"Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai" Thailand Travelogue by Homanded
Thailand Travel Guide: 31,387 reviews and 79,685 photos
Any time you are able to step back from your own life and become observers of someone elses you gain appreciation for that which you have and respect for those that seem just as happy without your "Creature Comforts".
This is what Chiang Rai was like for us.
Be prepared for an all day trip (if you're starting point is Chiang Mai) and MANY shopping stops along the way. Seems to be a part of the "tour package".
Although we avoided many (see warnings) it still took us about 8 hours to reach the village.
The trip was worth it!
Chiang Mai / Chiang Rai is an amazing opportunity to get to meet the Hill tribes people. Candy, toys and small token souveniers from your own country assures warm smiles from already friendly people.
Pay special attention to the children and, if you have children of your own, use this opportunity to teach them about cultures. Remember they're much more than a Picture trophy, take time to ask questions, offer insights about your own culture.
Children are specially inquisitive and will wonder up to you or play games with you if you take the time to show interest. Much too often, adults are too caught up in souvenier shopping or a good picture opportunity and ignore the little ones. Kids can be found playing games in the jungle or, with their animal friends. Laughter fills the air. Note: we did not carry chocolate but instead chose soft chewable natural fruit flavoured candy. A good secondary option are school supplies such as pens/pencils/crayons
The cultures are varied and colorful. Friendly smiles are always there to welcome you - along with plenty of souveniers. If you're seeking authentic gifts for your friends/family, acquire your souveniers here or at the Tribal Cultural center in Chiang Mai where you can also see native dances and taste delicious local fare. Proceeds go directly to the tribes people.
This tribe seemed a little bit more "standoffish". I notice also they were more apt to show little interest in bargaining. We bought some wonderful silver bracelets and head dress from this woman.
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