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Thailand Photos: Trek & Karen hilltribe village home stay, elephant ride, bamboo rafting - Chiang Mai : 21 - 23 May 2005

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We took a night sleeper train to Chiang Mai on one Friday night. Next day morning we were taken to a two days one night trek and Karen hilltribe village home stay in Samoeng district, western part of Chiang Mai province. It was a brief introduction to the life of people in the hills, their farming and ways of living, and elephants.

Crossing a stream  A farm hut in the field
After spending few hours in the pick up truck transfer, visiting a market and a Hmong village we started walking through farm lands of Homng, Shan and Karen people. We saw little farm huts, cows and buffalos, as well as farmers. Occasionally we walked on hillsides and through the forest. Sometimes we had to pass streams. The area was not in the middle of jungle, and the walk was relatively easy.

Chickens looking of rice  Grinding rice in a traditional foot operated grinder
Foot-operated paddy grinder in a small Karen village where we took a rest. Chickens were looking for spilled over rice grains to eat. These villages are in fact not very far from the road, and are not located vary high in the mountains. In many villages we saw solar panals to generate electricity for lighting.

In the same Karen village we saw a small hut in which was set up of hand weaving of cloths. Karen people traditionally weave cloths, clothes, bags, blankets, and other accessories by hand. They buy cotton, zipper, and colouring materials at the market in town. Natural colouring are also done by mixing appropriate plant extracts to get different colours. Hand weaving of cloths - Karen village

Primary school at Ban Mae Kap Poo Farming in the hills
After arriving at the village where we would sleep we went to a village called Ban Mae Kap Poo where we donated some books and writing materials for primary school students. The photo on the left is the primary school in Ban Mae Kap Poo. A teacher who lives nearby the school accepted our donation. On the right is a scene on the way.

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