Over the weekend, I was invited on a showcase trip by Thailand Village Academy to Ban Chiang cultural tourism community in Udon Thani. Out of twenty-two communities chosen for this project nationwide (see list here), Ban Chiang came first for its unique culture, local wisdom and heritage, together with skilled community masters who are ready and willing to share their knowledge.
Date of travel: 7-8 September 2019
DAY ONE: Good morning from Don Mueang Airport. Today I’m flying to Udon Thani in Northeastern Thailand. I will be visiting Ban Chiang which is one of the cultural tourism destinations chosen for the Thailand Village Academy Project. More information here.
Boarding Air Asia FD3352 from Bangkok to Udon Thani. Flight time is just over an hour. Hopefully we will be lucky with the weather. Only 40% chance of rain this afternoon.
Brunch this morning was at VT Namnueng in Udon Thani. Some good Vietnamese food here. Made a nice change from having Thai food all the time. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/FiMF2kjydjZeCpC28
A warm Isaan welcome to Ban Chiang in Udon Thani province in Northeastern.
Our first stop in Ban Chiang was at the shrine of Khun Chiangsawat. He was the village leader in Ban Chiang from 1906. He was rewarded by King Rama VI for his honesty & courage. Today he is considered the guardian spirit of Ban Chiang and locals come here to pay respect.
Ban Chiang National Museum was founded to educate people about the importance of the pre-historic culture & history of Ban Chiang. Inside the building there are old artifacts, tools & utensils that showcase ancient technology, as well as earthenware pots from over 4,000 years ago.
Ban Chiang National Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-4pm. Admission is 30 Baht for Thais and 150 Baht for foreigners. All of the exhibit display signs are bilingual. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/WRaVA6ZQLe84CYKs9
Our first workshop activity in Ban Chiang in Udon Thani was at Ban Chiang Pottery and Painting Group. This group was formed by community members who produce pottery featuring ancient designs – which make excellent souvenirs. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/brf5wWMdEwP4ZCFL6
Our second workshop in Ban Chiang was to see how they produced indigo-dyed hand-woven clothes. They have become popular thanks to the unique look and they are now the village’s most widely-recognized OTOP local product. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/5qGexD5r2Njb6oTs7
Street art in Ban Chiang, Udon Thani province.
Drone photos of Ban Chiang village in Udon Thani province, Northeastern Thailand. Many archaeological sites that were found and excavated in this area contained skeletons and pottery that dated back thousands of years.
About 3km north of Ban Chiang is Wat Santiwanaram (วัดสันติวนาราม). Of note is the chapel on the lake that is shaped like a giant lotus flower. Inside there are some beautiful murals on the walls which show the story of the Lord Buddha. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Mdmr42kbkKQCt5N28
A Bai Sri Su Kwan Welcoming Ceremony in Ban Chiang, Udon Thani province. When visitors arrive from faraway, it is necessary to call back their spirits which might have wandered off during the long journey.
A great Isaan meal tonight at Ban Chiang in Udon Thani. The local speciality is the galangal fried rice with chili paste.
DAY TWO: Our first stop this morning was at the Pu-Ya Chinese shrine by the lake in Udon Thani.
The Thai-Chinese Cultural Center in Udon Thani is near the Chinese shrine. It is free to enter. They have a traditional Chinese tea house, Chinese gardens and a museum. Map: https://goo.gl/maps/i2fDm2EXnESCgJaEA
Inside the Thai-Chinese Cultural Center in Udon Thani, there is a fascinating museum that tells the story of the Thai-Chinese people who first settled in Udon Thani. It also explains their culture and festivals. Well worth a visit. All exhibit signs are bilingual.
Drone photos around the lake in Udon Thani.
Boarding Air Asia FD3355 from Udon Thani to Bangkok. Flight time is just over one hour. We were really lucky with the weather.
That’s a wrap on my two day trip to Ban Chiang in Udon Thani. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I’ve inspired you to visit.