Rediscover life with rice. Be hosted by the warmth of Northern Thailand’s Karen Hilltribe for your next getaway.
Born and raised in Singapore, I have always wanted to experience life as a farmer. Going to Tigerland Rice Farm, away from the city and surrounded by a vast farmland in the hilly regions of Chiang Rai was a whole new experience altogether.
Owned by a family of the Karen Hilltribe community, Kitt and his parents welcome guests all over the world to experience a different life at Tigerland Rice Farm. Be prepared to stay disconnected from the world, no WIFI, poor reception and no TV. But be ready to welcome a better connection with yourself and nature.
Your neighbours for the entire duration of your stay will be the dogs, cats and chickens that run wild at the farm. I was awakened by the natural alarm clock of the roosters crowing at dawn, which was annoying at first, but I learnt how to enjoy the incessant noise in the mornings.
All meals are home-cooked and prepared by Kitt’s mother, Mother Tomei, and is usually a variety of meat, vegetables and soup, eaten with rice. It was strange to have rice for all three meals, but for the locals, the heavy meals helps to prepare them for the tedious work in the field.
During my two visits to Tigerland, I was involved in two different phases of rice production -- rice planting and rice harvesting six months later. Armed with a straw hat, long sleeved shirt and rubber boots, we would go into the fields to start the day. Working under the heat of the sun with back-breaking moments was torturous. Barely an hour in the field with sweat dripping down my forehead, my body was screaming for a rest.
Every step of harvesting, from ploughing the rice paddy, planting rice seedlings, to getting the rice ready for consumption, was pure hard work and sweat. Since then, I have taken extra care never to waste rice and pause for a moment to reflect back to the time in the rice fields. Like many of the tribes in the region who do not use any chemicals or pesticides, Tigerland Rice Farm also practices traditional and organic farming methods.
Tigerland Rice Farm also runs local community projects that anyone can get involved in. One of which is the Raise-a-Piggy Project, a social investment project where people sponsor $60 to buy a piglet for a family and this gives a whole family a head-start to a sustainable livelihood.
My adventures with Kitt and his family at Tigerland was definitely a rewarding experience that has broadened my mind and made me a more educated, experienced, and more fulfilled person.
Travel for Good. Book an experience with Tigerland Rice Farm and be hosted by the warmth of a Karen Hilltribe homestay in Thailand, located 30 minutes from Chiang Rai’s airport. Find out more about the eco-experiences and local community projects that will make you glad you decided to stay. If you can’t visit, you could empower a tribal family by giving them a piglet. Happy travelling for good from all of us at Our Better World!
ABOUT TIGERLAND RICE FARM
Tigerland Rice Farm is a homestay owned by an English-speaking Karen hill tribe family in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. Since it was established in 2009 with the help of a Singaporean social entrepreneur, it has also started projects to support the educational needs of the hill tribe children.
Writer: Seet Wan Yin
Director Of Photography: Anshul Tiwari
Post Producer: Ashima Thomas
Field Producer: Josh Lye
Assistant Producer: Krystal Foo
Executive Producer: Denise Oliveiro