Pha Mon

Location:

Pha Mon is also located in Doi Intanon National Park, 7 km’s off the main highway and reached via an unsealed mountain road. One’s first impression of Pha Mon is that it is an idyllic village, perfectly integrated within the living natural tapestry of mountains and forest. Pha Mon overlooks a sea of rice paddy, which is breathtaking during the rainy and winter seasons.

The highlights of Pha Mon Community

“Peace, quiet and amazing views; stay in a comfortable community resort; enjoy mountain biking and bird watching.”

Why is Pha Mon community special?

Pha Mon is also a Pa Kaa Ka Yor, Karen village. However, Pha Mon is much smaller than Mae Klang Luang. The people of Pha Mon prefer to welcome smaller groups of between 2 and 6 travelers. The villagers have built a comfortable bungalow in the rice fields, which is ideal for a single family to stay in, for a totally unique and intimate experience of local life.

According to local legends, Pha Mon mountain is a sibling of Doi Intanon, and these two mountains remain at the heart of village livelihoods and spiritual life.  Rice fields surround the community bungalow. At different times of the year, visitors will be able to see the villagers performing traditional ceremonies in their paddy plots on the terraced hillside.

The cultivation of flowers of temperate climate has been introduced by the Royal Project as an alternative occupational activity to generate income for the villagers and to reduce farming activity in the forest area. Guests will see villagers carrying a rainbow of brightly coloured flowers through the village, and down the mountain for sale in Chiang Mai city.

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Activities for guests:

  • Nature trail and bird watching: Local guides can lead guests on an exploration of the forest, including a bird watching trail where guests have the chance to see about 30 kinds of local and migrating birds. Local guides will share traditional legends, including the role which birds play in traditional Karen courting rituals!
  • Cycling: Pha Mon is a fantastic destination for mountain biking, and some of the local community guides have been trained to lead cycling trips!
  • Learn Karen Weaving: Karen women are famous in Thailand for their bold, bright designs, hand woven using a traditional ‘back strap loom’. Guests can meet the local weavers, watch them work, and have a go at weaving themselves. You will be amazed at the work and effort which goes into even a small garment…
  • A meal with a special view:  The local people can organise a very special meal, right next to the rice fields. Enjoy breakfast with the fragrance of the rice fields, or sip a cold drink in the evening, as the sun sets serenely behind the mountains of Pha Mon village.

Green Corner: People and Planet

Initially, villagers from Baan Paa Mon assisted a team of researchers from Chiang Mai to gather information about the local wisdom of Karen people, in connection to birds in the Doi Intanon area.  This project created a database of local environment and culture.  When the research was completed, the villagers realised that the knowledge which they had collected could be very attractive for nature enthusiasts. They considered the opportunities of developing tourism.

After considering the strengths and potentials of the community, a group of villagers decided to donate their wages from the research project as well as their labor to construct a community resort.  They were assisted by a French tour operator, which continues to send occasional trips to the village. This resort can accommodate small groups of tourists (max 6), and provides income for participating families through the allocation of shares. Profits are contributed towards environmental activities with the local school.