Think you get bored of common workshops? Want to satisfy yourself with some brand new stuff? Luckily, the Tourism Authority of Thailand(TTT) recommends 3 Thai-style workshops that you can experience Thai’s Northern and Southern traditional workshop from its origin in the middle of Thai villagers. Apart from the joy of crafting that you can hardly find in the big city, you would also absorb King Bhumibol’s Sufficient Economy that teaches Thai to live their lives in the middle path with moderation and reasonableness by maximizing the use of available resources. This basic but powerful philosophy helps Thai inheriting valuable folk wisdom and creating sustainable income.
” This sufficiency means to have enough to live on. Sufficiency means to lead a reasonably comfortable life, without excess, or overindulgence in luxury, but enough. Some things may seem to be extravagant, but if it brings happiness, it is permissible as long as it is within the means of the individual…” (Royal Speech, given at Dusit Palace, 4 December 1998
You would be surprised to see how many new projects that are evolved from the Royal Sufficiency Economy. It gives people jobs and revenue to live their lives sufficiently and happily. Well, if you are craft cravers, follow me and experience these wonderful workshops.
Let’s start from the first recommended Thai crafting workshop “Dip Dye Mauhom”, a white-blue-pattern cotton fabric. Thanks to the easy process and elegant result, Dip-dye Mauhom has become more popular. Dig down deeper and discover its origin; you will fall in love with it.
Visit Prae and learn indigo-dyed cotton process
Prae might not be the most popular province in the North but no one can deny the charm of its local workshop. Only 1 hour by plane to Prae’s airport and navigate yourself to “Pa-Ngiam Homestay”. Don’t worry if you get lost, everyone knows the place. All you need to do is just ask. Step inside Pa-Ngiam Homestay, you will see hundreds of hanger with Thai Mauhom on it. The literature, jazz, optimism, style, and atmosphere — you will love it all. What made Mauhom special is the cool indigo-blue color that makes your eyes and soul relaxed.
Why don’t call it a day and pay 150 baht for a night and additional 500 baht for Indigo-dyed cotton know-how. On day 1, as like the other students, you will learn the theory of natural-dyed color, hand weaving and patterning. Day 2 is the day that you can take the knowledge into action. Pa-ngiam, the owner, will give you 2 handkerchiefs to try or if you have oldie short jeans, you can use it as well. Finally, don’t forget to wake up early and visit 1-hour market that opens at 7 to 8 pm. only.
291 Moo5, Thung-Houng Sub-district, Muang District, Prae
Tel: +668 98 513 3048
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/indigobypangiam/
Fly a bit up North and stop by Chiangrai’s “Baan Doi Din Daeng pottery” established by Arjarn Somlak Puntiboon, an international pottery artist. He chose to locate his studio here with a reason; it is a place full of ‘rough’! When you use rough for pottery, the color and texture are just right. Apart from that, all ingredients used for his pottery are local like blue pastel coating from ash. His story makes you realize that nature is undeniably beautiful and you can invent your masterpiece from the nature.
Good news is you can sign up to be an intern here! It’s open for all craft lovers. If not, you can stop by the place, shop for locally premium pottery and have a big cup of coffee here. Yes, it’s super easy to come here. Get out of the plane, head 6 kilometers to Mae-sai Sib District. It is in the same area as long-neck hilltribe.
Baan Doi Din Daeng Pottery
49 Moo6, Soi3 Baan Pa Or, Pahonyothin Road, Nang-Lae Sub District, Mueng District, Chiangrai, 57100
Open: Mon. – Sat.
Tel: +66 5370 5293
Photo credit: https://th.readme.me/p/8951
Take train to Phatthalung for Thai modern wickerwork
Pack your bag and catch an express train to “Varni Southern Wickery homestay” in Phatthalung. Here in Varni, you can learn the local weaving using selected of alternative materials from naturally available in the area that is “Krajood”. This local Thai Southern wisdom has been passing from generation to generation and developing with the mix of new techniques to become a variety of products, such as, hand clutch, phone case or furniture with new patterns and colors. What would be better than waking up with fresh air, learning the wickery from local professional wickerwork elders and having Thai Southern food?! There is surely no reason not to go, right?
Varni Southern Wickery
152 Moo 10, NangTung Sub-district, Kuan Kanun District, Phatthalung, 93150
Open: Fri – Sun 9:30 a.m.- 19:00 p.m.
Tel: +66 87-760-9879
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/varni2529/
These 3 local workshops are good examples of Green Community that you would see a perfect combination of local wisdom in the modern era. Give yourself a quality time and experience these simple charm by yourself and you will not regret it.