Hill Tribe Culture Festival - Doi Hua Mae Kham: Part 1

The Goddess

Member
Nov 15, 2010
13
1
0
Tribal Culture Festival - Doi Hua Mae Kham - 13th November 2010

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival.jpg


Doi Hua Mae Kham is one of the largest mixed hill-tribe villages in Thailand. There are Akha, Lahu, Lisu and Yao, plus Hmong and Tai Yai residents. Located in the north-western extremity of Chiang Rai province, some 30 kms west of Thoed Thai, its on the border with Myanmar and is about as remote a place as one can find.

The dirt road is an adventure for motorcyclists intent on enjoying the spectacle of the annual tribal culture festival which coincides with the sunflowers in bloom.

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-1.jpg

As Cold Season sets in, golden-yellow Giant Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia Diversifolia) in full bloom transform the hills and valleys into a beautiful tapestry of gold and green.

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-2.jpg

The variety of tribal cultural displays in the natural amphitheatre are breath-taking in their colour and diversity.
ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-3.jpg


ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-4.jpg

The Army barbers were giving free haircuts all day!

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-5.jpg

Akha woman in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-6.jpg

Akha men in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-18.jpg

Akha

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-9.jpg

Lisu traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-7.jpg

Lisu woman with child - Ban Hua Mae Kham

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-8.jpg

Fan dancers
ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-12.jpg


ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-10.jpg

Hmong people in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-11.jpg

Yao girls - dancing display

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-13.jpg

Mongol girls - dancing display

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-14.jpg

Lahu in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-15.jpg

Akha women in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-16.jpg

Lisu people in traditional costume

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-17.jpg

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-19.jpg


ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-20.jpg

The view is wonderful from the mountain tops in the far north of Thailand!
 

johngooding

Ol'Timer
Sep 4, 2007
1,192
14
38
Thank you Goddess Annty for your colourful pictures of the festival. Congratulations on your excellent English report as well.
 

corbay

Member
Aug 20, 2010
16
0
0
Very colourful, a far better picture than the one out of my office window today in the UK....

Cheered me up a bit.....

:happy5: Thanks
 

Rod Page

Ol'Timer
Jan 7, 2010
823
72
28
Ann,
Fantastic!
The view from the top of the mountain was wonderful, indeed!
Roderick & Myriama
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 2

It was a quick late blast up R118 for me to over night in Chiang Rai & so make it an easy ride into Thoed Thai on the day of the festival.

So I sort of started from the clock tower in CEI
img_1383.jpg


In Thoed Thai The Rim Taan Guest House was my place of stay
img_1413.jpg


img_1394.jpg


img_1405.jpg


AND the Rim Taan is one of my four favourite guest houses in North Thailand. :thumbup:
 

Jurgen

Moderator
Oct 23, 2009
665
96
28
www.chopard.org
Davidfl wrote: [quote quote=The Goddess]

ban-hua-mae-kham-festival-20.jpg

The view is wonderful from the mountain tops in the far north of Thailand!

I bet the goddess was feeling Top Of The World there. :thumbup:
Hey David, what about the "foreground"? very photogenic also ;)!

Nice pictures and videos from this colorful festival, I am just looking at them on a small screen in a Laos guesthouse. Will be happy to watch everything again once back home.

Thank you for the charming report

Jurgen
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 3

Hua Mae Kham is 30 kms north-west of Thoed Thai & is literally at the end of the road up against the Burma border.
It is a unique spot in North Thailand & the biggest mixed hill tribe village in the North.
Getting there is an exhilarating ride & well worth it.
Because of its remote location & lack of infrastructure the festival is not that well known or popular with western tourists.
The festival has a real genuine down to earth folksy nature & that makes it special; however my guess is that now with a good asphalt road there (except for the steep last 500 metres) it will be a very popular & well known festival for tourists in a few more years = "go now!"

If you don't know where Hua Mae Kham is, it is on the GT Rider Golden Triangle guide map
https://www.gt-rider.com/maps-of-thailan ... iangle-map
Grid 1C, top left corner of the map.

The Sunflower amphitheatre.
img_1446.jpg

before the show.

Hanging out in the sunflowers waiting for the show to start.
img_1420.jpg


Free health check ups for the locals. :thumbup:
img_1436.jpg


Waiting for a free health check up
img_1442.jpg


And free military haircuts :thumbup:
img_1433.jpg


Official gala entry
img_1548.jpg


Opening Speeches
img_1555.jpg


img_1579.jpg


The show's underway
img_1416.jpg


img_1417.jpg
img_1423.jpg


img_1566.jpg


img_1568.jpg


img_1589.jpg


Happy Spectators
img_1440.jpg


img_1443.jpg


Make-up time first
img_1456.jpg


Make-up not necessary
img_1468.jpg


This event was a truly superb photographic occasion for everyone!
img_1577.jpg


Parking was way up the hill & you had to walk way down to the amphitheatre, & then way back up again. Alright for some younger & fitter, and if you were lucky you could catch a horse in.
img_1478.jpg

alas I was not that lucky. :(

img_1463.jpg


Akha time..
img_1469.jpg


img_1503.jpg


img_1501.jpg


img_1464.jpg
img_1505.jpg


img_1541.jpg


img_1507.jpg
img_1546.jpg


Akha Showtime
img_1600.jpg


img_1508.jpg


img_1563.jpg


img_1510.jpg


img_1610.jpg


img_1614.jpg
img_1618.jpg


It was fun fun fun
img_1623.jpg
img_1627.jpg


Thumbs up for the Akha show
img_1647.jpg


to be continued of course. There's more than enough piccies to go round. :D
 

Jurgen

Moderator
Oct 23, 2009
665
96
28
www.chopard.org
wonderful pictures from a gorgeous event! I hope to put it on my agenda for next year. The Akha are usually quite picture shy, here you got great shots!
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 4

LISU

Three of the stars & a blow in
img_1485.jpg


img_1487.jpg


img_1516.jpg


One of the great things about the festival was the costumes & THE MEN
img_1518.jpg

normally the men don't wear a great deal of their traditional costume, & that's why more often than not you almost only see photos of hill tribe women, because they are wearing their traditional garb. So whenever you attend a festival like this don't forget to a few get photos of the men in full costume!

img_1527.jpg
img_1529.jpg


img_1528.jpg
img_1522.jpg


Last but not least a Lisu gent, 3rd from left, doing manly things.
img_1520.jpg


Back to show time
img_1767.jpg
img_1523.jpg


img_1768.jpg


img_1770.jpg


A real big thorn amongst the roses...
img_1633.jpg


One more lot down :thumbup:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 5

SHAN
img_1556.jpg


img_1532.jpg
img_1534.jpg


img_1559.jpg


img_1536.jpg


Whilst you may have been way up in a remote location in the mountains on the Burma border, security was never a problem or something to worry about.
img_1596.jpg


Lunch time
img_1473_0.jpg


Akha Lunch
img_1461.jpg


City Lunch
img_1474.jpg


It was a bit of a feeding frenzy for photographers
img_1591.jpg


img_1592.jpg

you certainly were not alone trying to get some decent happy snaps.

Back to the show

THE CHINESE
img_1650.jpg
img_1651.jpg


img_1657.jpg


img_1671.jpg


img_1675.jpg


One more lot down :thumbup:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 6

YAO
img_1498.jpg
img_1489.jpg


img_1569.jpg


Little Miss Pepsi was the star of the show
img_1490.jpg
img_1696.jpg


img_1714.jpg


img_1708.jpg


img_1567.jpg


img_1572.jpg


img_1595.jpg

note the one bad apple in there. :)

One more lot down :thumbup:
 

Jurgen

Moderator
Oct 23, 2009
665
96
28
www.chopard.org
Of course ... can not dream about a private show. But a tall Paparazzi with a decent lens can certainly put colorful pictures in the box. It is for sure worth the trip.

Waiting for the rest to be uploaded :)
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: PART 7

HMONG
img_1643.jpg


img_1729.jpg


img_1731.jpg


LAHU

img_1743.jpg


img_1749.jpg


The dancing & music wasn't that serious. Even as a participant you could take a break, whip out your phone & take a vdo clip. :thumbup:
img_1752.jpg


It was a spectacular festival of colour & people
img_1773.jpg


One that I felt right at home with :lol:
img_1641.jpg


Great easy going people & the best place & event to get multiple hill tribe photos. :thumbup:
I'll be back in 2011.
:wave:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
12,229
2,518
113
67
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
THE SUNFLOWER & HILL TRIBE CULTURE FESTIVAL - DOI HUA MAE KHAM: THE END PART. :)

I was not alone. Whilst I left Cnx alone I did rendezvous with a few other people in Thoed Thai.
img_1805.jpg

Rod & Myriama. TG "The Goddess" released from the KIwi Cruiser's clutches for the weekend, plus Jolie & Stu Lloyd.

The happy gang at Sweet Mae Salong for a late brekky & cappu the next day.
img_1828.jpg


Another reason for this trip being so wonderful is a night in Thoed Thai AND then the early morning market.
I rate the Thoed Thai morning market - open air street market - as the best traditional morning market in North Thailand.
You need to be up at sunrise to catch the golden rays of the sun flooding the east-west street, but it is an absolute winner every time. PLUS the locals are so very cool & friendly. Put it on your list of places & things to do in North Thailand.
img_1776.jpg


img_1779.jpg
img_1788.jpg


Bamboo shoots
img_1778.jpg


img_1780.jpg


img_1784.jpg


img_1790.jpg


Super friendly, beautiful people
img_1802.jpg


Go soon, before it gets the chop.
img_1797.jpg


Thoed Thai's nestled in a lovely valley, not far from the Myanmar border (13 kms to Mae Moh) & approx 24 kms from Doi Mae Salong.
img_1806.jpg


img_1819.jpg
img_1813.jpg


Hua Mae Kham is 30 ms further on from Thoed Thai, & very close to the border.

R1234 Kiu Sataa - Doi Mae Salong
img_1831.jpg


TG strutting her stuff
img_1830.jpg


img_1832.jpg

That's Doi Mae Salong is in the background.

That's it, but Shan New Year is on in Thoed Thai Dec 5-6-7.
shan-new-year-thoed-thai-2010-2011-t8748.html
see you all in Thoed Thai again.
:lol-sign:
 

Jurgen

Moderator
Oct 23, 2009
665
96
28
www.chopard.org
Wonderful venue and certainly great fun.thank you for taking the time to post it. I am looking forward to be home to enjoy on a bigger screen.
 

Jade64

Active Member
Nov 5, 2009
40
0
0
Beautiful pictures! And a really nice festival. I wish I could have been there, as I am quite interested in Hilltribes.

For those who like such festivals: There is another hilltribe-festival, located in Soppong, Pang Mapha. Early december, when I visited it.
That festival is not nearly so nice as the festival in Doi Hua Mae Kham, but it is authentic anyway. Just a handful farang there, last time.

I have written a little bit about that festival in my trip report. So, anyone who is interested in another Hilltribe-festival, can read more about that here:
first-trip-report-cnx-soppong-chiang-rai-cnx-2-up-t8314.html

Johannes
 

ronwebb

Ol'Timer
Jul 25, 2010
505
4
18
As always, great shots. Sorry to have missed this but its in the book for next year. Thanks for the posting. :happy4:
 

feejer

Ol'Timer
Feb 16, 2007
443
1
18
Boy did I miss out on this! I was in Ban Hua Mae Kham for this festival 2 years ago from about Noon to 4PM but saw nothing near the scope of David or Ann's pix. The festival I was at was much smaller in attendance with no Yao, Hmong or Chinese dancing at all. The only dancing I saw was Akha, Lahu, and Lisu and in a different amphitheater. The one I was at had a concrete "stage" with viewing areas on 3 sides with a sunflower backdrop.

DSC00833.jpg

DSC00842.jpg

DSC00841.jpg

DSC00857.jpg

DSC00869.jpg

DSC00845.jpg

DSC00822.jpg


So either there was a "main" amphitheater I missed and was only seeing a warmup, or they have replaced the concrete with grass. But based on the recent pix, they seem to have really expanded this festival over the last 2 years. Either way, simply gorgeous photos! But I can attest to the friendliness and authenticity of the locals, great people one and all they were.
 

Jade64

Active Member
Nov 5, 2009
40
0
0
is there accomodation available in Hua Mae Kham? If not: what´s the closest place to get a room?
Will it be difficult, to get a place to sleep nearby?

Johannes
 

feejer

Ol'Timer
Feb 16, 2007
443
1
18
Jade64 wrote: is there accomodation available in Hua Mae Kham? If not: what´s the closest place to get a room?
Will it be difficult, to get a place to sleep nearby?

Johannes
I am not aware of any "official" guesthouses right in the village itself, unless you make an arrangement with one of the locals to shack up with them etc. There is always Thoed Thai/ Rim Taan on the way in, about 30 minutes out (maybe less now that the road is finished).
 

Jade64

Active Member
Nov 5, 2009
40
0
0
Ok, thank you

If you google for accomodation and Hua Mae Kham, you find some old plans for some "agrotourism" including homestays. But maybe that is a plan that never came to happen. Ok, I will try my luck in Thoed Thai, if I am lucky to manage to come next year.

Is the date for next years festival already known?

Johannes