There is much for you to discover in Thailand

Bangsai Arts and Crafts Training Centre

On the bank of the Chao Phraya River in Ayuthaya province, north of Bangkok, the Bangsai Arts & Crafts Training Centre has more than 800 students from impoverished families, teaching traditional skills in arts and crafts in 30 schools. Patronized by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Centre’s main objectives are to encourage farmers to preserve Thai crafts and acquire artistic skills to earn extra income.

Bangsai Arts and Crafts Training Centre

The training school starts after the harvest season when the farmers have more free time. Students are given instruction and lodging free of charge and some pocket money for personal expenses during their training. Their training course will be held everyday except on Mondays. Visitors to the school can watch students in their training to make Thai handicraft products in exquisite craftsmanship. These products are later distributed to various branches of Chitrlada shops throughout the country, including the Elephant Pavilion shop located in the Centre.

Besides the training school, the Centre has a freshwater fish aquarium that is home to numerous species of local fish in the country. There is the royal lodge; a group of an elevated stilt house built in conventional style found in Thailand’s central region. Its simple structure reflects the beauty of traditional Thai dwellings. The house is a place where the King and the Queen and other members of the Royal Family stay during their visits to the Centre. Furthermore, a collection of traditional houses from four regions in Thailand is a new addition to the Centre. Called the “The Arts and Crafts Village“, it serves as a place to demonstrate Thailand in various aspects such as architecture, culture, traditional performances, folk arts and crafts. The area features 21 teak red-roofed houses. Furnished with items used in typical Thai families, each house possesses unique architectural and geographical characteristics that reflect different cultures and way of life of people in each region. Demonstrations of handicrafts making and cooking are shown on the ground of the houses.
Another interesting attraction is a large seated statue of Budhisattva, a reincarnated of Buddha. Carved out of a 2000-year-old Indian yellow sandalwood by Chinese artists, the statue weighs about 5 tons and 6 meter high. The shiny statue, whose name is ‘A Thousand Hands and Eyes Avalokitesvara’, sits on a lotus base with a big piece of round wood, carved in a shape of thousands of hands, at the back. It is now enshrined in a red roof pavilion in the Centre compound.

Visiting the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Training Centre is located in the former capital of Ayuthaya province and 1 hour drive north of Bangkok or 30 minutes from the outskirt of Bangkok. This is a good chance to see the creative work of Thai artists in one place.