We recommend you read the following information if you plan to visit Huay Pu Keng.
Should you visit the long-neck villages?
There are valid claims that these villages are 'human zoos'. That said, a small decrease in the number of visitors is unlikely to change the situation and the people in the villages are reliant on visitors for income.
Life tends to be tougher for the villagers during the periods when there are few visitors.
The most important thing is that, as a visitor, you treat the place with respect as a village and not as a ‘human zoo’.
If you are planning to visit more than one long-neck village in addition to Huay Pu Keng, we would recommend visiting Kayan Tayar (Baan Mai Nai Soi).
Getting to Huay Pu Keng
To visit Huay Pu Keng inquire about tours to Nam Piang Din (see below) in Mae Hong Son, or in the city of Chiang Mai or Pai.
Alternatively if you wish to arrange transport yourself, Huay Pu Keng can be reached via (Baan) Huai Deau boat station near the town of Mae Hong Son. (detailed directions)Click here to view a map of Mae Hong Son
Staying in the village
It is possible to stay the night in Huay Pu Keng in guest houses built by the residents of Huay Pu Keng.
If you wish to stay at one of the guest houses it is currently recommended you arrange transport yourself. See Attractions for more.
the name of the village
Huay Pu Keng is often referred to by Thai's as Nam Piang Din (actually the name of a nearby village). This will often be preceded by Ban or Baan (the Thai word for village). In addition there are a number of variations to the spelling of Huay Pu Keng including Huey Pu Keng, Huay Pu Kaeng and Huay Poo Kang.
the ethnic groups
The etymological debate on the naming of the ethnic groups is long and unending. If you wish to inquire about the village in Thailand it is easiest to ask about the Padong / Padaung (derived from the Shan Yan Pa Daung meaning Karen who wear rings) or the long-neck Karen.
In the village, to avoid causing offence, it is best to refer to the people collectively as Karenni (after their place of origin) and the 'long-necks' as Kayan and 'big-ears' as Kayaw.
Maps will typically label the village as Baan Nam Piang Din or Padong/long-neck Karen village.
behaviour in the village & What To Bring
Within the village, visitors should remember that they are guests. It is a village, not a theme park and as such you should not leave litter or walk into peoples' houses without invitation.
Donations to the schools and gifts to the students or school are welcome, but please do not disturb classes in progress. In addition to cash donations, recommended gifts for the school and the children are: White board pens, permanent markers, toiletries (soap, toothpaste, washing powder), sports equipment, clothing, instant noodles (e.g. Ma-Ma noodles) and fruit. At present (2009) the school has enough exercise books, pens, pencils and colours, however other stationary items are still welcome.
The people of Huay Pu Keng are used to visitors and many are happy to pose for photographs. Impromptu grabbing or touching any of the villagers is as rude as it is anywhere else.
The girls who wear the rings, in particular, are often happy to speak to a few visitors to the best of their ability. Please use discretion when it comes to asking personal questions.
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