Ban Chiang UNESCO site

Ban Chiang: 7 Activities & Attractions Not-To-Miss

This place got the nation’s attention after the visit of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on 20th March 1972. With the tapestry of archaeological wonders found in the region, Ban Chiang is a must-visit. We took a day trip from Udon Thani, and it turned out to be a wonderful and rewarding experience. 

This blog lists seven of the most engaging experiences you cannot miss while visiting Ban Chiang.

7 Must-Do Activities At Ban Chiang

1. Indigo Blue Dying & Weaving

Indigo blue dying and weaving at Ban Chiang

 If knowing the process and the science behind something fascinates you, then the Indigo Blue dying and weaving process shown by the Ban Chiang municipality’s local weaving group allows you to watch the demonstration of how the Tai Phuan Indigo cloth is dyed and weaved. This is a local community where the craft and skill of weaving and dying have been passed across generations and remain intact. 

The owner spoke English and explained the whole process to us. From collecting the seeds from the plants to bringing out the natural blue pigmentation, the dying and drying process, and the drawings and patterns weaved on the cloths. It was an intricate and insightful explanation.

2. Ban Chiang Painted Pottery

Pottery making session at Ban Chiang

Carry back with you a souvenir that indicates the identity of Ban Chiang. The Ban Chiang Pottery Learning Center allows tourists to learn pottery and paint it in Ban Chiang style. Isn’t that exciting? Although the old gentleman spoke limited English, he answered every question put forth to him with the help of Google Translate. 

We tried authentic pottery making, which was an absolutely new and wonderful experience. We were also given dry pots to paint and return home. The pottery items kept here are also open for sale.

3. Ban Chiang National Museum

Established in 1981, the Ban Chiang National Museum is vast and boasts a collection of exhibitions and service buildings, with the Galyani Vadhana structure housing 10 galleries. These galleries meticulously showcase artifacts from the Wat Pho Sri Nai excavation, offering insights into the prehistoric life of Ban Chiang, the history of archaeological works, and more. 

All information is presented in English and Thai, complemented by an audio tour and video for enhanced understanding. The amiable staff adds a touch of warmth, making the museum an educational haven.

  • Timings: 9 AM – 4 PM from Wednesday to Sunday, closed on Monday and Tuesday
  • Entry Fee: 30 Baht for Thais, 150 Baht for foreigners, free for students in uniform, Buddhist monks, and Thai adults over 60

4. Archeological Excavation Pit at Wat Pho Sri Nai

Archaeological excavation site at Ban Chiang

About 500 m from the Ban Chiang National Museum, Wat Pho Sri Nai is a significant prehistoric settlement discovered in Southeast Asia. Helping in the study of human settlements in Thailand, this excavation center has helped the fine arts department uncover several valuables since 1967. This site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.  

A prehistoric human habitation and burial site, this archaeological region in Ban Chiang can be divided into three periods. The early period (approximately 5600 – 3000 years ago), the middle period (approximately 3000 – 2300 years ago), and the late period (approximately 2300 – 1800 years ago). Some of the excavations revealed that a few corpses were decorated with utensils, pottery, ornaments, and weapons.

  • Timings: 9 AM – 6 PM on all days, including national holidays
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • No Flash photography and selfie sticks. No video recording without permission.

5. White Lotus Temple

White lotus temple at Ban chiang

The White Lotus Temple, also known as Wat Santi Wanaram or Wat Pa Dong Rai, is a Buddhist temple in the Isaan Khao Reservoir. With a grandly decorated dome on the inside, you can find a huge Buddha statue placed here. Lord Buddha’s life story can be found painted on the interior walls. Once the sun sinks beneath the horizon, the place is lit in lovely hues. We found it to be such a serene place. You can also find food stalls and clothing shops near the temple. 

6. Eat Street Food

Rice balls street food at Ban Chiang

This should definitely be on your list, and we’re here to pipe up a reminder. In front of the large board that reads Ban Chiang Heritage Center, the locals start setting up their stalls after 4 in the evening. You can see schoolchildren come here for their evening snacks. Trying street food is mandatory to get the true flavor of their traditional delicacies, which would be prepared right before you. You can learn much about their culinary heritage and have steaming hot food! 

We had rice balls here that we could find nowhere else, and trust us when we say it was exceptional! We could also see barbeques, smoothies, and hot dogs very easily. 

7. Stroll The Streets

The distinctive architecture of the local homes in Ban Chiang beckoned us to wander through its charming streets. These wooden dwellings not only provide a peek into the local culture and history but also showcase the intricate craftsmanship, traditional elements, and innovative designs that characterize the essence of Ban Chiang. 

Adding to the unique atmosphere, you might encounter elderly residents on electric cycles through the neighborhood. As you wander, the streets unfold hidden gems, stunning facades, ornate details, and local landmarks, promising an enriching and immersive experience.

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