Tribal culture is one of the most interesting themes we offer. The Thai government recognizes six groups of ‘hill tribes’ in Thailand: Karen, Hmong, Yao, Lahu, Akha and Lisu. ‘Hilltribes’ is the term we will use throughout this website although many of these tribal people live on the lowlands nowadays. We also added the Kachin and Palong (Palaung). These two tribes are more recent arrivals from Myanmar and they number not more than a couple of thousand people at the moment. The Shan are a Thai speaking people and are strictly speaking not an ethnic minority. Their language and culture is very similar to those of the Thai people but we still thought that there are specific differences in their customs and traditions that deserve separate mentioning. Shan are also known as Tai Yai. Other minorities are Tai Ya and Tai Lue. They can’t be classified as tribes or ethnic minorities but they are different from Thai people in customs, language and traditional dress.

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