This over 200-year-old community might not be on the regular tourist trail in Thailand, but for adventurers who love to travel off the beaten path, the Mekong River Basin is a place not to be missed.
The best time to visit Na Waeng – Chiat community is during the annual Buddhist Lent festival; you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular parade with offerings of candles, molded and hand-carved into elaborated designs, brought to the temple. Also worth visiting is the museum at Phu Tham Phra Sila Thong, the community-run archaeological center with a collection of artifacts (all found in the area) on display in all their glory.
As a visitor, dressing in traditional clothing can enhance your experience by helping you integrate with the community. Don’t miss out on attending a weaving class with the village fabric masters, with other available courses including banana leaf design cutting, herbal soap-making, Mong leaf tea processing and keyring-making. Don’t forget to pick up the most famous souvenir from Na Waeng – Chiat; the humble (but very tasty) dried banana. The process to make these snacks takes 8 rounds of sun-drying to achieve the desired consistency and sweetness.