CBT Villages

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Ban Huai Hee

Location

Ban Huai Hee is a small, ethnic Karen community, located 26 km’s southeast of Mae Hong Son city. The village lies at the base of Doi Pui, the province’s highest mountain.

Huai Hee can be reached by 4 wd, via a gravel road which climb up through forest covered mountains to the village. From Huai Hee, guests can trek for 3-5 hours to reach the peak of Doi Pui, and enjoy splendid panoramic views.

Until recently, the village did not have electricity. In 2000, the government built a solar cell station, which has provided every village household with green power.

Highlights

Stay with the gentle families of Huai Hee, learn how local people live with the forest and trek to The Peak of Doi Pui Mountain and support wild orchid conservation.

Special

The people of Baan Huai Hee are friendly and welcoming. The community is an ideal place to experience the gentle rhythms of daily life among the Karen custodian of the forest. Villagers enjoy a simple life. They have few material possessions and value their freedom to live independently and close to nature.

Mountain rice farming sustain the community. Local people plant rice according to a traditional rotation farming system. Under normal condition, their plots are cultivated in a cycle of seven to ten year intervals. Vegetables are also grown in the rice fields and collected wild from the forest.

Baan Huai Hee is one of Thailand’s first and most successful CBT projects. By establishing CBT, the villagers have been able to invite guests to their village, share their culture and way of life, and prove to the outside world that the Karen are able to combine farming with protecting the forest.

The village is also famous for the women’s group, which produces handmade, nature dyed, traditional Karen weaving.

Activities

Life on the farm: Depending on the season, guests can help their host families to plant or harvest mountain rice and collect vegetables from the fields and forest. Guests learn how Karen people work to balance farming and conservation. Bring fresh vegetables home and cook a typical local dish with your host family.

Discover Doi Pui nature trail, wild orchids and camping: At 1722 meters, Doi Pui is the highest point in Mae Hong Son. The hike to the peak takes a full day and the Trekkers are often rewarded by spectacular sunrise and sunset.

On route, local guests point out flora and fauna, including edible and medicinal plants. Guests visit a community project to protect wild orchids. Camping and short trips to see orchids are possible.

Volunteer activities: The village teacher is keen for local children to have a chance to learn some English. There are opportunities to join in school activities, play games and teach painting, singing and sports with students.