Planting Rice with the Villagers in Thailand  |  Chiang Mai, Thailand  |  The afternoon task, so that I get to keep my room at the stunning Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, was that I had to help the local villagers plant rice in the rice fields. But not only that, I also had to go for a ride on top their own Buffalo. Anything for another night into a this Ancient City Palace inspired resort. I have to say I learned a lot, based on the old concepts and traditions of the Lanna Kingdom (LAN= Million NA=Rice Fields) formed by the northern part of Thailand, Burma and Laos. And please, mind any comments on the outfit.

So this time they picked me up at my Villa, and they took me straight to the Rice Fields, not before I got on my local villager outfit. Walked through the pass between the rice beds until I met my friend the Buffalo, my transportation for the rest of the way.
Did you know that the whole process since the initial planting, to the transplanting and harvesting takes approximately 4 months. This is for the Sticky Rice, which is the typical rice from the Lanna district. Also now in many parts of the world the rice milk is becoming very popular and this means harvesting on the third month.

This is how they pull the baby rice plant to move it to a new rice bed, to let it grow and mature, after a full month of growing. You just pull the rice plant out of the water, very gently.

And this is the second stage, previous to harvesting three month after, to complete the four month cycle of the sticky rice. Unfortunately most rice fields nowadays are automated, reason why most villagers have lost their jobs and move to the cities to work. Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, contributes to the local community employing annually 50 villages to take care of the Rice Fields, which they use as an activity for their guests. The harvested rice and final grain, is use to (1). replant for the next cycle and (2). for donations to local foundations. Keep in mind that still nowadays sticky rice, forms a very important part of the Lanna people. So my full respect to them and the villagers.

Just another activity that you may try while visiting Thailand. I keep trying the different fashion styles and outfits. So far counting the Mahout and Rice Villagers…. still a full month ahead to try more. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator –

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