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Baan Nam Phiang Din
Baan Nam Phiang Din or Long Neck Village Baan Huay Pu Keng
Baan Nam Phiang Din is the Thai name of the long neck village Baan Huay Pu Keng.
Baan Nam Piang Din situated in Mae Hong Son, Thailand. It is a small village populated primarily by the Kayan (long-neck) and Kayaw (big-ears) Karenni ethnic sub-groups.
Baan Nam Piang Din is about 20km from Maehongson city. The village is on Pha Bong sub-district is the only village of this kind to be reached by cruising for about an hour along the Pai River, both sides of which are made up of fine scenery. Here you will find long-necke and long-eare girls. Handicrafts made by them are available.
Start your day tour with the short transfer from Mae Hong Son Town to Baan Huai Dua pier and take a 60 minute long-tail boat ride along a scenic route with marvelous cataracts on the Pai River to Baan Nam Phiang Din, a small Thai-Burmese border village. . It takes you on a journey of discovery into the world of Mother Nature in just 25 minutes where you can find gigantic fig trees, bamboo forest, waterfowls foraging for food along the riverbank etc.
Upon arrival, you will greeting by a blue wooden signboard “Long Neck Village (Kayan)” and Baan Huay Pu Keng (Thai Language). The village is surrounded by jungle. There is no signal, no electricity and it’s so quiet. We stayed in Rimu’s house, she had done the workshop with us so we immediately felt quite comfortable.
The area was larger, with multiple houses, a church and even a school. The village wasn’t entirely occupied by just the long neck women, with some of the women instead displaying elongated ear lobes, rings around their calves, and even some in just plain clothes with no bodily adornments. Many of the women were congregating together while the long neck women would sit by their homes, with handmade goods on display for purchase. There was still a bit of a push to buy something from the women, but they were more than willing to pose for photos regardless. Some of them even had postcards in which they were the featured subjects taken when they were children. This village still had a little of the staged feel to it, but there was a more genuine and relaxed feel to it.
Walking into the village the first thing I notice is that it is full of women. They are beautiful and smiling, and around some of their necks are coils, some of the younger girls have only a few, and the older ones have very long neck coils.
Normally, a Kayan woman carries 5 kg of brass coils around the neck. In the past, it made the women looked more attractive or simply preventing the women from getting bitten by tigers. In recent years, younger women have started removing the coils. Presently, there are 247 Kayan nationals residing in the village.
They are pretty friendly and willing to pose a photo upon requst.
The children peeked shyly at the visitors from the balcony of their wooden stilted home.
The villagers are in fact Burmese refugees who fled the persecution of minority groups in Burma.Instead of living in refugee camps, as many people do, the Thai government decided to create several tourism villages, to make money from the unusual ‘long necks’ of the refugee women. Many families are here, unable to leave as they are still refugees, making a small living from tourism. They cannot travel out of their designated area, and must stay in the provincial managed locations unless they had permission from their District Office. For help them, visitors are able to buy souveniors such as necklaces, clothes, and bags from the tribal people.
There are valid claims that these villages are ‘human zoos’. That said, a small decrease in the number of visitors is unlikely to change the situation and the people in the villages are reliant on visitors for income.
But villagers are working together to move away from the ‘human zoo’ tourism models that have been associated with our people in Thailand.
Life tends to be tougher for the villagers during the periods when there are few visitors.
The most important thing is that, as a visitor, you treat the place with respect as a village and not as a ‘human zoo’.
It is possible to stay the night in Huay Pu Keng in guest houses built by the residents of Huay Pu Keng. Most tourists pay quick visits to the Kayan villages, take a few photos of the women and leave without getting to know anything about the Kayan people: why they are in Thailand, why they wear the rings, what remains of their traditional culture and beliefs, what are their hopes for the future?
Be different……Experience life in this unique village, stay in their new guest houses overlooking the river, share their traditional food and spend time talking to these very special people.
Getting to Baan Nam Phiang Din and Entrance Fee
Drive from Mae Hong Son Town Turn right at the Imperial Tara Mae Hong Son The path to Tha Pong Daeng village about 4 km before the bridge turn left to cross the river Pai. Along Pai river to Huay Dua. A long tail called the Port Authority Port Huai Dua. The service to Baan Nam Piang Din Use the Add travel time approximately 1 hour aircraft at 800 baht can sit 7 people.
Baan Huai Dua Pier open daily from 9:00 to 17:00 am
Entrance Fee : Pay 250 THB for entrance to the village.
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