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Thai communities will welcome you with open arms, once you visit their far-flung villages to see local sights like tea plantations, raging rivers and fruit farms.

1.1. Mae Kampong Village, Chiang Mai Province

A visit to Baan Mae Kampong in Northern Thailand takes travelers to a cool, forested settlement over 1,300 meters above sea level. A gurgling stream passes through the area’s wooden houses; the surrounding tea plantations provide both a livelihood and a cultural anchor through which travelers can experience the local lifestyle. Activities in the area include tea harvesting; trekking along a local nature trail; witnessing a Northern Thai dance and music festival; and camping at Doi Mon Larn, the area’s highest point. Tourism Thailand page.

1.2. Kiriwong Village, Nakorn Si Thammarat Province

Located in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Kiriwong village stands amidst a forest, river and mountain landscape conducive to fruit cultivation. Thus visitors to Kiriwong can experience the literal fruits of the local villagers’ labor, among them exotic Southeast Asian species like durian, rambutan and mangosteen. River expeditions and hiking occupy visitors’ daylight hours. Tourism Thailand page.

1.3. Leeled Village, Surat Thani Province

The coastal town of Leeled in Southern Thailand stands amidst a profusion of mangrove trees, once endangered but now a centerpiece of the area’s community-based tourism push. Visitors can skirt the 1,250-hectare mangrove conservation area; in the evenings, they can take part in Leeled’s revived “Regae Pa” Jungle Theatre cultural activity.

1.4. Ban Na Ton Chan Village

The Ban Na Ton Chan village in Sukhothai Province takes its name from the surrounding chan trees that provide a livelihood for the village. Homestay guests can see the locals’ simple lifestyle for themselves: their days spent farming, tending fruit orchards, or collecting tree trunks to make furniture for export; the women weaving fabric, then soaking the product in mud to produce the area’s famous Fermented Mud Cloth.