The view from a Hilltribe Village [Chiang Mai]

It has been really quiet over here at Kirsten Captures and I am sorry for the complete lack of posts. Since mid-April I have been back in the States after losing both of my grandfathers over the course of a month. It’s been a really difficult time but I have been blessed to be with my family. Did I mention we also went to a wedding? With mourning comes celebration and I am already thinking of ways to honor my grandfathers at our own wedding next year.

In terms of travel, C and I embark on our Europe trip in a week!! We bought some real backpacker backpacks and fly to Dublin next Monday. This trip to Ireland, London, and France will be a welcomed escape and oh. my. god I need to start packing. Just last year we did our big South East Asia Trip and now we are onto our big Europe Trip 2014! A couple weeks ago we were in Maine for the weekend and I finally got excited to travel again.

But before I galavant off to the Irish highlands, here are some more Thailand photos from our South East Asia Trip 2013!  

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After exploring Doi Suthep, the golden temple in the mountains of Chiang Mai, we continued along a narrow and winding road and arrived at a local hilltribe village. We had no idea what to expect and found ourselves walking up a steep road surrounded by a wall of stalls with locals selling various handicrafts and other items. Somehow we discovered the local “museum” which consisted of a few barren huts with exhibits explaining the history of the various hilltribe peoples. The path then led us to an open garden on the hillside with more huts featuring random “exhibits” showcasing the daily activities of the people. It was a little weird but the garden was beautiful and had an amazing view of the village below.

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I loved the random animals running around like this rooster with the most glorious feathers I have ever seen. He strutted around as if saying “Ladies, come and get me”.  There were also little chicks canvasing the grounds and jumping up stone steps with ease while Carina and I huffed and puffed our way up the mountain.

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Eventually we left the garden and walked down through the village hoping to buy some brightly woven souvenirs for us and our families. I honestly felt a little uncomfortable haggling for a lower price in this village where tourism is obviously the only source of income for these people. Were we even doing the right thing by being here in this village in the first place?

We ended up buying a few items from a couple different stalls and refrained from taking photos of the women and the children in their colorful and traditional garb. I have a real problem with tourists taking photos of locals as if they are part of the scenery. If you are going to take a photo of somebody, at least ask them for their permission.

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So instead, the only photos I have from the hilltribe village are photos of the village itself with the fog rolling across the mountainside. It was beautiful scene. One that I am likely never to forget.

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Also…. I want to give a shout out to my sister Morgan who just started a blog! Follow her at Coffee, Hiking Boots, and a Book for her well-written musings on travel and literature. You will not regret it!


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