Our Team

Dow and an elephant

Dow
Trainee

Dow is a determined learner and often stays behind after class to keep revising! She is motivated to improve her career so that she can provide an good life for her young son, Pho. Dow is from a Karen village in Mae Wang. She speaks Karen, Thai and English.

cafe server

Jan
Shift Leader

Jan is Karen, from Mae Hong Son. She helps manage Chai Lai Orchid Mountain. She is a total boss babe who excels at everything from accounting to boxing.

Lurn's elephant portrait

Lurn
Manager

"I like working in hospitality because it is full of challenges and chances to learn. My dream to open a homestay in my village in Shan State. Chai Lai supports uneducated people to learn skills and work at the same time. When I have my own homestay I would like to hire people who could not access formal education. Thank you so much Chai Lai Orchid. I will make my dream come true!"

our founders

Alexa and Bay

Founders

Alexa founded Daughters Rising to empower vulnerable women in Northern Thailand. Together with her husband Bay, she runs the Chai Lai Orchid Eco-Lodge to generate funds for Daughters Rising and provide a safe place for young women to live and learn valuable work- and life-skills.

Nukul feeding elephants with her kids

Nukul

Partner

Nukul is a graduate of our Daughters Rising hospitality training program. After learning English in just three months, she later became a guide and opened her own tour company, Chai Lai Sisters. It is the first company to be run by ethnic minority women here in Northern Thailand!

a baby elephant with her care taker

Ling

Mahout

Ling is the head mahout at the elephant camp. He has worked closely with elephants for over ten years. He refers to Suki, the youngest elephant, as his ‘daughter’– Which tells you a lot about his relationship with them!

an elephant care taker with his elephant

Mook
Mahout

Mook has been the trainer for Duang Dee ever since she was born. When he had to go to do National Service in the army and DeeDee was temporarily looked after by another mahout, Mook used to come back at the weekends to visit her.

chai lai orchid hospitality training staff

Sophia
Trainee

"Chai Lai is the only place which create hope and miracle for every girls who are lacking opportunities to reach their desire and ambitions. With help from Chai Lai I will start university in Thailand. It is my dream to be a nurse so that one day I can save someone's life." Sophia is from From Khay Nin village, Kyaukme Township, Shan State, Burma.

cafe manager

Noon
Accounting

Noon is Karen from the village of Nong Tao. She has 10 siblings and a very kind heart. She trained as a teacher and also volunteers with the kids at DaughtersRising.Org. We are so lucky to have her on our admin team.

Golo trekking guide

Golo
Team Member

Golo, once she graduated from the Daughters Rising training program, trained as a guide and helped found Chai Lai Sisters Trekking. Having studied Agriculture at university, she plans to make a medicinal garden and teach travelers and Karen youngsters how to live in harmony with nature.

trekking guide charlie at mae wang waterfall

Charlie
Guide

He is the only twin on the Chai Lai staff! Charlie is a Chai Lai Sisters guide and always has glowing reviews. Cool and calm, he is a walking dictionary and knows everything there is to know about elephants and life in Northern Thailand. Charlie is also a soon-to-be dad– Exciting!

sous-chef de cuisine

New
Chef

New worked as a care assistant for the elderly before moving to the Chai Lai Orchid. She has one young daughter and is an amazing chef. Not only can she cook our delicious Chai Lai menu, she makes delicious Karen comfort food every day for our staff too.

Da with an elephant

Da
Trainee

Da studied hospitality in Chaing Mai. She came to Chai Lai to learn English. Her dream is to open her own homestay in her village. Da speaks Karen and Thai and is now learning English.

Mai thai massage teacher

Mai
Therapist

Mai is a local healer who knows all about using natural medicine to restore good health. She is also an incredible massage therapist, and luckily for us, she has decided to work at Chai Lai full-time. All of us and our achy backs are very grateful for her!

Nam, cafe manager

Nam
Cafe Manager

Nam is Karen from Mae Hong Son. She graduated from Mae Jo university where she studied English and loves to Travel. She speaks Thai, Karen, English fluently and is learning Japanese. and Chinese.

Downy and her favorite elephant

Downy
Trainee

Po grew up in a small village in Mae Hong Son, but like many Karen young people, she moved to Chiang Mai to learn and work. Currently, she is studying for a university course in Public Administration on the weekends. She wants to work at a Thai embassy abroad.

Trekking guide at a waterfall

Zen
Guide

After being a monk for ten years, Zen wanted a change of pace. He worked for a few tour companies before ending up with Chai Lai Sisters. He is always ready to dispense some life advice, along with his information about the local area.

Muji in handmade Karen dress

Mu Chit
Trainee

Fighting in Karen State drove Mu Chit to flee Burma and seek safety in Thailand. She continues to learn part-time and spends the rest of the time looking after after the staff's children who are too young to start school. She is Marry Poppins.

Lah best trekking guide in Chiang mai

Lah
Guide

Lah has been a guide for almost twenty years! He is known and respected by everyone in this area as an excellent guide. His favorite trek is the Karen Wisdom trek, where he takes guests to learn about how Karen people live– Harvesting rice, cooking, and using the resources of the jungle.

Guide at luang khun win temple

Kham
Guide

Kham AKA Jackie Chan is a fun guide who specializes in treks to the secret temple and teaching about jungle medicine. In his free time he volunteers to teach the local children how to play cane ball, a traditional sport. Kham speaks Thai, English and Karen.

Lon trekking guide

Lon
Guide

Lon spent most of his life as a rice farmer but realized that working as a guide is his calling! Being a guide is also a great way to provide for his wife and young son. Working for Chai Lai Sisters is his first job as a guide!

cafe barista

Mon
Doesn't even work for us

Mon is the best barista in Mae Wang. He saves our lives daily by delivering hot cappuccinos from across the bridge!

chai lai orchid hospitality training staff

Seng
Trainee

Seng, one of our scholarship program recipients, is currently studying in Bangkok. She is incredibly determined and has overcome many obstacles to achieve her education goals. In her spare time, she is learning communications and public relations through Chai Lai Orchid.

our chef

Kul
Chef

Coming Soon...

Cha a tour guide

Cha
Tour Guide & Daughters Rising Mentor

Cha is a Karen woman from the Mae Hong Son Province. Her cat "Tiger" is a superstar, has more outfits than anyone else in the hotel and is available for photoshoots, but only one per hour. "Tiger" can ride on motorbikes. Cha teaches English and Wellness the kids in the local communities.

Mida a tour guide

Mida
Tour Guide

Coming Soon

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