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Swing Festival in an Akha village, Chiangrai 29 Aug - 1 Sept 2013

Posted by wanderingcat on 26/8/2013 at 09:51

For anyone who happens to be in the area & interested in visiting a hilltribe village during a festival...

Ban Apa, an Akha village in Chiangrai province, will be holding their Swing Festival celebrations from 29 August to 1 September 2013. This is held roughly 4 months after the first rice is planted & most of the hard work of preparing the land, planting, & weeding is over. Here is a video filmed years ago in this village showing the construction of the swing & the rituals surrounding it: http://hilltribe.org/thai/documentary/06-documentary-thai-SwingFestival.php
A new swing is built every year, & it can be touched & used only during the 4 days of the festival. Visitors are welcome during the festival.

Getting there:
Ban Apa is located in Mae Yao subdistrict, less than an hour's drive northwest of Chiangrai city, along the only road to Huay Mae Sai waterfall & Ban Jalae Hilltribe Museum. You can charter a songthaew from the songthaew station at the Chiangrai Municipal Market near the Old Clock Tower (not the new golden one), ask around & the drivers should be able to direct you to the ones who know that area (Huay Mae Sai waterfall is the best landmark). The last bit of road up to the village might be muddy at this rainy time of the year, & so the songthaew might only be able to drop you off along the main (paved) road. You could also make arrangements with a local guide who knows the area.

It's best to go with a guide or someone who can speak Thai as hardly anyone in the village speaks any English (unless you have the luck to bump into one of the few villagers who works/has worked as a guide). Note that food-wise there's only a simple tiny noodle stall in the neighbouring village of Ban Huay Mae Sai (~20 min walk away), unless you arrange with villagers to do a homestay.

#1 wanderingcat has been a member since 21/10/2006. Posts: 730
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Posted by MADMAC on 26/8/2013 at 10:41

Naked dancing girls by chance?

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 26/8/2013 at 10:56

First I've heard of it. Has to be better than Chiang Rai - that town is dull.

#3 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/8/2013 at 10:06 admin

Madmac & Leonard: WTF are you both on about? That's a serious question.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by MADMAC on 28/8/2013 at 10:26

Oh Stuart you're no fun. It was joke.

#5 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/8/2013 at 10:28 admin

Nobody is laughing.

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 28/8/2013 at 10:30

I thought my post was clear. Not a fan of Rai. I had high expectations of the town and it was no where near my expectations.

#7 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/8/2013 at 10:36 admin

@Leonard - sorry I assumed you actually read the OP -- if you had you'd have noted the festival is out of town and clearly has nothing to do with the town you find so boring.

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Posted by MADMAC on 28/8/2013 at 10:37

So few people have a sense of humor these days.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by somtam2000 on 28/8/2013 at 10:45 admin

Ahh they do - you'd be surprised when the joke is actually funny. Locking this one off too as all the relevant info is in the OP.

Cheers Cat :-)

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