Doi Pui Mong Hill Tribe Village, Su Thep, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Doi Pui Hmong Village is located about 7km up the road from the popular Wat Phrathat on Doi Suthep – a 1676 meter mountain that rises majestically above Chiang Mai. Doi Pui is slightly higher than Doi Suthep at 1685 meters and is home to a couple of Hmong tribal villages, the largest of which is the Meo. This tribe was believed to have moved from China to the northern region of Thailand and Myanmar a long time ago. Being so close to a popular a key tourist attraction like Wat Phrathat, the Meo village is understandably commercial and probably not as traditionally authentic as the harder to reach tribal villages around the area. That said, the village is still worth a visit and seems to attract more Thai tourists than foreigners. Among the highlights are a beautiful garden featuring opium poppies – previously the most popular source of income for many hill tribes in the Golden Triangle. Several industrious villages have also set up a makeshift shooting gallery featuring surprisingly powerful Hmong-made crossbows and hanging watermelons – 10 Baht will get you three shots. Various Hmong handicrafts are available here and despite being touristy, good haggling might net you a bargain. The best time to visit the Meo Hilltribe Village is in the afternoon when the sun falls on the Western side of the mountain, bathing the beautiful garden in a warm glow.