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Chiang Rai Province (Thailand)

Nestled in northern Thailand, Chiang Rai province is home to a little-known treasure: its ethnic communities. Far off the beaten track of the tourist hordes, these minority groups, settled in the region's verdant mountains, perpetuate ancestral traditions and offer a fascinating insight into a way of life in harmony with nature.

Meeting the Akha, Lisu and Hmong people

Among Chiang Rai's most emblematic communities are the Akha, recognizable by their colorful garments and elaborate headdresses. The Lisu, meanwhile, stand out for their mastery of weaving and their wooden houses on stilts. Finally, the Hmong, renowned for their sustainable agriculture, will charm you with their warm welcome and haunting polyphonic songs.

Trekking and authentic encounters

Meeting these ethnic communities is a unique experience that allows you to immerse yourself in their culture and traditions. Many treks are organized for this purpose, often starting from villages such as Mae Salong or Doi Chaang. These treks, of varying degrees of difficulty, take you through spectacular landscapes and allow you to discover authentic villages, where you can chat with the locals and share a traditional meal.

When to go?

The best time to visit Chiang Rai's ethnic communities is from November to April. During this dry season, temperatures are pleasant and the trails passable. Avoid the rainy season (May to October), which can make trekking difficult and muddy.
For more information, you can read our Northern Thailand Overview
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