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Mae Klang Luang Ecotourism Community

May, 25 || Comments Off on Mae Klang Luang Ecotourism Community | Tags:

Mae Klang Luang Ecotourism Community

Mae Klang Luang Ecotourism Community

Mae Klang Luang is an ethnic ecotourism community located at the foot of the fourth highest peak of Doi Inthanon. The forest landscapes in the area are coniferous forests alternating with evergreen hill forests. The magnificent rice terraces here illustrate the knowledge of water management whicettingh the Karen people possess. As well as the view of lush green forests, the beautiful 360-degree vista at the peak is magnificent.

However, Mae Klang Luang village is a place that seems to attract many tourists, Thai and foreigners alike. Located at Km.26 on the road toward the top of Doi Inthanon, Mae Klang Luang village is being promoted as an ecotourism destination. This village belongs to an ethnic group, known as Pakakayor or Karen, a hill people who migrated from Burma some centuries ago.

Mae Klang Luang

Mae Klang Luang

What’s special about this village is that all tourist activities are entirely managed by its people. This means that it’s an ideal location for tourists who enjoy bird watching and trekking, as well as learning about the Karen way of life as it really is, through the homestay service.

If you plan to be in the Mae Klang Luang village quite a few days, you might find it interesting to follow the path to Pha Dok Seaw Waterfalls. The trek starts at Km. 30 on the road and requires walking some way down to the falls. Altogether there are ten different cascades and the 7th is the most beautiful. If you hire a guide from the village it won’t cost much, and has the advantage that you’ll be able to get lots of information about the localities visited. These include orange, flower and coffee plantations, as well as the villages of the people cultivating them.

Staying at Mae Klang Luang – usually in cottages for one to two people, or camping out – is pretty inexpensive. The biggest cottage costs B.2,000 per night, but camping only B.30 per night/person. Because the weather is so pleasant in the winter, December is an especially good month for visits. Since the homestay capacity is 60 persons at any one time, it’s not a bad idea to book ahead. And while camping is especially cheap, it’s worth noting that homestay gives you a much better chance to learn about hilltribe lifestyle and culture. At night, for example, local performances include sword-dancing, and recitals of Karen lyre and ocarina music.

Mae Klang Luang Accommodation

HomeStay , The Karen community of Mae Klang Luang living half way to the summit of Doi Inthanon (tallest mountain in Thailand) located south-west of Chiang Mai is an  impressive group of indigenous people who are not only warm and friendly but also very industrious and self sustaining lot .

My recent visit to their village with my friend Jaspal Singh taught me much about how a community that is united and firm in it’s belief, can protect it’s  culture and heritage and at the same time maintain a self sustaining lifestyle that can be a great lesson to other communities striving to improve their lifestyle and living conditions.

The Karen people, whose ancestors can be traced back to Tibet and who are a settled group of people here for more than 200 years,  engage in padi planting, fish breeding, vegetable growing, poultry and other animal breeding for their personal and communal needs.

For cash, they engage in knitting various types of their traditional wear  (most of their traditional wear  are  beautiful art work) that can be bought at the village itself.   They also produce coffee that is usually bought by large coffee outlets in the cities directly from them under a direct and fair price deal.

The community also provides home stay facilities for those who may wish to stay with them and experience their warm hospitality. Rest assured that even if one decides not to stay in their simple home stay, one will be pleasantly surprised to know that accompanying the Karen’s broad and genuine smiles is the free of charge and unlimited amount of freshly brewed coffee which has a wonderful aroma and taste especially in the chilly evening that one is certain to experience in this village located in this beautiful mountainous region.

And if anyone intends to visit the Karens here, make sure that you do not forget to go all the way up to Doi Inthanon to enjoy a special type of sweet smelling grass and some of the most breathtaking views there.

Mae Klang Luang Activities

Try your hand in the terraced paddy fields or help catch freshwater prawns from the rice fields.

Best time at Mae Klang Luang

The rainy season lasts from September to October, and provides visitor with the most beautiful scenery of the rice terraces. At the end of the season, from October to November, the weather cools down and the rice fields turn captivatingly golden.

Getting there : Mae Klang Luang

Mae Klang Luang is situated in Chomthong district and is within the Doi Inthanon National Park boundary. On the way to Doi Inthanon, this community is located just before reaching the mountain’s peak. From central Chiang Mai, take Highway 108 for about 50 kilometers then take Highway 1009 for another 26 kilometers before turning left towards Ban Mae Klang.

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