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A few weeks ago I took another trip back up to Chiang Rai and did another visit up to the Long Neck Tribe. This place never ceases to amaze me. I can remember a time as a kid I would finger though the National Geographic magazine and see the Long Neck Tribes. What were those funny looking rings I thought to myself. How the hell did they get them on their necks? Are the painful? Well, yeah… They are!

While I was there I got the chance to take a couple photos. You can see from the photo above that she has a smile on her face. But was that smile real or forced? I can pretty much bet that it was forced. You see, although they speak really good English, they can’t really tell how they are feeling. She was in a bit of pain. These rings are part of her everyday life and they can be cumbersome. It’s a bit painful to sleep but they do it.

How do they get them on you ask? They start when they are kids and then slowly put longer rings on. Longer you ask? Yes, it’s one long piece of metal and it’s heated up to form the circles around their necks and contrary to popular belief, they do not make the neck longer. They actually push down on the shoulders making the neck look longer. Below you an see what they look like when they don’t have the rings on.

Can you imagine having to wear those things all day? I can’t. The mere sight of them makes me cringe. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Maybe I can, it does seem a bit painful to watch them put on and take off the rings. I suppose since they do it all the time that it’s not that big a deal. Who knows…

A visit to Chiang Mai and then on to Chiang Rai can’t be complete without a trip up to the tribe. The visit will set you back about 1500 baht. At least that is what it was for me. It’s a about a 3 hour ride up there so be prepared for a bit of a journey. While you are there, be sure to buy some stuff. They could sure use the money up there. I know it’s a bit weird to see things like that and some people say it’s wrong but the money you spend does help a little. So, go with an open mind and an open pocketbook.

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