The Palong (Palaung) who live in Thailand came from Myanmar (Burma). It is likely they originated in Southern China and migrated to Myanmar.
Where do they live?
The Palong live in Shan State and Northern Kachin State in Myanmar, in China and in Northern There are but a few Palong villages in Thailand, all of them in the northern part of Chiang Mai province. The Palong in Thailand moved to Thailand from Myanmar in 1984 as refugees from the violence in Myanmar.
Culturally and linguistically the Palong can be divided into three main groups: The Shwe, the Rumai and the Pale. The Shwe are also known as Golden Palong or Ta-ang and the Pale as Silver Palong or Di-ang. Ta-ang and Di-ang are the names used by the two groups of Palong to identify themselves.
Their language belong to the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic linguistic family.
Formerly animist, most Palongs have converted to Buddhism.
Culture and lifestyle
Their main livelihood is the cultivation of tanatep, a large leaf to wrap Burmese cigars, and Tea. Besides tea, the they also grow rice, beans, yams, sugar cane, hemp, chillis and other crops.
Tiger Trail Tours that include visits to Palong villages:
TTTK01 - Palong Adventure in Chiang Dao Join in Tour - 2 days
TTTK02 - Tribal Culture of Chiang Dao Join in Tour - 3 days
TTTK03 - Chiang Dao in depth Tour - 4 days
TTTK10 - Trekking in Style - Meet the Palong People of Pang Dang Nai - 2 days
TTFT03 - Meet the Palong of Chiang Dao - A Family Adventure Tour - 2 days
Interesting links and books
We highly recommend this excellent book on the Palong, their culture, their history, their migration to and settlement in Thailand: 'The Palaung in Northern Thailand'. It is written by Michael C.Howard and Wattana Wattanapun and published by Silkworm Books in Chiang Mai (ISBN 974-88325-1-1).
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