Khu Bua Local Community
When they hear the word “Kat (Market)”, most Thai people instantly think of Lanna vibes in the mountainous north of Thailand. However, this Kat, located in Ratchaburi, not far from Bangkok, is just as charming as those in the far north. Khu Bua Local Community is a local community market in Wat Khlong Suwan Khiri in the midst of the Khu Bua community and it has a long historical background which stretches right back to the glorious Dhavaravati era, where it served a significant role as a seaport for the Mae Klong Basin and an important economic, social and cultural center. It wasn’t until 200 years ago that the Thai-Yuan people migrated from Chiang Saen to settle in the area, and their culture, traditions, local dialect and way of life have been woven into Ratchaburi’s rich cultural tapestry ever since.
Khu Bua Local Community remains as bustling and vibrant as it was in the olden days because the locals actively engage in tourism management and warmly welcome tourists. Not only do they offer community sourced agricultural produce, food and products at friendly prices, they also regularly gather to perform “Paslop Dance” and invite tourists to join in the fun. The market traders also converse in Thai-Yuan language and wear Thai-Yuan costume or Sinh Tin Chok (raised Sinh), made from the unique Chiang Saen fabric. Visitors will have the opportunity to try on local costumes and mingle with the local community as well as shopping for delicious food before arranging themselves in a seated circle and enjoying their culinary purchases Khan Tok style (Northern Thai dishes served on a pedestal tray) and watching some impressive folk performances.
Beyond the market, tourists can pay homage to Phra Phuttha Siri Suvarnabhumi and admire the Vihara decorated with Dvaravati art in Wat Khlong Suwan Khiri. Further inside, “Chipatha Phan Sathan Baan Khu Bua” exhibits artifacts from the Dvaravati era, the local wisdom of Sihn Tin Chok fabric weaving, and the Thai-Yuan lifestyle that has successfully integrated sufficiency economy principles into their daily life.
With continued cooperation from the locals, the Khu Bua Local Community has been established to disseminate a positive identity to tourists and encourage them to take part in a shared cultural experience. The vendors at the market here unanimously opt for food containers which cause the least damage to the environment, leaving a good impression on visitors. Visitors can play their part by bringing ta cloth bag or basket with them on their shopping trip and reducing unnecessary waste which can damage the surroundings.
- Choose and try on your favorite Thai-Yuan outfits while wandering around the market and absorbing the local vibe.
- Worship at Phra Phuttha Siri Suvarnabhumi in Wat Khlong Suwan Khiri, a significant Buddha image of the Thai-Yuan people in the Khu Bua Community.
- Shop for your favourite food and gather in a circle for a Khan Tok style feast while watching fascinating folk performances.
Best time to visit
- All seasons, Kad Witi Koo Bua (Koo Bua Traditional Market) Open Saturday-Sunday and national holidays 9 a.m.-7.30 p.m. Wat Khlong Suwankiri, Tambon Koo Bua, Amphoe Mueang features free locals’ performances at 5 p.m.-7 p.m.