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Thread: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

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    Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    This is pretty horrific stuff, and all for the sake of Tarquin and Tracy getting a taste of "real" hilltribe culture. Sickening!
    ---
    Thailand’s ‘human zoos’



    The long-necked women of a popular Thai tourist destination have spoken out about the prison-like conditions they are forced to endure as inmates of what they describe as “a human zoo”.
    Padaung women, who fled Burma as refugees in the 1980s, are famous for wearing dozens of brass rings that give the impression of grotesquely elongated necks. Thai businessmen quickly spotted their curiosity value and set up tourist villages, charging visitors about £20 to see the women, whose images have subsequently appeared on postcards and in holiday brochures and promotional material for Thai tour operators.
    Yet conditions in the villages are “worse than prison”, the women say. “Our men are forbidden to seek work, we cannot grow our own food and if we try to leave, we are beaten,” says Mun Mun, who lives in the village of Nai Soi. “We have no privacy. We are like animals in a zoo.”
    Officials who run the villages deny that the women are exploited and say they are free to leave. But six who recently tried to flee were allegedly kidnapped and returned to work in the tourist village.
    “We believe that the only purpose of their kidnapping is for exhibition in these tourist camps over the peak holiday season, which is beginning now and will continue over Christmas,” said Thai police major Worapot Phuttawong.
    The luxury operator Cox & Kings said that it “does not actively promote visits to tribal groups in Thailand”, and the adventure specialist Explore said: “We are aware that the treatment of Padaung women in Thailand, and the conditions that they live in, are controversial. As a result, we do not visit these women on any of our tours.”

    Thailand's "human zoos" - Times Online
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    Non Sibi Sed Omnibus Array Umbuku's Avatar
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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Yep, not to mention the opium addiction amongst the younger generations of the hill tribes which was traditionally an old mans privilege thanks to the swarms of backpackers looking for that real opium den experience. One of the primary reasons that Thais haven't assimilated the hill tribes into mainstream society is their attraction of tourists, and of course they are convenient scapegoats for the Thai drug lords importing heroin and yaba (Meth amphetamines) over the border.

    I didn't go on any of the hill treks in Mae Hong Son for these reasons.
    Faith, by itself, isn't a good enough reason to believe. Instead, a belief must be defensible through reason, logic, and evidence.
    The idea that faith is somehow justified by the fact that the beliefs cannot be proven is a truly Orwellian position to adopt - not to mention intellectually and ethically dangerous.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    It is a sad situation. I've heard conflicting reports on them. The majority of them are from Burma. I was very curious about them, so I recently went to the Karen village near Chiang Mai. I felt like these people were on display, as a 'freakshow' to the tourists. They were selling scarves, that they apparently hand-made, by weaving them. They were also open to taking pictures with whoever wanted one. It was a huge invasion of privacy, and I won't go back.

    I've also heard that these women, and children, would rather be in Thailand than in Burma. At least in Thailand, they can live the way they want (in their huts on stilts).

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    I'm not dissing the thread, but surely this is old, old news?

    I remember reading about it 15 years ago.

    I've never contemplated such tours for this very reason.

    It makes me laugh when people go on these things and then complain about how it was full of tourists.

    doh!

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Old news that is perhaps worth repeating as the message clearly is just getting through.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    ^ Fair comment.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Quote Originally Posted by phuketbound
    It is a sad situation. I've heard conflicting reports on them. The majority of them are from Burma. I was very curious about them, so I recently went to the Karen village near Chiang Mai. I felt like these people were on display, as a 'freakshow' to the tourists. They were selling scarves, that they apparently hand-made, by weaving them. They were also open to taking pictures with whoever wanted one. It was a huge invasion of privacy, and I won't go back.

    I've also heard that these women, and children, would rather be in Thailand than in Burma. At least in Thailand, they can live the way they want (in their huts on stilts).
    I'm totally against violence towards women, as well as "prisons for profit." I myself did not pay to see any of these "tours" while in Chiang Mai. The other tourist I was with went but I refused to go.

    Here's another article which may be of interest:

    Padaung 'giraffe women'

    It expands on it a bit.
    Last edited by Piece Train; 12th November 2007 at 18:47. Reason: Double Quote
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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Whats the solution?
    I've got to pick myself up Dust myself off And start all over again.
    -Peter Tosh

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Better regulation by the government/\

    There are many different hill tribes though....does anybody believe that this degree of exploitation is widespread? I was really hoping on meeting some tribal types when I go up north for the first time
    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrille
    ...old, old news?
    indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrille
    I've never contemplated such tours for this very reason.
    and indeed...

    "so please show no pity as we come up from the ground, and please remember as you kill us and cut us down that time will not wash clean the bloody face of history, and someone will breathe here again and they will hate you for what you leave." m.g.


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    Jon
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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    OK, I see the problem in this case. I don't think this is the problem with all tourism in hiltribe areas though.
    Sur votre bicyclette, mate.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    agreed jon, the problem is with the exploitation of the Long Neck Tribe.
    Too long in Exile, too long not singing my song.
    Too long like a rolling stone, Too long in exile
    Too long in Exile, baby you just arent my friend.
    Too long in Exile my friend, Baby you can never go home again.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Aquaman
    Whats the solution?
    I don't think sending them back to Burma, (with all the human rights abuses) would be wise. What does the Thai government think of these people, besides being good for tourists? The Karen longneck tribes that I visited, are in Thailand by choice, at least from what I read.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Quote Originally Posted by Loxley
    There are many different hill tribes though....does anybody believe that this degree of exploitation is widespread? I was really hoping on meeting some tribal types when I go up north for the first time.
    I, in fact, belong to a rare white-skinned ethnic tribe in the North-East who are definitely being exploited, as we have been driven to seek refuge here by unsettled circumstances in our native countries. We are stared at wherever we go, and are regularly asked to have pictures taken with us for no payment whatsoever. The men are forbidden to work except in low-paid jobs demonstrating our curious language and culture, and there are few women of our culture here, which will eventually lead to our bloodline being interbred out of existence. We occasionally try to leave, but red tape, border officials and the cost of travel and visas do not permit this. Please donate as much as you can to the WWF (Wicked Willie Fund) before it's too late!

    I thank you.
    I married two separate women to save them from poverty - which was big o' me.

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    Re: Do Not Support Hilltribe Tours

    Quote Originally Posted by aging one
    agreed jon, I hate them Long Neck Tribe birds.
    Steady on old bean!...

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