An active Akha Cultural Tour
The Akha Lomi of Chiang Rai
Your guide and driver will meet you at 0800 at your hotel in Chiang Rai for your Akha Cultural Tour. We will drive to the boat landing on the Kok River, board the local boat to the Karen village Baan Ruammitr. Enjoy the refreshing ride and the scenery. Baan Ruammitr is a settlement that has an elephant camp where, unfortunately, elephant rides are offered. Our vehicle is waiting here for us to take us to the Akha village Baan Apha. After a short ride, we will arrive at the village. Today we are the guests of an Akha Lomi family. The village’s original location was much higher in the mountains of Chiang Rai province until the government forced the people to move to the current location.
Welcome to Baan Apha
Upon your arrival, it is time to relax, enjoy a cup of tea and have a look around. Your guide will introduce you to your hosts, who will welcome you in a short ceremony. The Akha have the most distinctive traditional dress of all hill tribes in Thailand, so your host will show you the typical dress and explain. We will ask you to try your hand at stitching some Akha embroidery. During this activity, you will also learn a couple of words in the Akha language, such as “gulung guma deh,” which means “thank you.” If you want, you can try the traditional dress and be an Akha for a moment. After the cultural lessons, it is time for a short cooking course in the Akha kitchen.
Cooking lunch the Akha way
In this kitchen, there is no gas stove or oven but only a wood fire. Your host will teach you to prepare a delicious meal on a wood fire in a wok, a deep round-bottomed cooking pot. You will learn to manage the fire under the wok. You can compare it to cooking in the jungle. We will cook the rice in bamboo. On the menu will be one specific Akha dish, which we would like you to taste. Let’s see how it goes. Usually, the result will be delicious, but you never know. You will see that you don’t need a modern kitchen to cook a good meal. After lunch, it is time to sit around the table, have a cup of tea, and ask any questions you have for our host.
An active Akha Cultural Tour
After our hearty lunch, it is time for a hike. We say “gulung guma deh” to family members before we embark on our hour-long hike to the Huay Mae Sai Waterfall. It is a pleasant walk through the forest. During the walk, you can practice your newly acquired Akha language. The Huay Mae Sai waterfall is a pleasant place to relax for a while. If you want to have a dip, you can also enjoy the natural environment and reflect on the day. Our vehicle is waiting for us to bring us back to Chiang Rai.
On the way back, you will notice a large statue on your left side. It is the statue of Kuan Im, the Goddess of Mercy. If you haven’t visited the Wat Huay Pla Kang, the site of the statue, yet we can stop here for a short while. Then we will drop you off at your hotel in Chiang Rai. We hope you enjoyed your Akha Cultural Tour.