Learning with the Hmong People of Baan Mae Sa Mai

This is a short action packed program that doesn’t involve much driving. For an overview of our educational tours please have a look here.

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 hours about the Hmong people’s recent history and current situation on Doi Suthep. There are ten Hmong villages around Chiang Mai. Ban 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. Here you can find more about the history and background of hill tribe trekking in Chiang Mai. The talk can take place in the hotel or guesthouse where the group is staying.

Panorama of a village, forests and fields
Ban Mae Sa Mai village

Day 1: Chiang Mai – Baan Mae Sa Mai

Agricultural walk

We will depart from Chiang Mai at 0800 by local truck and drive to the Hmong village Ban Mae Sa Mai in Doi Suthep Doi Pui National Park. 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 The Royal Project and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Our local Hmong guide will tell about the traditional medicine of the Hmong people.

Meeting with local students.

After lunch, we will walk back to the village. Back in the village, we will have a short language lesson which is a lot of fun. Next, a meeting with young people from the village will occur during which the students can practice. We will divide into small groups. Students will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with Hmong students. This is an essential session. Afterward, a student of each group will share their experience, after which we will have an evaluation session.

Sowmee, the silversmith of the village

You will meet the silversmith of the village as well. Sowmee made jewelry for the Royal Family of Thailand and is a highly respected craftsman. Then it is time for dinner. After dinner, we will enjoy a short cultural performance by local people. They will show you some of their traditional instruments.

Ban Mae Sa Mai Hmong Village musician performing for tourists
Ban Mae Sa Mai Hmong Village musician

 

Day 2: Baan Mae Sa Mai – Chiang Mai

Meeting with villagers

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 center, we will evaluate the trip, and there will be a group discussion. After this, we will have our last lunch with fresh vegetables from the fields around the village. When we have finished our lunch, we will say goodbye to our Hmong hosts. Then we drive to the nearby nursery of FORRU, the Forest Restoration Unit of Chiang Mai University. Villagers manage the nursery.

Group of students at a tree nursery the mission statement of green Trails
Helping out at the FORRU nursery at Baan Mae Sa Mai

Forest restoration of the watershed area

For many years, the village has been working with FORRU to restore their watershed area that provides their fields with water. FORRU has developed the framework species method of reforestation, which has been used to restore the evergreen forest on degraded former agricultural sites, such as some poppy fields. At the nursery, FORRU staff will brief you shortly on this method of reforestation. After that, we will get our hands dirty in the nursery. Then it is time to drive back to Chiang Mai after a great educational experience with the Hmong people.

We offer several tours to the Hmong village Baan Mae Sa Mai, such as the day tour the Opium Trail and a two-day/one-night trekking. Please look here for a story on the trail from the Hmong village Baan Doi Pui to Baan Mae Sa Mai.

We offer more Chiang Mai School and University tours. 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
08.00 – Departure from the hotel
09.00 – Arrival at the village and meet our local Hmong guide
09.30 – Walk to the fields around the village and learn about the royal project
12.00 – Picnic lunch
13.00 – Walk back to the village
14.00 – Meeting with local students and activities at the village
18.00 – Dinner
18.30 – Enjoy a short cultural performance by local people
21.00 – Bedtime. Stay in a local homestay

Day 2
08.00 – Breakfast
09.00 -Meet with local people in a question and answer session, visit local Shaman and learn about Hmong culture and traditions
12.00 – Lunch at the village
13.00 – Visit FORRU project and activities
15.00 – Return back to Chiang Mai
16.00 – 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