Hilltribe Museum & Education Center

Top choice museum

in Chiang Rai

This museum and cultural centre is a good place to visit before undertaking any hill-tribe trek. Run by the nonprofit Population & Community Development Association (PDA), the venue has displays that are underwhelming in their visual presentation but contain a wealth of information on Thailand’s various tribes and the issues that surround them.

A visit begins with a 20-minute slide show on Thailand’s hill tribes, followed by a self-guided exploration among exhibits that include the typical clothing of six major tribes, examples of bamboo usage, folk implements and other anthropological objects. The curator is passionate about his museum and, if present, will talk about the different hill tribes, their histories, recent trends and the community projects that the museum helps fund. The PDA also runs highly recommended treks.