I was amazed to hear that tourists cou ld visit the Baan Lorcha village of the Karen Long-Neck Tribe, one of the few opportunities to meet the tribe and experience how they live!
The Karen tribe lives a simple life growing crops in the fields, taking care of their families, weaving and selling their handcrafts to the tourists. Still living in small bamboo huts on stilts, the ancient way handed down throughout the ages.
The neck ring's tradition is one which now allowed the children to decide whether they wanted to begin wearing the brass rings or not.
National Geographic Magazine wrote about the Karen Tribe, "Emotions tie the mother to the child and traditions tie her identity to that of the tribe. And the rings around her neck - the signatures of the tribe tie the present to a rich past."
There were several other hill-tribe villages at the Baan Lor Cha village, each wearing their own tribal colors and headdresses, practicing their traditions and customs.
These Hill-Top Tribes were not just selling souvenirs but they all live there following the ways of their ancestors. These are real villages, not just for the tourists.
Visitors walked from one Hill-tribe village to the next seeing the Yao, Lahu, Karen (Padong), Akha and Palong tribes. This was like a living museum.
According to records at the Museum of Karen History and Culture, the Karen Tribe migrated to South East Asia around 1128 B. C. Later they traveled to northern Thailand from Myanmar (Burma) in the 17th century.
Mistreated by the Burmese, the Karen Tribe fled to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and around the Golden Triangle living in their traditional-style all of these years.
The Baan Lor Cha Hill-Tribe Village was the highlight of the Thailand tour and only one hour from downtown Chiang Rai.
Visitors have a choice of joining Thai cultural activities like learning Thai massage techniques, Thai cooking class, rice farming lessons, performing arts/ crafts and weaving classes, and more.
There are so many ways to really see Thailand!
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