The Friendliest Village in Thailand – Ban Chiang, Udon Thani
Hey ! Thank you for dropping by!
Before you checkout the blog for details information, take a look at the video I made for Ban Chiang, Udon Thani. It will take you for a short three minutes tour and have a look at the amazing scenery and people in Ban Chiang
Are you Ready? Let’s get started!
After a day Tour in Bangkok, Sleeper Train experience and Udon Thani Tour. Finally we had reached our village, Ban Chiang. This village is formed by a large group Tai Phuan Community. Tai Phuan is one of the ethnic group in Thailand who is origin from Laos.
Dressed in the Traditional Tai Phuan Costume with a hand-made scarf by the villagers
We had a warm welcome from the homestay’s host and some villagers. They even had a spiritual blessing ceremony for us.
Bai Sri Su Kwan Ceremony, a rite of inviting ‘Kwan’ or spirits to people who are going to come back or depart from their home, and also welcoming guests. People believe there are 32 Kwans which takes care of human’s 32 organs. Kwans might be lost or wander sometimes far from one’s body and it could provoke sicknesses. At the end of the ritual, the elders will bless you goodwill and good luck while giving a holy cotton thread.
My partner, Radaaht is getting the holy cotton threads
After the ceremony ended, every elders were to tie a holy cotton threads on our hand wrist as a blessing to us. Even though I can’t understand Thai, but when they spoke all the blessing sentences out to me, it was a touching moment for me.
We all had dinner together just like a family and some of them even performed traditional dance and singing to us. It was an incredible night.
Next Morning after we had delicious breakfast in our Homestay, we started the our exploration in Ban Chiang with bicycle. (Oh yeah, our Mum prepared lunch box for us too!)
She even wrapped the scarf with a mineral water bottle for me
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
If you not aware of that, Ban Chiang has been declared by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1992. We visited the Ban Chiang National Museum and the Archaeological Site to know more about the discovery of the Red Pottery which has the age of 5000 years. It was an important discovery to know more about the history of prehistoric humans.
You could hardly guess what was the usage of the red pottery. It was not a food container, or a flower pottery. It was actually served as a spirit container. These pottery had been discovered in the graveyard along with skeleton, some large pottery even has children skeleton in it.
It’s quite amazing to learn more about the prehistoric age.
Bamboo Weaving Workshop
We went to a Bamboo weaving workshop by the locals. Before the work shop, we had a great lunch together and guess what that include the FRIED CRICKET !
I had seen fried insect selling in Thailand night market but I had not try any of them yet. So end up, I gave my
first time to Ban Chiang.
Yes I have to admit it do look gross but the taste is actually not bad at all. I would suggest you to give it a try !
After the great lunch and lots of laughter, the bamboo weaving workshop started. Three Thai aunties were so friendly to us and they never get frustrated on how bad our handcraft skill are.
I had made my first bamboo fan!
INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP
The second workshop was the Indigo Dyeing. This technique is very important for Tai Phuan traditional costume. I was amazed with their handcraft skill as it is not easy task at all.
It would take up to 5 days to finish dyeing a set of cotton thread. 8 hours of drying and 10mins of dyeing each time.
The technique to make up the pattern of the clothing requires a lots of practice and professional skillset
They use the traditional wooden machine called Loom. There is no electric machine involved in the whole making process. All are done manually, handcrafted.
On the early morning we went to the Market to explore and buy some ingredients for the evening Cooking Class.
There are some really delicious snack you can find in the Market and you shouldn’t miss it! It’s only cost 1 Baht each, It’s Shoooooooo CHEAP!
We had another interesting workshop waiting for us which was the Pottery-Making. To understand the whole progress, we went to a riverside to collect the raw material which is the black clay.
In the middle of the journey, a scenery stopped us. The laddies who were working in a Paddy field. Originally I just want to snap some good photos but the ladies asked me to give a try on it, so yeah WHY NOT?! So eventually we had a special workshop accidentally.
Paddy Field Farmer Experience
It was my first experience working in the paddy field and it was definitely not an easy task to do. in order to plant the paddy, you will need to bend over to plant it into the muddy field. It was fun to experience it for five minutes but image if you have to work on this for long hours and planting thousands of them?
That’s remind me of a chinese poet – 谁知盘中餐，粒粒皆辛苦.
“We shouldn’t waste any rice as it’s all the hard work by the farmer.”
After that we continue our journey to the riverside and collected some black clay from the there.
In the workshop, we learnt about the pottery making progress. I have always wanted to try to do a pottery as it looks so fun. Comparing to the other workshop, pottery seems like it’s the easiest but after I attended it, it was a wrong perception as it require professional handcraft skill just like the others.
It’s not easy to make a perfect shape of pottery as you need to control your strength constantly, a small mistake will ruin the pottery.
After done with the pottery we had the chance to paint our own Ban Chiang Pottery. I would say that this was the hardest workshop for me because I’m just bad at painting !
Disclaimer : This was not painted by me
The last workshop of the day by our Mum in homestay, we were crafting our own necklace in Tai Phuan Style!
The Cooking Class
At the evening we get to know how to cook the local famous dish – the Galangal Fried Rice by using the ingredient we bought at the morning market. I was impressed by their efforts as they decorated all the ingredient in a beautiful way.
They used various ingredients for this dish and the most important ingredient is the Galangal. It is widely used in the north east of Thailand as they believe that it does help in body health. (They even got the Galangal tea as well!)
Look! it’s fried pork skin on top of it ( Galangal fried rice with Pork Rib Soup)
The Galangal fried rice is really delicious, but my attention was stolen by this dessert
Coconut milk with Pumpkin and Sweet Egg!
It just taste so good! You must try this if you come to Ban Chiang!
We woke up early on the lovely Sunday for a Morning Prayer at the temple. When I arrived, I was amazed by the crowd.
Everyone is wearing yellow shirt on that day because it’ was their King’s Birthday.
After the prayer ended, everyone lined up at outside and gave food donation to the monks.
Learning the Local Instrument
Next we are going to learn from the local boy groups about the traditional music Instrument!
This instrument that looks like guitar caught my eyeball as it has a very cool Naga(Dragon) design on top of it.
After getting know how to play the traditional instrument, it’s time for the traditional dancing. Let’s meet the girls group!
Can you recognise them? Yes, most of them are the same group of people who taught us how to cook galangal fried rice. As we are quite familiar with each other, the learning progress was not awkward at all. I’m a bad dancer but they never give up on me and keep on directing me on the right pose.
Having fun with the local is the best experience you could have
The Last Day
Every journey will come to an end, it’s our last day in Ban Chiang and as a return for their hospitality. I had decided to cook a breakfast for them ! After so many Tai Phuan Style, I think it’s time for them to try Malaysia Style!
“Zaab !” Means Delicious in North East of Thailand !
Wat Santi Wararam
We went to Wat Santi Wararam with the family and the City Mayor to meet with the Monk.
This is insanely beautiful. It is a Buddhist Monastery.
I had the chance to chat with the monk ( With Bic’s Translation of course ), The monk told me some history of this building and taught me the right way to pray in Thai Buddhism.
This is the last stop for us in Ban Chiang, It’s time to say GoodBye.
In these five days we had built a close relationship with each other, I’m so grateful to be here and with all of them, together we created a memorable moment in Ban Chiang.
Even though Ban Chiang is a small village with just population of around 1000 people, but it is rich with historical and cultural value. The Friendliness of the Tai Puan Community is the spirit of this village.
Ban Chiang, Definitely makes me just feels like home.
The Team : Ai and Lich (Photographer), Radaaht (Thai Blogger), Bic (Tour Guide)
Thank you everyone who made this happened, this is one of the Most Amazing Journey I ever had in my life.
BAN CHIANG NO.1
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