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Thailand Fly & Drive – Part 25 (Mae Hong Son)
After lunch at Mae Hong Son, we decide to make a slight detour to check out the Long Neck Village, which is about a 30 minute drive from town. The Kayan tribe is immediately recognisable by the rings on the necks of the ladies, which serve as a symbol of beauty in their culture.
This village is “supposedly” where you can go take a look at the tribe in an authentic setting and to better appreciate their way of life. There is a lot of controversy about whether these experiences are authentic or if they are actually an exploitation of the hill tribe communities and merely staged to lure in foreign tourists. It’s hard to really tell which is the real truth.
It is interesting to hear both sides of the story, but probably the best way to find out is to go there to see for yourself!
Following the road signs near the village, we are led to drive down this uneven path>>
This causes some problems for my car, and I hear some scraping sounds coming from the undercarriage of my vehicle, which worries me a bit. We will share more about these sounds in a subsequent blog post where I will share about my vehicular woes. For now, we make it down safely to the parking area, which is across the river from the village. It is a very scenic and tranquil setting.
I bring the kids down to the river bank to take a look. Before long, a long boat from the opposite side starts to cross the river, heading in our direction.
With no real way to communicate regarding the pricing, we have a choice, to turn back, or to get on board the boat and to accept that we might be ripped off.
Since we were already there, I had a feeling of just “whatever… let’s get on board and accept our fate.”
At least the kids enjoyed the little boat ride.
Over on the other side, we are told the damage to our wallets, THB80 for the boat ride and THB200 for entry into the village. For the kids it was free entry. I was certainly grateful and pleasantly surprised that the admission price was actually quite reasonable. I really wonder what happened to the Canadian tourist above that got charged THB500 per person.
Our kids are so deprived, or perhaps so easily satisfied, the first thing in the village that catches their attention is the chickens….
… and the friendly dogs. Yes many of them freely roam all over the place.
As we walk through the main street, many stalls have been set up by the villagers, selling items that they have made. Most of the stuff look very well crafted and of high quality. We also see tribal people playing stringed instruments and singing some ethnic songs.
There are village buildings and facilities that have been kindly donated to the tribal people from all over the world. For example, their water purification system, their school building and assembly hall. Many of these facilities are very practical and have had real benefit to the lives of these people.
It is a pity that our time at the village was short, because we had a whole day of driving left ahead of us. We will leave you with this video walk through of the main street of the village back to the long boats. Enjoy!
Thankfully, no further fee for the long boat ride back to the car park. All in all, it was a pleasant visit. We would have definitely gained a better understanding if we could stay longer and actually talk to some of the people there.
- Value for Money (7/10): THB200 for adults, free of charge for the kids, and THB20 each for the boat ride. Entrance prices should probably have been more transparent at the outset.
- Quality of Experience (7/10): This village is probably as authentic an experience that we can hope for as a tourist. They are living their lives not for show, and are keen to preserve their culture and heritage.
- The Kids Loved It (9.7/10): Little Lioness Cub (10/10) “I liked the boat ride and the doggies” ; Little Lion Cub (9/10) “I could learn how people in the village live and what they do in their daily lives” ; Little Baby Lion (10/10) “I liked the chickens” I guess only one of my three kids has their priorities right at this point. 😛
- The Adults Loved It: (7/10): It was very fun for me to laugh at my kids getting scared by the dinosaurs. Yes sounds very cruel of this Daddy to say that, but there you go… 😛
- Memories Created (7/10): For sure this is an interesting place to visit. Good to expose the children to a lifestyle that is different from their own.
- Crowds (8/10): Not crowded
- OVERALL RATING: (7.5/10): Some pros, some cons. All in all, still a worthwhile visit.
- 2019 Thailand Fly and Drive
- Off to Bangkok
- Review: Ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 50
- Sara Jane’s @ the Empire Place
- Amazing Young Musician on the Streets
- Drive from Bangkok to Khao Kho
- Review: Tonkho at Home, Khao Kho
- Sunrise at Khao Takhian Ngo
- Temple on a Glass Cliff
- Tea @ Pino Latte
- Visit to the Weapon Museum
- Amazing Dinosaur!
- A Tale of Two Dinners
- Drive from Khao Kho to Chiang Mai
- Review: Ibis Styles Chiang Mai
- Chiang Mai Tribal Museum
- Wacky World of Insects!
- Driving the Mae Hong Son Loop
- Drive from Chiang Mai to Pang Mapha
- Pai Historical Bridge
- Pai Canyon
- Pai Land Split
- Review: Ban Keawmora, Pang Mapha
- Drive from Pang Mapha to Mae Win
- Long Neck Village
- Car Woes on the Way to Mae Win
- Day Trip to Doi Inthanon
- The Royal Twin Pagodas
- More Vehicle Misfortune and an Angel on a Motorbike
- Review: Mae Win Guesthouse and Resort
- Another Flat?! Drive from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khan
- Review: Phu Chiangkhan Hostel
- Chiang Khan Walking Street by Day
- The Majestic Mekong
- Chiang Khan Walking Street by Night
- Drive from Chiang Khan to Khon Kaen
- Review: Pullman Khon Kaen Raja Orchid
- The Problem of Laundry
- Birthday Day Out!
- The Nine-Storey Stupa
- Aura Farm
- King Cobra Village
- Khon Kaen City Museum
- 2019 Thailand Fly & Drive (Bangkok, Khao Kho, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son Loop, Chiang Khan, Khon Kaen, Khao Yai, Pattaya)
- 2019 Cameron Highlands Brothers Drive
- 2018 Bali Drive
- 2017 Hungary Winter Drive
- 2017 Hokkaido Winter Drive
- 2019 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2018 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Bangkok, Rayong)
- 2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand (Krabi, Phuket)
- 2016 Drive from Singapore to Thailand