Doi Pui Hmong Village Chiang Mai
Doi Pui Hmong Village, Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai
Doi Pui Village is home to members of the Hmong hill tribe, and is set on the far heights of Doi Suthep Mountain in Doi Suthep National Park. It’s a popular spot for tourist visits, but not all the villagers are involved in the Chiang Mai tourist trade, with some still farming the land using traditional methods and others providing the necessities for village life. Most of the younger Hmong work in Chiang Mai, with their wages helping to fund modern amenities such as electricity and televisions.
The village itself is overlooked by forested hills, and there’s an open area surrounded by eateries and bars which is kept for sports and festivals. The village streets are lined with little stores selling mostly tourist souvenirs and Hmong traditional clothing with its distinctive colours and intricate geometric embroidery. Traditional ethnic jewellery can also be purchased. An original souvenir of your visit involves dressing in a Hmong outfit and having your photograph taken.
At the edge of the village there’s a traditional, beautifully-tended garden with a small waterfall and spectacular views, although entrance will cost you 20 baht. A path leads into the forests outside the village, but visitors are warned to take care as there are many snakes in the area. A fun opportunity to test your crossbow skills by firing arrows at a large fruit will cost you 10 baht for 3 arrows, giving another photo-opportunity.
Perhaps one of the most interesting sights here is a small patch of opium poppies, grown as ingredients for Hmong natural medicine preparation. All the various hill tribes in northern Thailand use opium in their traditional medicines, although its large-scale cultivation has been illegal for many decades. Climbing the hill away form the village, you’ll be rewarded by breathtaking vistas across soaring mountains running north and dividing the Ping River Valley from the far northern plains and the Burmese border at Mae Sai.
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