Northern Thailand’s Karen Long Neck Tribe, is it Worth the Visit?

Long Neck

Karen Long Neck Tribe

  • About 40 minutes from the Golden Triangle is Thailand’s Northern hill tribe, Karen Long Neck Tribe. A “donation” of 430 Baht per person is collected to enter the village. The tribe solely depends on funding from tourism, so leave with some souvenirs.  
Long Neck Tribe.png
Rows of colorful handwoven scarves, clothing, bags, and fabrics hang from thatched roofs.
road into the Long neck village
Rows of shops line the single dirt road into the village.

Long Neck Tribe

Long Neck Tribe.png

Long Neck Tribe.png

  • Gold neck coils were first worn by unmarried women and children of Padaung tribes as protection against tiger attacks and bad luck after several deaths in the village. With the increasing price of gold, it eventually became too expensive for the tribe and the coils were replaced with brass. 
Long Neck Tribe.png
We pose for a photo with the oldest woman of the Long Neck Tribe. She wears the most coils around her neck in the village as well as optional leg and wrist coils.

Long Neck Tribe.png

  • Girls receive their first coils at the age of 5. Every 3 years, 3 more coils are added until marriage or reaching the age of 25. The most recorded worn coils weigh 17.6 pounds and measure 25 rings high. The coils are never removed and are bolted together. Leg and wrist coils are given as gifts to girls and women to feel beautiful as other cultures gift jewelry.

Long Neck Tribe.png

Long Neck Tribe.png
Only women and small children are present in the quiet village.
Long Neck Tribe
A field of Mini Honey Pineapples is just outside of the Long Neck village. Sliced and served on a stick, these pineapples are crispier than a regular pineapple and have a honey after taste.

Traveling Gingerbread Note: Visiting the village didn’t quite meet our expectations. Other than peering beyond the small collection of shops into what we assume to be the tribe’s living quarters, we didn’t learn much of their daily life. The women in the village were extremely quiet. In some shops the only sound was the pull of the wooden loom as thin threads were woven into fabric. Most women sat poised in the shadows smiling at visitors entering their colorful tent of souvenirs. There were very few other tourists and the village felt a bit eerie. 

September 2018

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

6 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.