Stretching 400km across of a remote section of the ‘Thai Highlands’, the Phee Pan Nam Mountain range is home to dense tropical forests, sandstone peaks that rise above the clouds, and networks of gushing streams feeding some of Thailand’s major rivers. A particular point of interest in this unique area is the people who live here almost hidden away from the rest of the world, allowing their traditional cultures and ways of life to remain preserved.
One such community of local villagers can be found at Baan Pa Miang, which is comprised of a small collection of homes and simple shops surrounded by the lush Miang forest and a coffee plantation. This 2 day / 1 night trip takes you into the heart of this friendly community, which is located in Thailand’s Lampang province.
Surrounded by greenery in all directions, life at Baan Pa Miang revolves around the forest, which gets its name from the abundance of miang leaves that grow here; these are collected and used to make miang kham – a type of northern Thai snack that roughly translates into ‘one bite wrap’ (due to the fact that you can eat the little parcel all in one go!) While visiting the village, you’ll have the chance to wander through this majestic forest to find some miang leaves of your own before heading back to base to discover how to wrap, prepare and – most importantly – eat this local delicacy, which is normally filled with spices, herbs, nuts and dried shrimp.
Another community-based activity takes you to see a nearby coffee plantation that grows and sells Arabica-style coffee beans. Discover how local villagers have mastered the art of coffee growing and pick up a bag of these richly-flavored beans to take home – or grab a cup for an afternoon energy boost. It’s then back to the village to enjoy a traditional ‘Bai Sri Su Kwan’ ceremony before dinner and music with your friendly hosts.
As well as trekking through the forest, you’ll also be able to literally rise above it. The morning of the second day presents another “Extraordinary Experience” to see the sunrise and misty clouds at Giew Fin. Here, the spectacular views stretch across Lampang and into neighboring Chiang Mai province from the very top of the Phee Pan Nam Mountain Range.
If you’re planning on visiting Baan Pa Miang in the winter, green isn’t the only color you’ll see covering the countryside. The colder months from January to March are when the region’s orchid trees begin to blossom, with bright white flowers making this little hillside village even prettier. This time of year also coincides with the local ‘Bauhinia’ vegetarian festival… just remember to bring some warm clothes to stay snug at night during your One Night Stay with Locals!