Photo of the Day: Child of the Thai Hill Tribes

This was one of my favorite photos from my trip through Thailand. It is of a young girl from the Akha hill tribe near Chiang Mai in the northern part of Thailand. The Akha is the largest, but also the poorest, of the hill tribes. The people originated in China and are still found in parts of China as well as Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Girl near Chiang Mai

Akha girl near Chiang Mai. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I spotted this young girl with a group of about five or six others who were playing near the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep — a breathtaking religious shrine atop Doi Suthep Mountain outside Chiang Mai. The little girls were dancing, giggling and playing silly hand games as children the world over might do — except for this one little girl. She had been standing off to the side just moments earlier and I captured her smiling at a group of Western teenagers. I then heard her sigh and look down when I captured this photo.

The Akha people speak their own language and have no written language. There is a culture clash today between the agriculture-based Akha peoples who live in thatched roof huts and until recently hunted only with bows and the encroaching “modern” world. I cannot even imagine what her world will be like when this little girl grows up.

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Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders,,,, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury,, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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