Image taking a relaxing ox-cart ride pulled by very rare white lampoon oxen through the rural countryside of Northern Thailand. That is exactly what the ox-cart tour is all about.
Take a step back in time as an ox-cart, still used today for farming, travels through tropical fruit plantations and rice fields of Chiang Mai.
This traditional mode of transportation can be a bit bumpy at times, but riders can get a first-hand experience of how the local population has been commuting through the countryside for hundreds of years.
Each ox-cart is driven by a friendly local guide, and the carts are covered by large umbrellas so that riders can sit back and relax under the cool shade that they provide.This makes the ride much easier to enjoy.
Ox-carts have played a key role in farming and the transportation of goods in Thailand way before the time of cars and motorbikes. Even today, ox-carts are still used as a reliable means for plowing rice paddies.
This important tool has been vital for the rice industry in Thailand because without the use of an ox-cart, all goods had to be carried upon the backs of the local farmers which would result in extreme physical labor just to make a living. Besides being used to carry rice, Ox-carts were also very popular for transporting people in Thailand.
However, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, ox-carts slowly lost their role as the primary source of transporting good in Thailand as motorized wheel plows where introduced. Also, cars could easily transport much larger loads of rice in a much timelier manner. Ox-carts slowly started to disappear, as gasoline powered machines took the road instead.
From plowing the field, to transporting the rice to the local market, the use of oxen for farming in Thailand is one tradition that will hopefully stick around for a very long time.
Ox-carts have played such a vital role in Thai culture that every February a very famous festival is held in the Phetchaburi Province. Ox-carts are raced head to head to celebrate the end of the harvest season. In fact, the tradition dates back to the reign of King Rama V (1868–1910). These races where even once held at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.
What makes the ox-cart tour such an incredible experience is the fact that you are helping the local population retain their long held traditions. With the introduction of tourism in Thailand, these almost forgotten modes of transportation can once again come to life and flourish like they once did a long time ago.
The ox-cart tour in Chiang Mai is peaceful, traditional, and exotic; A perfect combination for those seeking a unique getaway unlike any other.