When Isaan meets Lanna: Discover a hybrid of cultures next to the Mae Kong River at Baan Tha Khan Thong
Life in Chiang Rai’s quiet “Baan Tha Khan Thong” community revolves around the nearby Mae Kong, the world-famous river that marks the border between Thailand and neighboring Laos towards the north. As a result, many of the fun and educational activities that await you here on this “One Night Stay with Locals” trip are based on (or close to) the water. For example, there’s a chance to take a boat trip out on the river to admire the majestic scenery from a different perspective, with the green rice paddies and steep mountains forming a picturesque backdrop.
There’s also plenty of things to do and see on dry land, with this sleepy village being home to Sacha Inchi tea making, cotton weaving, and brown rice milling. You’ll be able to learn all about these traditional agricultural practices directly from the locals, who are happy to share their knowledge and let you get your own hands dirty by helping out, too.
Of course, one of the best things about going on an adventure to a new place in Thailand is the food, and on this trip you’ll be discovering many exotic flavors and exciting northern dishes that are hard to find anywhere else in the country. Some of the culinary highlights that Baan Tha Khan Thong promises include grilled sticky rice and pumpkin with egg, parm pla, jaew bong, and fresh vegetables. A traditional Khantoke dinner is also served up for dinner, which consists of a variety of Northern Thai dishes arranged together on a short, round table with spicy dips, sticky rice and more fresh vegetables; it’s the perfect way “Experience the Extraordinary” Lanna cuisine while socializing and exchanging thoughts with your friendly hosts.
As well as the delicious menu, the evening provides the chance for visitors to soak up this unique community’s culture, which is a colorful hybrid of Isaan (Northeastern Thailand, which is where many of the villagers originate from) and Lanna (the local word describing Northern Thai culture). This fusion can be witnessed in the form of art, with Bai Sri Su Kwan and Hae Khan Toke ceremonies, showcasing their vibrant clothing styles, music and forms of dance.
After heading off to bed (with a full stomach), you’ll wake up the next morning in your charming homestay with the fresh breeze blowing over from the nearby river. There’s some more time in the morning for a leisurely breakfast and further knowledge exchanges with your hosts before bidding farewell to Baan Tha Khan Thong and Thailand’s most-northern province, Chiang Rai.