Community Immersion with the Karen People

Our program Community Immersion with the Karen people takes place in a remote village of the Karen tribe. The group will spend three nights in a village house. During our stay, we will be engaged in a project. We will construct something that benefits the community. This could be a children’s playground, a water container or anything else. We have worked closely with this community in the past. The program is a sample program and will be adjusted accordingly. For an overview of our educational tours please have a look here.

Community service with the Karen People

Day 1: Chiang Mai

The first briefing

We want you to be well informed before visiting the Karen village where you will spend three nights. Therefore, our guide will give a short lecture and briefing about your community immersion with the Karen people in the afternoon or evening. This briefing will take place in a meeting room at the hotel. He will introduce you to the culture of the Karen people and brief you on the program in the coming days. In our hill tribe section, you can find a lot of information about the culture, language, and traditions of the tribal people of North Thailand.

You will receive some printed information about the culture, traditions, and language of the Karen. He will address subjects such as do’s and don’t s during your stay in the village, dress code, and so on. You can also find much of this information in our section on trekking information. Moreover, you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai on this page.

Overnight in the hotel in Chiang Mai (booked on own)

woman in tribal dress
Karen woman

Day 2: Chiang Mai – Doi Inthanon – Karen Village

Doi Inthanon, the roof of Thailand

After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel at 0800. Our destination is one of the Karen villages in the Doi Inthanon area. We will stop on the way to visit Doi Inthanon National Park. We will drive up to the summit of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain. Along the way, we will visit the thundering Vachirathan waterfall. It is the most famous waterfall of Doi Inthanon. We will then continue to the summit of the mountain, where we will visit the shrine of King Inthawichayanon, after who the mountain has been named.

After this, we will hike the short but wonderful Angka Nature Trail, a great example of the typical cloud forest. The next stop will be at the two pagodas erected in honor of Thailand’s King and Queen. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we will continue to the village.

Teaching English to local schoolkids

Upon arrival at the village, the group will meet a representative of the village. He will bring us to a school where we will spend time teaching English to Karen students. This evening, the host will start to prepare dinner. You are welcome to help them with cooking as well. In the evening we will practice some Karen language. A local priest will perform a typical Karen welcoming ceremony. After dinner, we will have time to evaluate the day and share experiences.

Overnight in the village

Two women waving in a ricefield
Karen women in a good mood

Day 3: Karen Village

Working on the project and free time

Rise with the roosters. Your guide will prepare a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we will walk or drive to the location of our project. We will spend the morning working on the project until it is time for lunch. After lunch, there will be a guided walk for those who are interested. The Karen people have beautiful textiles. The women are outstanding weavers. We will introduce you to their techniques. You can try some weaving as well. You can also spend some free time walking around in the village on your own or work on your journal. Overnight will be again in the village.

Colorful tribal textile
Karen textile

Day 4: Karen Village

Working on the project and free time

After breakfast, we will walk or drive to the location of our project. We will spend the morning working on the project until it is time for lunch. We will finish the project today. After we have finished the project, there is time to visit a waterfall or any other sites that are in the area.

Tonight there will be a farewell dinner. After dinner, we will have an evaluation session. There will be presentations and discussions until it is time to sleep.
Last overnight in the village

Four students at work in a village
Mixing concrete at Baan Huay Khao Lip

Day 5: Karen Village – Bamboo Rafting – Chiang Mai

Farewell and bamboo rafting

Enjoy an early breakfast. After that, we will say goodbye to our hosts and thank them for the unforgettable time. We will leave the village and drive to the bamboo rafting camp in Mae Wang. We will have lunch before enjoying a relaxing and, at times, exciting bamboo raft trip for about 45 minutes on the Wang River. After this, we board our trekking truck for the drive back to Chiang Mai. On the way back, we will stop at a beautiful market before we drop you off at your hotel or guesthouse. We hope you enjoyed our Community Immersion with the Karen people trip.

On this page, you can find sources of information on ethnic minorities in North Thailand.

Inclusions

What is included?

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

What is not included?

Other drinks except for water
 during meals
Personal expenses
Tips

Timeline

Day 1
18.00 – briefing with the guide

Day 2
08.00 – Departure from hotel
09.30 – Arrival at Doi Inthanon National Park
10.00 – Visit the Wachirathan waterfall
11.00 – Visit the summit
11.30 – Visit the two pagodas
12.00 – Lunch at a local restaurant
12.30 – Drive to the village
14.00 – Arrival at the village
14.30 – Visit the local school and teach English to Karen students.
16.30 – Helping the host to prepare dinner
18.00 – Dinner
19.00 – Free time or practice Karen language and join activities at the village

Day 3
08.00 – Breakfast
09.00 – Walk or drive to the location of our project.
09.30 – Start morning work on the project
12.00 – Lunch
13.00 – A guided walk for those who are interested and visit around the village
16.00 – Rest and relax
18.00 – Dinner

Day 4
09.00 – Walk or drive to the location of our project.
09.30 – Start morning working on the project
12.00 – Lunch
13.00 – Rest and relax
18.00 – Dinner

Day 5
08.00 – Breakfast
09.30 – Departure from village to the rafting camp
10.30 – Start bamboo rafting
11.15 – End of the rafting trip and relax
12.00 – Lunch
13.00 – Drive back to Chiang Mai with a stop at a local market
15.00 – Drop off at the hotel

What to bring

T-shirt and shorts for daytime
Long sleeves/Jacket during winter time (Nov – Feb)
Hiking shoes with good grip
Flip flops
Sunscreen
Hat or cap
Insect repellent
Sunglasses
Small backpack