist community.

"Hilltribes" Thailand Favorite Tip by Pomska

Thailand General: 597 reviews and 418 photos

Favorite thing: There are several hilltribes in the northern Thailand. Every one of them has their own language, customs, mode of dress and spiritual beliefs. There are also numerous sub-categories within in one tribe. The hill tribes are recognised for their colorful and unique costume. There are seven dominant tribes: Yao, Karen, Akha, Lahu, Hmong, Mien and Lisu.

The hill tribes have migrated into the region during the past 100-200 years and they prefer to live above 1000 m. Some hill tribes used to grow opium but the government eradicated it succesfully.Most of the hill tribes are living in the Golden Triangle (borders with Burma and Laos).

Karen is the largest hill tribe and they are the most environmentally conscious of the tribes. The population is approximately 300.000. They are originally from Myanmar.

Hmong is the second-largest tribe and it's "famous" for for example polygamy which is widely practised. Population is around 124.000.

Akha tribe is the most fscinating and colourful of the tribes. The origins are in Tibet and Myanmar. Population is around 50.000.

Paduang tribe is a sub-group of the Shan and they are very intresting because of their long-necked women (I bet you have seen a picture of them somewhere). They beautify their women by adding brass rings to their necks.

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Feb 26, 2006
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

Online Now


Top 5,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 1 0 3 5

Have you been to Thailand?

  Share Your Travels