Huai Tong Kor community is located in a wild and remote part of Mae Hong Son province. It takes approximately 4 hours to reach the village by 4WD, which can be challenging in the rainy season, when the road is slippery.
Travelers who do make the trip will be impressed by this picturesque village, nestled in heart of the forest, where people still lead a highly self-sufficient life.
The highlights of Huai Tong Kor Community
“Experience traditional Karen life, marvel at local sword dancing, enjoy a challenging trek into the mountains, lead by local Karen woodsmen.”
Why is Huai Tong Kor community special?
Huai Tong Kor village was established over 200 hundred years ago, named after “Tong Kor,” a palm leaf which is used as natural roofing. Today, the people continue to live a simple, calm life guided by their Karen traditions.
The villagers practice a combination of rotation and terraced paddy farming, as well as raising animals. Water is plentiful, and villagers use traditional “Mueng Fai” methods for managing water and irrigating the rice fields. This is a system of tiny canals, through which farmers channel and control water on its way to the fields. The system is built by hand, with the help of all villagers.
Because of Huai Tong Kor’s distance from the main road, the community has remained almost entirely self-sufficient, offering a very authentic insight into traditional Karen life. A village blacksmith still uses bellows, anvil and hammer to craft scythes used for harvesting rice; local women weave their own clothes; and the community herbalist is consulted for a remedy if villagers become ill.
Huai Tong Kaw is a great location for challenging jungle trekking. Nature lovers can climb to the peak of ‘ghost mountain,’ visit a waterfall 4 km’s from the village, and enjoy river crossings on a trek back to Mae Hong Son.
Don’t miss this…
Activities for guests:
- Challenging trekking: Huai Tong Kor is the place to head for a classic Thai hill trekking adventure. There are a variety of drop-off points to trek from, depending on how much of a challenge guests are looking for. Local woodsmen will lead trekkers through pristine forest, sharing Karen folklore and stopping here and there to snack on wild jungle foods. Huai Tong Kor waterfall is over 150 metres high, and can be reached in 3-5 hours. A trek to Huai Tong Kor can continue on to other communities, or include camping.
- Sword dancing: Sword dancing is the best loved art in the community. Local youth are proud to display their swordsmanship and dancing skills to visitors, as well as to other community members. Each stage of the dance is rich in ceremony and meaning, which local guides will share with guests.
- Traditional occupations: Guests can try pumping the blacksmith’s bellows; weaving with the village women or witnessing the communities’ local wisdom managing water through the Mueng Fai system. Local hosts are always more than happy when active guests join them in the paddy fields!
Green Corner: People and Planet
The people of Huai Tong Kor continue to live very simple lives, using few resources. They practice forest management as an integrated part of their daily lives and farming cycle.
The community work together to define different zones of the forest for farming, gathering wild foods and conservation.
The quality of the watershed forest in Huai Tong Kor has remained pristine, and the village is sometimes visited by government and NGO staff who wish to learn more about local methods of natural resource management.