Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Long-Neck Karen Hill Tribe Tour Including Elephant Ride from Chiang Mai. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Our guide Oin was very informative and pleasant. we were the only ones on the tour, so we ended up customizing it a bit. I would recommend the tour for much more insight into the culture than you could get on your own in a day.
Very interesting and informative guide. It was good to see the contrast in their way of life between the hill tribes and other Thai people.
Chiang Dao cave was a good visit, not much to see at the temples we went, there were all of Burmese style. The long-tailed boat trip was a pleasant ride & the highlight was the discovery of this new resort where we had lunch, this was where we got on the boat. MaeKok River Village Resort, was pleasant, the food was excellent, flowers all around, and brand new, well decorated. As for the villages all the tribes were in one & the same area, lined-up behind their outlet where they all wanted to sell the same product. Not very imaginative, once you bought whatever item, the other 50 people lined-up also wanted you to buy from them. In the end we stopped in 2 villages, very poor, no adults to be seen as all working in the fields, only kids, chickens,dogs & pigs. The few people we saw did not like their picture taken. Although our guide was telling us their situation has improved, we thought it was a difficult way of life, in poorly and dirty conditions, however they had a place to stay, food to eat and education for the children.
Wasn't sure if we got ripped off on this trip because when we were picked up we were told that it was too far to travel to the border to see the long necked people there and it would make more sense to visit them at the closer village. So instead of a 3 hour drive we would only have to drive for just over an hour which seemed appealing but I'm left wondering if i would have recevied a more authentic experience at the tribe further away. Also we only visited one village not 4 as specified. Then to kill time we were taken to an elephant sanctuary which was pretty cool but we'd seen and ridden elephants the day before, and the day before that so we were a bit over elephants but the venue put on a great show. The tour of the long necked village was pretty good but I state again that we were wondering if we were being ripped off because this village looked very commercial and i was expecting something a little more remote. Then we needed to kill time so I suggested we visit the Monkey Show (we happened to drive past it) which we had to dish out money for. The show lasted for 20 mins and there wasn't much to do there after the show. Then we stopped for lunch which was a nice spread at a place with tigers running around. Afterwards we drove to the boat (which wasn't long tailed as mentioned in the tour) but the boat took us down the river in Chiang Mai which was pretty uneventful. Once back in Chiang Mai we still had more time to kill so she showed us a market then we went home.
This tour is a shame, nothing special, show for tourist. 7 years ago I was there and that time I saw the real life, now it is all about the business.