On our trip to Thailand a few years back, Kim and I took a day trip from Chiang Mai to visit the hill tribes. Along the way we stopped at a butterfly sanctuary, an underground temple and another temple or two.
The trip was a long day and the highlight was our visit to see the hill tribes. The visit wasn’t the most authentic feeling but it was still interesting. The area we visited was basically a crafts village with members of various hill tribes selling their goods and posing for photos.
There are approx 7 main hill tribe groups (Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Yao, Hmong, Karen and Lawa) who migrated from neighboring China, Tibet and Myanmar to the rural highlands of northern Thailand. Their traditional way of life as farmers in the mountains is a fascination to many travelers in the region.
|Long Neck Karen Tribe|
We weren’t really interested in buying crafts. The main purpose of the visit was to get some interesting photos. (If we had more time, we would’ve visited an authentic village further north.)
After wandering around and taking some photos, one particular item caught my attention.
I came across a really interesting hat. It looked authentic, handmade and possibly like something one of the tribes would wear. The women selling the hat didn’t speak English so I couldn’t get much info out of her.
The most important question I had was finding out the price.
|Trying on the hat|
It turned our that the hat was a bargain. It cost around $3. It’s probably the cheapest hat in my collection!
The hill tribe hat is one of my favorites in my collection. The only other souvenir we bought during our visit were some postcards of the Karen (Long-Neck) Tribe.