Learning with the Hmong People of Baan Mae Sa Mai
Baan Mae Sa Mai, the Hmong village
Introductory lecture before the tour
This trip is a two-day/one-night program that starts with a short introductory lecture of one and a half hour about the recent history and current situation of the Hmong people on Doi Suthep. There are ten Hmong villages around Chiang Mai. Baan Mae Sa Mai is the largest and probably the most interesting and scenic. The lecture will take about one hour after which there is time for questions. The talk can take place in the hotel or guesthouse where the group is staying.
Day 1: Chiang Mai – Baan Mae Sa Mai
Meet the Hmong people
We will depart from Chiang Mai at 0800 by local truck and drive to Ban Mae Sa Mai in Mae Rim district. Our local Hmong guide welcomes us. After a short introduction, we will embark on a walk to the fields around the village. The Hmong people have benefitted from agricultural projects, initiated by His Royal Highness King Bhumibol. We learn about this royal projects and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way.
The silversmith of the village
After lunch, we will walk back to the village. Next, there will be language lessons and a meeting with young people from the village. You will meet the silversmith of the village as well. Then it is time for dinner. After dinner, we will enjoy some cultural performance by local people.
Day 2: Baan Mae Sa Mai – Chiang Mai
Hmong culture and forest restoration
After breakfast, we will meet with local people in a question and answer session. We will visit the house of the local Shaman and learn about Hmong culture and traditions. Back in the Hmong cultural centre, we will evaluate the trip. After this, we will have our last lunch. The village has been working for many years with FORRU, the Forest Restoration Unit of Chiang Mai University. FORRU has helped the Hmong people restore their watershed area that provided their fields with water. We will visit the tree nursery and get our hands dirty before we drive back to Chiang Mai.