Long Neck Kayan Padaung tribe
Long neck women (aka Padaung or Kayan) are famous all over the world. Their appearance is unique and one of a kind.
We were dreaming about going to their village in Thailand for a long time.
Last year when we’ve been in Thailand we were lack of time and we just couldn’t go to the North to visit Kayan people.
Thankfully we are in Chiang Mai now and Long Neck women live only 3,5 hours driving from here.
We were very curious about this tribe. On the Internet we read many negative opinions about this village. Some people say that they felt like they were in the zoo and it’s not right to treat another human being as a tourist attraction.
Well, we wouldn’t be ourselves, if we didn’t check it on our own.
Kayan village is pretty small and… empty. We thought it would be full of tourists. But there were only few people there with us.
Women with long necks look amazing. So… different.
We don’t want to judge whether it’s right to be hurt like that. It’s their tradition and according to our guide, they can choose if they want to wear these brass coils or not.
Why exactly are they wearing this? It’s not clear. Some people say it was the protection from the tigers. They just couldn’t be bitten in the most fragile parts of their bodies (necks and legs).
Others say that they are offsprings of the Dragons and their long necks is something they have left from their old look.
Interesting facts about Long Neck tribe
It’s a myth that when women take off her rings, her neck will be broken. In fact Kayan women don’t have longer necks than us. Their collarbones are lowered, their necks are thinner and optically longer. We all have just 6 cervical vertebrae and nothing will ever change that.
2. Brass coils.
Long neck women start wearing rings when they are 5 years old. They are adding a new circle every 2 years. Maximum what they can have are 30 brass coils.
Kayan women are refuges from Myanmar. According to Thai law, foreigners can’t work in the job that Thai person can do. These are simple jobs like cook, driver, waitress etc. That’s why long neck women can’t do anything except of being tourist attraction.
Tourists are the main source of money for them and their families.
They get paid for anything that do (souvenirs, photos etc.) It’s not a bad life… They are earning by their appearance. They are also beautiful but…differently.
Long neck tribe are refugees from Burma,
Right now Myanmar government wants them to come back to the country.
The reason is of course money. They want to attract tourists to their homeland, not to Thailand.
Kayan women are not completely free in Thailand.
They can’t travel anywhere without a special permission from Thai government. They can’t even go to Bangkok.
They must be always in the village, to be present when the tourists come to see them.