Touring Chiang Mai
Hill Tribe Village
Ban Khun Changkean
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.
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.
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
This strange building reminds me of a small chapel but i'm sure it must belong to someone of importance in the village...
There's an offroad rating of 3/10 to the last half of the route to Ban Kuhn Changkean.
Getting to Ban Khun Changkean
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.
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!
The left hand fork is off limits, when you you follow the right-fork around you'll soon be approaching Doi Pui National Park.
The road has just split into two here:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.