Chiang Mai: Hill Tribe Culture and Photography Tour

Price per person in THB
2 persons3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons
  5,6004,000 3,2002,7002,300 2,100 1,900

This private one-day tour will bring you to five villages of different indigenous groups in the Chiang Dao district, about 70 km north of Chiang Mai. We will visit communities of the Akha, Lisu, Karen, Palong (Dara-Ang) and the Hmong people. In each of these villages, you will meet local people who will show you their most beautiful traditional dress. You will be able to take pictures of them and with them. We have worked with the local people for a long time and made arrangements with them to make this possible. You will support the local people and raise awareness, pride, and appreciation of their traditional dress. Besides that you will take home wonderful photos.

For more serious and professional photographers we can customize multiple-day trips because one day might not be enough. There are also other groups such as the Kachin, Tai Lue, the Lahu and others.

Total driving time: four hours


From: 5,600.00 ฿

Two women in a ricefield
Two Sgaw Karen women in traditional dress

Chiang Mai Tribal Photography Tour: the Lisu people

This is a private tour. Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at 0800 for your Chiang Mai Tribal Photography Tour. We will drive to the town of Chiang Dao, about 70kms north of Chiang Mai. This area has the highest diversity of indigenous people in Chiang Mai province. There we will first visit Huay Ko, a village where Akha and Lisu people live next to each other. First we will visit a house of a Lisu family who we know very well. We  will spend some time here and chat about the history and the daily life in this community. Your guide will translate the story of the Lisu who migrated from China more than a century ago. Their traditional dress is beautiful and they are proud to show it to you.

Meet the Akha and White Karen people

After having said goodbye to the Lisu family we will visit a local house of an Akha Loimi family. The Akha women are most well known for their specific headdresses. We spend some time in this house to talk about life in the village and the “Akha Way of Life”.  Our next stop is the Karen village of Pha Lai where we will meet some of the villagers and learn about their dress and traditions. The Karen are the most numerous of Thailand’s tribal groups.They call themselves “Pakayor”.

We will enjoy lunch in one of the villages, depending on the timing.

Meet the  Dara-ang people aka Palong (Palaung)

We will then visit a village of the Dara-ang, in Thailand known as Palong. The Palong people came from Myanmar and settled in this area in the 1980s. Their dress is particularly colorful. In this village, most women still wear traditional dress. Apart from having the opportunity to make photographs of traditional dress and pose together with local people, you will also learn about their culture. Most of the Dara-ang people in the Chiang Dao area have migrated from Myanmar to Thailand in the 1980s. They entered the country on the mountain Doi Angkhang, which is almost 100 km north of Chiang Dao. After that they settled in Chiang Dao district. The Dara-ang is one of the smallest groups of indigenous people in Thailand.

Three girls in traditional dress
Dara-ang (Palong) girls in Mae Chon village. Picture by Ollie Pitt

The final visit of the Chiang Mai Tribal Photography Tour: the White Hmong of Mae Sa Noi

Our last visit of the Chiang Mai Tribal Photography tour today is to the White Hmong village of Mae Sa Noi in the Mae Sa Valley. This village has a very active textile group that we will visit. The Hmong people migrated from China and Laos to Thailand over a long period of time. People believe that the Hmong settled in the Mae Sa Valley and on Suthep Moumtain (Doi Suthep) after World War Two. If you want to spend more time learning about the history of these communities and about the Royal Project that changed the lives of the mountain people you might want to go on the Hmong Experience.

The Hmong traditional dress is spectacular and the people will show you their best textiles and answer questions. After a wonderful time here we will drive back to Chiang Mai after a long day of memorable meetings and taking great photos. We hope you enjoy our Chiang Mai Tribal Photography Tour.


Comfortable private transportation

Lisu traditional dress

Akha traditional dress

Karen traditional dress

Palaung (Dara-Ang) traditional dress

Hmong traditional dress


What is included?

English speaking guide
Transportation by AC Minivan
Drinking water during meals
Limited medical insurance

What is not included?

Other drinks except for water during meals
Personal expenses


08.00 – Departure from hotel
10.00 – Arrive Akha and Lisu village, meeting with local people
11.00 – visit Karen Village
12.00 – Visit Palong village and lunch at the village
13.30 – Departs from the village
14.30 – visit Hmong village, Ban Mae Sa Mai
15.30 – Drive back to Chiang Mai
16.30 – drop off at the hotel