Minority hill-tribe villages

The minority hill-tribe villages of the northeast are a place apart. Facing more towards their Chinese, Thai and Lao neighbours than back to Burma, this remote, mountainous region is a fabulous place to sample the locals’ hospitality. Visiting a longhouse of the Palaung tribe, for example, offers an extraordinary all-under-one-roof snapshot of community life. Numerous families live in such buildings; at one end village elders might sit together, chatting while they industriously weave brightly coloured textiles to sell at market; nearby toddlers are cared for, their burble filling the longhouse with life; further on lunch is communally prepared at a lively roundtable. Sudden bubbles of activity nestled in a peaceful landscape, the colour and communality of the houses is matched only in the memory by the warmth of the welcome visitors invariably receive.

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