Touring Thailand


Touring Chiang Mai

Hill Tribe Village

Ban Khun Changkean

Hill tribe mountain

Ban Khun Changkean is a Mong hill tribe village off the beaten track to a certain extent. According to some signs it's about forty years old possible older. This village is further from Chiang Mai than Ban Doi Pui and as a result has a lot less tourists visiting it. I counted 3 while I was there although a bunch of ATV riding farang passed me when I was photographing Doi Pui though.


The whole scene here is typical hill tribe style - not much going on and a sleepy-hollow vibe to it all. A few craftsmen were out working which was nice to see though. The most activity was around the school where a few Mong folk were trying to peddle some bags and purses for tourist rate prices.

Mong hill tribe craftsman

Hilltribe School and Tribeswoman

Here's the village school; compared to the rest of the village this building is impressive and strikes me as how the government is putting forward education in helping the hill tribe folk move forward with the times.
Old mother time on the roll-over photo tried selling me some trinkets, they don't speak much thai here and her prices were pretty steep.
Just as I took the photo of her a Mong tribeswoman came along and started crying and screaming about something.
I couldn't tell what it was though, maybe the crops had failed or something?

The edge of Ban Khun Changkean

If you want to blast through the village in search of further adventure then this trail here (see roll-over) will take you through to the Mae Sa Valley and on to the Route 1096. I've not scouted this section (yet!) so there's no photo-recon to refer to. Conditions are reported to be worse than that experienced on the trail leading



Strange House in the village

This strange building reminds me of a small chapel but i'm sure it must belong to someone of importance in the village...

Offroad Warning

There's an offroad rating of 3/10 to the last half of the route to Ban Kuhn Changkean.

Getting to Ban Khun Changkean

Firstly follow highway 1004 to Doi Pui...

Arrival At Doi Pui

From Doi Pui you'll need to follow this narrow road that bends around to the right. Important things to consider:

ATV / Quad riders can be seen using this route, as do pick-ups and off-roaders.

This narrow road later becomes a track so be ready to make room and pull off the road if necessary to avoid being hit. Potholes are now occasional but not too harsh (even if you hit a few)

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Ban Khun Changkean Road

A nice long stretch of road here on photo 8, open her up a little here as this is about as straight as it gets!

Ban Khun Changkean Road

The left hand fork is off limits, when you you follow the right-fork around you'll soon be approaching Doi Pui National Park.

Dui Pui National Park Entrance

The road has just split into two here:
There's the high road (this one I've taken the photo from) which bypasses the entrance to Doi Pui National Park.
Then there's the low road (over to the right of the picture) which takes you to the entrance area. Both roads eventually meet up about two hundred meters around the corner.

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Both roads rejoin here, a sign here points the way to 'Ban Khun ChiangKian' this is a variation on the village you're heading towards. The transliteration of thai script to English often leads to slight name variations, it kinda makes the whole thing varied, which is cool in an individual thai way I guess.

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Ban Khun Changkean Road

Ban Khun Changkean Road with viewpoint

Ban Khun Changkean Road and then Dirt Track

Alright, here's where the going gets a bit rough, the road finishes just around this next corner (see roll-over picture) and becomes dirt track. If you're on a small scooter take your time now as the bumps and potholes become nasty and random. Some folk take Quads and trailbikes because of this section but they aren't not really needed unless you go beyond the hill tribe village.

Ban Khun Changkean Dirt Track

There's a valley just around the corner after next. (see roll-over pic). Some small outlying dwellings can be seen now as you get closer to Ban khun Changkean.

Ban Khun Changkean Dirt Track

Theres a man made pothole but it's easy to go around, once you come to the corner after this one theres a school/faculty building down a ramp. I never went in but maybe some of you english teachers might fancy saying hello there?

Ban Khun Changkean Dirt Track

You're almost there now, just hang a right at this gateway and follow the main track and you'll enter the village. If you've survived the journey intact give yourself or your pillion passenger a celebratory huge/handshake and head off for the nearest bar for a drink! There isn't actually a bar in the village but you know what I mean, there looks to be a few stalls that sell liquor though.
I'm sure the poo yai may have some moonshine he's got squirreled away, see if your hill tribe lingo is up to scratch first though!

Hill tribe restaurant and bar?

Road Lore: If you're setting off from Chiang Mai bear in mind that it will take you about an hour and a half at a relaxed speed to get there, less if you open the throttle.

Highway 1004
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Chang Mai Province Phitsanulok Bangkok Koh Tao Koh Pang Yan Koh Samui