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“Not impressed” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hill Tribe Museum

Hill Tribe Museum
Ranked #18 of 77 things to do in Chiang Rai
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Attraction details
Owner description: A cultural exploration of the nine major hill tribes.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not impressed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

A few thingymajigs from the hill tribes, not much explanaation and generally a poor use of our time. We enjoyed the Akha hill tribe tour but to be honest it wasn't much better.

Visited December 2012
Thank MohammedElA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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chiang saen
Level Contributor
46 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Small but great museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

This museum is small, and you probably do not need to spend more than an hour here. However, I really enjoyed my visit here and found it a very worthwhile use of my time. It is nothing fancy or flashy, but the museum is filled with authentic artifacts that help you get an understanding of the culture of the different hilltribe villagers. There is also an educational video that is available in English, so be sure to request that they play it for you - it was very educational and well-done.
The entry fee to this museum is only 50 Baht, well worth it.

Visited December 2012
Thank carolyn f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mae Sai, Thailand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Waste of time, kids hated it, so did we”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012

Nothing much to learn here, there are lots of things from the hill tribe, but you see nothing of the real way of life. The kids were restless, it's definitely no good for families. We saw more about the real hill tribe way of life on the ATV tour which is based in a real MIEN village where they make their only money from farming the old way. Hats off to them though about trying to do good work in the community.

Visited December 2012
Thank UlfSchmitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Vermont
Level Contributor
140 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“A small place but worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

The Hill Tribe Museum is rather small and the exhibits look a bid 'dusty'. Nevertheless, if you want to know more about the Hill Tribes in the Golden Triangle, this is a good starting point. It will also give you valuable information why you should NOT go to one of the Long Neck show places. But that only applies for social responsible tourists, of course.

Visited December 2012
Thank Peter O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
184 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“Five stars for the Daytrips with PDA tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

The Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre is part of the Bangkok-based NGO known as PDA (Population and Community Development Association). The PDA implements various projects for the benefit of communities and villages, from family planning, to teaching communities about sustainable development.

For more experienced travellers it may seem underwhelming but the Hilltribe Museum is a good starting point for anyone wanting to get an introduction to the various Hilltribes in the region.

The slideshow is a good overview and then you can learn more about the opium trade and see some exhibits of local costumes and tools.

You can also book yourself on a tour with PDA tours. They provide tours ranging from 1 to 3 days and you can feel good to know they operate professional and ethically-minded trips. This was important to me as on my previous visit to Thailand I did a very commercial tour which felt so soul-less, so I wanted to avoid that this time.

As I was travelling with my mother who is 65 and not able to do trekking, we did two, full day day-trips which covered all the key sights from the comfort of an nice, air conditioned minibus. The price for day trips ranged from approx 2200 - 2900 baht, which includes lunch, tickets to most attractions and free drinks along the way. The guides were warm and friendly and Ying in particular put a lot of genuine passion into her role and made our day so enjoyable and informative.

We did tour number 7 which takes you to (list not exhaustive or complete, please ask PDA for full details):
- Lahu tribe (a bit commercial and not that great)
- Ban Lancha (great tribe visit, the villagers show you around, show you how they make things, we were fortunate enough that they also dressed in costume and the entry ticket benefits the whole village)
- Mae Salong, Chinese Martyr's Memorial Museum, Wat and viewpoint
- Tea growing farm

We also did tour number 3 which was our favourite for scenery:
- Doi Tung Royal Villa and gardens. This was the late Princess Mother's swiss/Lanna style residence and although it was full of tourists, the views and gardens were really worth it.
- Mae Sai (the town which borders Burma). Included a stop at Wat Phra That Doi Wao with stunning views into Burma. We also got to walk to the river border and watch people crossing in either direction
- Sop Ruak and a view of the gold triangle, this is where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet on the river. A bit touristy but nice. Also a visit to the House of Opium for some history of the opium trade.
- Chiang Saen: a lovely, chilled out town on the Mekong with ruins of the old empire that once was here. We visited Wat Chedi Luang which reminded me of Laos-meets-Angkor on a very small scale.

The tours we did with PDA made our time in the Chiang Rai region really enjoyable and I would definitely recommend them to others.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank MissNinja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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