Doi Pui Hmong Tribal Village : Tribal Village Chiang Mai
Doi Pui Hmong Tribal Village is located on Doi Suthep, a 1676 meter high mountain that is the focal point of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui National Park. The village is about 4 kilometers away from Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and despite being a key tourist attraction, and therefore probably not as authentic as it could be, it still offers an insight into how Thailand tribes live. The villagers wear traditional Hmong clothes, sell traditional Hmong handicrafts, and live in traditional Hmong-style homes. However, those looking for a less contrived view of the Hmong may have to go deeper into Chiang Mai! Worth a visit if you have the time. A visit to the Tribal Village is often combined with a visit to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep and some of the waterfalls in the area, as well as a jaunt to the Hilltribes Museum.
In the village is the small house arranged as museum displaying hill tribe cloths, plantation tools, kitcheners and opium producing equipments. Upon the hill above the village is an attractive garden abundant with beautiful flowers planting. Along the walk way through the village is plenty of handicraft shop with variety of hill tribe products including cloths, hats, caps, bags, belts, and accessories.
The entrance to Hmong Doi Pui Village is filled with numerous shops selling intricate Hmong crafts including silver, textiles and gemstones as well as locally grown season fruit, winter flowers and the famous oolong tea.
Next to the market is the Doi Pui Hill tribe Museum where visitors can understand the Hmong lifestyle. The destination at the top of the hill is a garden area, visitors need to pay a ten baht entrance fee to help maintain the beautiful exhibits of vegetables and flowers, including the opium poppy which used to be a mainstay of the economy of the hilltribe dwellers. In winter the area is filled with the pink blooms of the Wild Himalayan Cherry or the Sakura of Thailand. There is also a restaurant and coffee shop where visitors can enjoy the view of Doi Pui while sipping locally grown Arabica coffee.
The Chiang Mai Mail had the opportunity to talk with village elders at the Hmong Doi Pui Village. “From the past to the present, Hmong Doi Pui Village has been growing steadily, especially residential. Currently there are approximately 200 households, with a population of about 1,300 people. The main income of the villager comes from tourism but in the past this has been affected by the political situation. Villagers also have orchards, mainly lychee which is very popular but whose production is uneven from year to year.”
“The lifestyle of the village has not had many changes, villagers still hold on to their traditional culture by wearing traditional Hmong clothing during the important festivals. The children have adapted to both city culture and Hmong culture but often the elders live more traditionally.”
The village is committed to educating visitors on Hmong culture and customs; When the foreign tourists seem more interested in the cultural aspects while Thai tourists are more interested in nature. The community is committed to keeping their traditions and culture alive and have a rule forbidding exploitation by tourists. While some people do go and work and study in the city many come back after graduating to work in the village. He concluded, “All villagers work together to conserve and maintain Hmong culture and the traditional customs of their ancestors.”
Note : The Hmong are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China. Hmong groups began a gradual southward migration in the 18th century due to political unrest and to find more arable land.
A number of Hmong people fought against the communist-nationalist Laos during the Laotian Civil War. Hmong people were singled out for retribution when Laos took over the Laotian government in 1975, and tens of thousands fled to Thailand seeking political asylum. Thousands of these refugees have resettled in Western countries since the late 1970s, mostly the United States but also Australia, France, French Guiana, and Canada. Others have been returned to Laos under United Nations-sponsored repatriation programs. Around 8,000 Hmong refugees remain in Thailand.
Note : Not accessible for wheelchair user
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Doi Pui Hmong Tribal Village Map