AKHA & YAO HILL TRIBES - CHIANG RAI TOUR
Pick up from hotel continue to Akha
village at Mae Chan District. The Akha people are rightly famous for their very
exotic and beautiful costumes, and can be seen in many towns in Thailand selling
their unique handicrafts. Akha people are usually of small stature, with dark
skin and fine, delicate features. Despite their typical poverty. They have a
resolute spirit and a great sense of humor. Quick to laugh and joke, they are
delightful people to stay with or visit, and are vary generous with whatever
they many have.
Deep within all Akha is the knowledge
of 'the Akha way' (the akha zang), which has dictated the pattern of their lives
for hundreds of years. The Akha originate in Tibet and southern China, and have
only recently entered Thailand, the first immigrants arriving around 1905. They
are found only in the far north of Thailand, mainly in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai
The Akha live at various altitudes,
depending upon the availability of suitable land, but typically in a position
offering good views over the surrounding country. Their houses are on low
stilts, with a large porch leading into a square living area with a stove,
usually at the back. The roof is steeply pitched. Their religion prescribes
exactly how each action should be performed. Any deviation from the traditional
is believed to lead to disaster.
The Yao hail from southern
China, and at one time had considerable prestige within the Chinese Empire, to
the extent that at one time a Yao princess was married to an emperor of China.
The Yao in Thailand are a sub-group called "Mien" of the greater Yao
family while most Yao inhabit southern China, Laos, and northern Vietnam. They
are the only minority group in Thailand to have used a written language-Chinese-
and practice a written religion based on medieval Chinese Taoism. In recent
years, however, there have been many converts to Christianity and Buddhism.
Their villages are widely scattered throughout the northeastern part of northern
Thailand, with concentrations around Nan, Phayao, and Chiang Rai. The costume of
the women is very distinctive, with a long black jacket with lapels of bright
scarlet wool, not unlike a Hawaiian lei. Heavily embroidered loose trousers in
intricate designs are worn, and a similarly embroidered black turban. The teeth
are commonly capped with gold. The skullcaps of babies are very beautiful,
richly embroidered with red or pink pom-poms. On special occasions, women and
children wear silver neck-rings, with silver chains extending down the back
decorated with silver ornaments.
Men wear a loose jacket, which buttons
diagonally across the front, with embroidered pockets and edgings.
Yao villages are typically at high
altitudes, with houses built of wooden planks on dirt floors. There is a guest
platform of bamboo in the communal living area, and two or more bedrooms. Girls
of marriageable age have a private bedroom in which they can entertain suitors.
The Yao are on the whole a very
peaceable and friendly people with a great sense of honor. They have grace and
elegance, and often a naturally aristocratic demeanor. They are extremely
sociable and open, and are delighted to play hosts to visitors.
The Yao are now integrating into Thai
life. Their exquisite embroidery is a very mareketable commodity, and their
willingness to adopt new ways gives hope for their future within Thailand.
Price per person in Thai Baht
Price valid 01 January 2013 - 31
Price / person
- Transfer from and to the hotel
- Sightseeing as described
- English-speaking guide
- All entrance fees
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