Hill tribes... and lots of "hello, you buy"

Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
Trip End Dec 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Chada House

Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello...you buy.
Very friendly and very familiar with foreigners... these are the hill tribes, Akha, Karen and Lisu, chasing us trying (and managing) to sell everything. I suppose it's the right thing to do. Imagine: strangers come and look at you, at your homes, animals and so on as attractions, taking pictures of everything, sometimes with no respect at all...the minimum you can do is sell them stuff and be a bit pushy "why no thanks? You buy!!!"...and Ian bought a Akha tribal hat with bells on it! Gorgeous. :)
Still really interesting and different from what we were expecting. Felt a bit bad for the touristic side of it, but we couldn't have done it in any different way. Plus, the government gives them aid so at least they are being looked after more than in the past. Few of these tribes come from Burma, kind of refugees, so for them shouldn't be too bad...still, strange feeling.

Got to see an orchid farm and a butterfly farm. Which was a bonus as it wasn't included in our tour. We managed to destroy the free orchids they gave us. Another bonus was getting to visit the paper factory - making paper out of elephant crap!!!! Very nice!

Chiang Dao caves was another highlight of the tour, big, full of Buddhas. Not as amazing as we were thinking. But maybe we didn't get to see the deepest part of it. Still nice to get out of the heat for a while.

Finally, we reached the last village, the so called long neck tribe. The ones with the rings around their neck (just the women). Some had up to 25 rings! Amazing.

Mr. Hand was the tour guide and we met a few nice people as well, which is always good. Some of them were just coming from Laos, and suggested to avoid it now due to the amount of smoke from the burning crops. Pity 'cause that was our next goal, we've to decide now what to do.
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