Ethnic tourism and the Kayan Long-Neck Tribe in Mae Hong Son, Thailand

Ismail, Jinranai (2008) Ethnic tourism and the Kayan Long-Neck Tribe in Mae Hong Son, Thailand. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University.


The long-neck Kayans have long been subjected to scrutiny by both Thai and foreign writers. This study traces the historical existence of the Kayans in Burma and their status as refugees within Thailand. Since the arrival of the first group of Kayans in late 1984, this tribe has been of interest to the provincial government of Mae Hong Son, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, NGOs and tourism developers. All of these groups, in one way or another, claim to be protecting the interest of the Kayans. This thesis investigates the validity of claims that Kayan interests are being protected. It further questions the government’s move to centralise the Kayans into one settlement at Huay Pu Kaeng. I argue that the Kayan race is the most marginal beneficiary of the Kayan ethnic tourism and illustrate how their vulnerability has been exploited both by government agencies and tourism developers.

Additional Information

Master of Arts in Asian and Pacific Studies

Item type Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords Kayan long-neck, ethnic tourism, human zoo, relocation, government of Mae Hong Son, stakeholders, exploitation
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