Long Neck Village, Chiang Rai

Aside from the iconic White temple, another thing to visit when you head up to Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand is the definitely the Long Neck Karen Village. If you have time, check out the Baan Dam, or Black House too. Thailand is just overflowing with culture, it’s hard to get bored!

We first made a stop at the Baan Dam, or Black house, and it is…. quite something. It’s a place filled with animal carcasses, from elephant skeletons, all kinds of reptile skins and bones, fur and leather. The place was sprawling with them. The chairs were made of bones, floors and blankets from fur, and every single body part you could think of was used to decorate the place. Definitely not my kind of house. 😅 I was super appalled at first, thinking the owner, Artist Thawan Duchanee, must have been a crazy mass murderer. But they say these animals all died of natural causes and the artist only had to preserve them.

I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo of the animals but you’ll see it soon on my vlog,so stay tuned!!!

Slater and I stopped for some of the famous baby Pineapples, and OMG they were soooo delicious and sweet! I wish we could have brought home some!

Next stop was the Long Neck Karen Village. In this small community, women at the age of 5 start wearing heavy brass rings around their neck and add on to them as they get older. To them, the more brass rings and the longer your neck becomes, the more beautiful you are.

This is something I’ve only ever seen in documentaries and so it was such an experience to get to know these beautiful women personally. They apparently moved to the north of Thailand from the mountains of Burma, and have decided to permanently stay here. I was quite conflicted about visiting them, because I felt like my tourism was treating them like a zoo and taking advantage of their unique culture for content. But I’m glad I visited because I actually got to know more about them and their culture. Plus, they were more than happy to have me there as well (I think)- though my seat mates above don’t show it! We had an entire afternoon of fun singing and dancing together, and showing off their hand weaving skills to me. It was a beautiful experience, and I suggest you try it out too. ❤️