In Doi Suthep national park you find Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village.
“Doi” means as we know “mountain”. Doi Pui is located only a short drive from Bhubing Palace and about from 5 kilometers from the famous temple Wat Doi Suthep. It will be a perfect combination to visit all 3 places.
When you first arrive at the parking lot in front of the Hmong Hill Tribe Village everything is screaming “tourist trap”. But Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village is a lot more than that. If you peel the tourist layer away, so to speak, then you will get a real eye-opener.
Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village is very close to Chiang Mai and villagers income depend on tourist. But here you have an extraordinaire chance to get a glimpse of how hill tribes in Thailand live and how their everyday life is.
When you walk away from the streets where the souvenirs are sold, you will come to where the villagers live. It is a little village so it is not a long walk, just take one of the side streets.
When I have been driving around the mountains I have been to a lot of hill tribe villages where other than the villagers seldom comes. And all the hill tribe villages look, more or less like what you will see in Doi Pui Hmong hill tribe Village.
Click on any image below to view it in full size.
When you arrive at the parking lot if front of the village, you see the all the signs of this is a tourist attraction, in form of the parking area is lined with shops and restaurants. My first thought was that nothing authentic to find in this village.
Some post on the other blog post i have seen, also claim that Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village, is properly as fake as a 30 bath note. But I decided to have a look anyway.
When you enter the village you are meet by souvenir shops. There are also shops selling fruit and vegetable grown in the area around the village. For most the hill tribes in Thailand, farming is the main source of income.
The souvenirs you will find here, you can also find in the night bazaar in Chiang Mai. I sincerely doubt that all the souvenirs are made in the village. However some of them are, as you will see if you walk around the village and have a glimpse into some of the houses.
When get into the more private part of the village you will see a typical hill tribe village as you will find them all over the north of Thailand. The first image below shows a few young people who have made a crossbow shooting gallery, here you have the chance to try an original Thai crossbow.
The crossbow are still used in the country side. People use it for shooting small animals like frogs or fish in the rice fields. The last picture is an old hand powered rice mill and that is also still in use.
A very nice attraction in the village is the garden. Because of the higher altitude it have a wide range of flowering plants you normally do not find in Thai gardens. The garden is laid out in terraces and there is a nice view of the mountains and the village.
The garden is a favorite place to take pictures. When I was there, there were many girls in traditional Hmong hill tribe clothing. A lot of the visitors took advantage of the opportunity to have their pictures taken together with the girls.
Doi Pui Hmong Hill Tribe Village also have a museum. It is not big. In fact, it is only two rooms in a bamboo hut. You will only find some household remedies, some crossbows and some tools for rice growing.
This is evidence of a very simple life, where people live in harmony with the nature and only have needed very few material things. Nowadays the Hill Tribe people has some modern necessities but far from as many as people from the cities have.
When you visit the remote hill tribe villages, people still live, more or less as they as they have done for hundreds of years. Doi Pui Hmong hill tribe village is a great place to get insight into how life in the mountain end has been, and in many places still are.
Watch the gallery as a slideshow.