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“Sad Exploitation of Human Exhibit”
Review of Baan Tong Luang

Baan Tong Luang
Ranked #69 of 249 things to do in Chiang Mai
Attraction details
2 reviews
“Sad Exploitation of Human Exhibit”
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

Was looking forward to my visit to e long neck tribe but was saddened when I went to e rural tribe.

Found out that they were all refugees in Thailand with no real identity. The women folks were in their traditional wear, meaning the earrings n neck accessories.

Living standards were "traditional", with no hint of modern comfort. Whilst tourists were all swarming to take pictures with the tribe folks I could not fathom why with all the modern comforts are they contented to b living in e rural environment.

I then decided to find out more from my guide as to how are they compensated for their work. Turns out that they are given a low stipend monthly to supplement their livelihoods aside from their handicrafts they make. How much my guide could not tell me. But after reading online about the long neck tribe, I was saddened by their plight. I did not give a overall negative review for the location as I was not sure hw it might affect the village folks, but I wld like to advise all who plan to visit the village to heed my advice to research before dropping in to discourage the exploitation of these poor folks.

I really wish there were more things that I may for my fellow human, but at a place where they r so dependant on tourism dollar, I m sure working on improving their livelihood is not going to happen anytime soon as long as they keep raking in tourist that pays entrance fee to just gawk at them.

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Thank shiyamuda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
183 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
“A Living & Breathing Museum”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

Baan Tong Luang is very good for what it is. It is a touristy place so if you've had trekking experience before I can see that you might be disappointed. But if you don't have the time or desire to do the trekking, then a visit here is a concise snapshot of traditional villages and culture.

There are several different tribal villages set up here, you pay a 500 baht entry to see them all, but i imagine it helps to keep it running so well and prevents visitors from being hassled. I've been to other various "villages" which are not set up with entry and you get followed around and hassled to buy things and you don't see all that much. For this reason I think this arrangement works out to be much more pleasant for both the villagers and guests.

The villages here are set up adjacent to each other so you can wander from tribe to tribe, between the rice paddies, see how they cultivate their crops and in front of each house they set up stalls selling the crafts they make which makes it seem like an old market. The ladies are all dressed in traditional costume which is nice because even on treks you don't necessarily get to see villagers in costume. If you ask politely they will allow you to take pictures. The villagers are very friendly and you might find yourself in brief conversation with some as a few we met spoke a little English. Certainly enough to have a pleasant exchange with.

I think that Baan Tong Luang is much like a living and breathing museum. It may lack in some authenticity for more serious travellers, but it's interesting and pleasant nonetheless and I would recommend it for everyone else.

Visited December 2012
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3 Thank MissNinja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
384 reviews
196 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 300 helpful votes
“A hillside of peace”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

When we visited the hill tribe attraction at Baan Tong Luang we arrived to be struck by the absence of intrusive sound.
A camera is a must for the wealth of images you will see here while trainers or light walking boots will help you cope with the rough road rising up through the village. I'd also recommend taking water with you as it was extremely hot while we were there and our visit lasted nearly two hours.
The long necked Karen women are very beautiful and their ringed necks are undoubtedly a talking point, but it was the overall stay which impressed me.
It was possible to see their lives up close and personal, to see weaving in progress, to stroll among their homes and see things such as a fish pond where fish are kept for the table and to enjoy a walk through paddy fields and trees. We were even shown an ancient mousetrap!
Naturally the main purpose of the visit was to see tribal life and we had plenty of opportunities to experience the full spectrum from babies and two or three-year-olds to pensioners at work on hut verandas.
There were gentle smiles everywhere and an interest in what you were doing and what I particularly liked was that at no stage were we hastled to buy things.
If we were clearly interested in some craft item, which we were on several occasions, then that was different and a friendly conversation then ensued, often in surprisingly good English, before bargaining determined whether you bought the item or not.
Some items were stunning and there was obvious pleasure if you did buy, but equally there was no pressure if you didn't.
Our guide explained that such sales helped them maintain tribal life and ways with the minimum of interference from modern life and, unlike some similar villages I have been to, there were no 4x4s parked round the back of huts next to a satellite dish.
It was a very rewarding way to spend a couple of hours and the entry fee was well worth the experience, but people should be aware that this village was actually set up a few years ago with visitors in mind.
What you see is authentic as far as it goes, but I would also describe it as an example of hill tribe life, of hill tribe cultural preservation, not true hill tribe life itself.

Visited November 2012
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3 Thank singhasam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“great place to visit”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

we had a great time see all the thing made by hand and watching the children play and go to school , had a go with the bow and arrow and got a bulls eye 1st go .
put the rings on which where very heavy and it was only half of one
loved how green it was and would have loved to have brought more things
there where all so beautiful and would love to go back

Visited October 2012
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Thank dianne1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Don't waste your time”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

This place is clearly set up for tourists. As such, it is in no way genuine. We did this straight after a 2 day trek in the mountains visiting the Karen Tribe which we loved - it was the real deal. Baan Tong Luang is a joke. 'Genuine' leaf roofs are tin covered in leaves. We even caught one of Longneck Village ladies on her mobile phone. When her friend saw us coming she warned her and the phone was quickly hidden. As a snapshot of tribal life it might be worth 100 baht. 500 Baht is a total rip off. Do not go unless this is the best you can do due to time constraints.

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4 Thank bdjordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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