Padung Long Neck girl in Chiang Ma

Visiting Chiang Mai and Baan Tong Luang Long Neck Village

Chiang Mai is one of the greatest and most famous tourist destinations in Thailand attracting over 5 million visitors each year.

The most beautiful city in Thailand

Chiang Mai is well known for its Buddhist temples, the night bazaar, the handicraft market, the silver street, surrounding mountains and the hill tribe peoples such as the long-neck Padaung who call themselves Kayan. The Baan Tong Luang Long Neck Village is very popular among visitors to Thailand.

Chiang Mai has a great nightlife with many bars, several clubs and live music venues as well as the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar which is located in the heart of the city, on the Chan Klan road. It is famous for its handicrafts and portrait paintings, jewelry and clothing.

The original town of Chiang Mai was built by King Mengrai in 1296. You can still see portions of the old city wall and the reconstructed Tapae Gate. Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples among them Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the city’s most famous temple, stands on Doi Suthep mount. Other temples to highlight and worth to visit are: Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in Chiang Mai; Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Chet Yot, Wiang Kum Kam located at the site of the old city on the southern outskirts of Chiang Mai, Wat Umong and Wat Suan Dok a 14th century temple.

Long Neck Padung woman in Chiang Mai.
Long Neck Padung woman in Baan Tong Luang, Chiang Mai. Photo: Adventure in Thailand.

Baan Thong Luang hill tribes village

Just around 24 km from Chiang Mai, in a beautiful valley, there is Baan Thong Luang, a ecological Padaung Village. Baan Thong Luang is a village of Karen hilltribes from Myanmar (Burma). Visitors should pay an entrance fee and once inside the village make an interesting visit to explore the culture and way of life of the long-neck Padaung who are genuinely friendly, take photos and buy beautiful handicrafts made by the Padaung themselves, including copper or brass neck coils. The Padaung women wear heavy copper neck rings, the neck ring adornment is started when the girls are 5 or 6 years old. Most of Padaung are animists, about 10 percent are Buddhists and there are also Christians. The village we visited had a school and church. Tour groups from Chiang Mai city go to Baan Tong Luang and Chiang Dao Karen Long Neck villages every day. Padaung mens copper neck.

Many people have their opinions on whether it’s ethical or not to support this kind of “people tourism” or visit these so-called “human zoos.” The Padaung Hill Tribe is an ethnic minority in Myanmar who came to Thailand in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to conflict with the military regime in Burma. Their women sell souvenirs to tourists who come by to take photos of the women and their necks, bringing business to the tribe and to the local businessmen who run the villages and collect an entry fee.

Long neck girl in Baan Tong Luang, Chiang Mai
Long neck girl in Baan Tong Luang, Chiang Mai province. Photo: Adventure in Thailand.

Beside visit Buddhist temples in Chiangmai and the long neck villages I strongly recommend to take a look at the Bai Orchid and Butterfly Farm (Butterfly and Orchid Garden), where you can see and even touch different species of butterflies and admire native Thai Orchid species.

-Thailand News (TN)

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