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3 November; Hill Tribes and Loi Krathong Vibes

THAILAND | Friday, 3 November 2017 | Views [580] | Comments [1]

Padung Hill Tribe, Thailand, Karen

Padung Hill Tribe, Thailand, Karen

Today is the full moon of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. That means it is Loi Krathong here in Thailand. One of the largest holidays, Loi Krathong – as the name suggests in Thai – is when you “float a basket.” That basket is floated down a river as the person releases it makes a wish for the coming year. Supposedly, you also “float away” all the bad things in your life and send them down river. Here in Chiang Mai, Loi Krathong coincides with the Yi Peng festival. For Yi Peng, floating lanterns are released into the sky. Word has it, flights out of Chiang Mai have been rescheduled or cancelled for this evening due to lanterns filling the night. I can see them – there are hundreds within view at any given time. Thousands have been released tonight from down on the Mae Ping river – also where people are releasing their floats (Krathong).

This morning we set out on a trip to visit numerous hill tribe people in a cultural village north of here. The tribes, their crafts, and their traditional attire were on display. We thoroughly enjoyed talking with the people there and getting to know more about their cultures. Perhaps one of the most interesting is the Karen Padung tribe.  These are the ones who are famous for their “long necks.” The women wear brass rings around their necks that actually push some of their bones downward rather than stretch their necks. People will argue about visiting these tribes – whether or not ethical or not. But not visiting may actually do more harm to these people. Some are still in refugee status here and this is their means of making money. We tried to get to know some of them a bit more – asking about their culture and learning from them. All in all, it was a good visit. We had some people smiling when we left.

After coming back to Chiang Mai, we headed down to the market near the river. We shopped around for some spices my wife wanted and some Asian snacks our friends wanted. Afterward, we settled in at a table on the river for a couple of beers. There we saw the beginning of krathongs floating down the river. After some that, we made our way back towards our hotel. The busy road leading to the river was teeming with people headed to release their krathongs and lanterns on the river. We bumped into our British friends from yesterday’s elephant experience along the road – made sure we connected with them on some social media. Good times.

Tonight, dinner at the hotel. Right under our noses has been one of the tastier restaurants in the old city. Always full of people, it was a “why not” moment. The kitchen did not disappoint. Our friends ordered a pizza – that was really pretty good. The Thai food was really good too.

Overall, a great day today with hill tribes and Loi Krathong vibes. Really enjoying this trip.

Tomorrow, we will head up the mountain to visit a few sights including the temple at Doi Suthep. The weather has been outstanding so far – it should continue to be so – just quite a bit cooler up the mountain. My wife and I went there last year. So crisp, so beautiful. Our travel crew is looking forward to it.

Thank you again for taking time to read this journal. Cheers.

Tags: chiang mai, hill tribes, loi krathong, thailand




  John Lintz Nov 4, 2017 2:12 AM

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