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Highland People Discovery Museum

Highland People Discovery Museum

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Thailand and the resulting restrictions imposed by the Royal Thai and Provincial governments, Highland People Discovery Museum has been temporarily closed until further notice. We will keep you up to date any developments and please stay safe.

The Highland People Discovery Museum showcases the incredible talent of the hill tribe people. Come and watch as the local tribespeople work on intricate, colourful embroidery that is used to create traditional clothing.

If you want to learn about the fascinating highland people or the hill tribes of northern Thailand, this is a great place to start.

Highland People Discovery Museum – Hours, Prices & Address, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai has seven main hill tribes; all of whom play an important role in the local culture. Most of these tribes have migrated from different parts of Southeast Asia and China; arriving in the country sometime in the 12th century. They each have their own sophisticated set of traditions, beliefs, and customs. The hill tribes are known for wearing exquisite costumes of vibrant colours, using fabrics that have been carefully woven in a distinct style.

The Karen hill tribe is the largest of them all, with an estimated population of around 500,000; arriving back in the 17th century. Most of these are refugees coming from Myanmar, and they can be found in the west of the city centre, as well as in parts of Kanchanburi. When Karen women are unmarried, they wear loose shift dresses with a V-neck. On the other hand, married Karen women wear skirts and blouses in hues of a bold blue or red. Padaung is a small subgroup of Karen, and they are known for wearing columns of brass rings around their neck.

Other hill tribes that live in northern Thailand are the Hmong, Lahu, Akha, Mien, Lisu, and Lawa. While they may have many differences that set them apart from one another, the colourful textiles that they weave with love is a common tradition.

The Highland People Discovery Museum is located within the Chang Phueak area of Chiang Mai.

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