Thailand Hilltribe Holidays was founded by Thai and foreign couple – Pat and Mel, who came from worlds apart but united together over a common desire to create a social venturethat would help marginalised communities and hilltribes of northern Thailand. They simply wanted to open doors for local people, giving them equal opportunities to grow and prosper whilst maintaining their cultural identity and heritage.
With Pat’s experience in the travel industry, he wanted to create a form of tourism that would be fairer to the locals, whilst offering more authentic and real experiences for travellers. Thus the initial idea of a responsible hilltribe village tour and homestays was born. Joining forces with his partner, Mel and her sprinkling of commercial acumen, they created Thailand Hilltribe Holidays, a grassroots social enterprisethat works togetherwith their family of locally sourced staff to provide responsible tours that aim to;
Channel tourism to benefit local communities directly
Bring cultural exchange and provide enriching experiences for travellers and host communities
Allow travellers to visit hilltribe villages in an ethical and responsible way
ffer travellers a chance to experience the real northern Thailand outside the realm of commerical tourism Winai is Lawa hill tribe and from La up village. We came to know Winai as he was helping out Pat’s mum (the head nun at the village temple), and he is now our full time driver. We are very lucky to have Winai on our team as we receive many comments about what a safe and skilled driver he is, especially through the steep and windy mountainous roads. To accompany his excellent driving skills he has a great sense of humour, and is a big kid at heart shown by his love of ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoons. Winai used to work with electronics and computers, and now he loves to be out on the open road and practicing his English with visitors. In the future, he wants to become a qualified tour guide and build his own homestay, in a contemporary hill tribe design, combining traditional elements with modern comforts.