From Northen to Southern Thailand Part 2: Chiang Rai, The Unlucky Hilltribe


Chiang Rai is located about 3 hours from Chiang Mai. There’s a bus called green bus which goes to Chiang Rai in every 2 hours. I went to Chiang Rai with my French friend. I wanted to see Wat Rong Khun, the white temple, and hill tribe villages to see long neck Karen. It’s pretty easy to reach Wat Rong Khun. The bus will drop you exactly in front of the temple. The position is out of the town, so before reach the town, that’s where Wat Rong Khun is. Wat Rong Khun is amazing. It was created and built by an artist.

The temple is all in white. The design is unique. It’s beautiful, on the other hand it looks creepy as well. Again, short is not allowed here. Don’t worry, you can borrow a piece of cloth to cover your lower body.

creepy hand sculptures

Throw coins and wish luck comes after you
Next destination was a hill tribe village in Chiang Rai. We rent a  rod daeng and the driver, 300 baht. It was a hill tribe village, not very far. I was totally shocked when they asked 300 baht for the entrance fee. From what I read it’s just around 40 baht. I thought the worst price I had to pay was 100 baht. But the guard asked for 300 baht. It was sick! I had dilemma whether I should go inside or not. But I came this far, so, I got inside. There were 5 hill tribes in this village. Akha, Lahu, Yao, Big Earring, and Long Neck Karen.I was so sad seeing at the condition of this village. The entrance fee was fakin expensive but the village condition was so poor. They said the money was for village development. In fact, the looked very poor. The information board was not in good condition. People are only sitting and selling souvenirs, not doing normal activities. This is not what I want to see. I was totally disappointed.
Hill tribes migrated to the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. Some escaped from conflict in Myanmar and became refugees in Thailand. Sadly, they became tourism object for Thailand. From what I heard the government do not accept them as Thai citizens. It’s heart breaking seeing their life. I read a lot about this human zoo, but I didn’t know it was as bad as this. What really amazed me was the Long neck Karen. They have these rings around their necks. They believe that the rings prevent them from tigers. While other believe, the longer the brass coils circled rounding their necks, the more prettier they are. What torn my heart was they were truly become an object. What I mean here is, whenever I wanted to take their photos, they will turned their face to the camera and smile. It’s like they’re used to do this, and pushed to do this. Their smile couldn’t hide their sadness, and loneliness. I knew they want to live in freedom, but without this things, this environment, it’s harder for them to survive.

Long Neck Karen

Akha Hill Tribe

condition of the village

beautiful smile

Yao Hill Tribe

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