“Ban Chiang” is the origin of Thai archeology, first discovered by American teenagers who stumbled on a tree’s root leading to remains of broken ceramics that showed peculiar red paints and patterns. It was later discovered that the remains of the broken ceramics, as used by local children to play with their friends, were products of a very unique ancient civilization.
“The red patterns are essentially traces of painted pottery that has never been found in Southeast Asia. This very discovery is proof that overturns previous concepts about civilization development in the Asean region, being a 4,000-year-ago version of OTOP for Ban Chiang, ” suggests an expert at National Museum of Ban Chiang.
“Hey! are you getting more excited?”
Then, get yourself prepared for the journey through Ban Chiang Archeological Site that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. And let’s go!
Catching sight of a very unique tall-shaped piece of pottery in the exhibition, I was under a spell for a while until the expert took me out of the magic and told me that, “Hyperbolic is the name to this white, fragile tall-shaped paint ceramic. It is a type of pottery that no one in this world has never seen before. And, it boasts of how skillful and talented the potter was back then to be able to create this beautiful ceramic.” I agreed with this statement. This was, to me, a wow moment when I got to learn something I’d never learnt before. Typically, the civilization of the southeast asian countries is primarily influenced by that of India, China, or even the ancient Khmer Empire that causes us all to be in conflict with Cambodia over who’s the true copycat. In fact, most of the southeast asian cultures have their root in India. But, Ban Chiang’s pottery in UdonThani is different as it is a product of the ancient civilization that is unique and distinctive from any of civilizations or ancient technologies ever existing in this world.
Travel through the Market and the Cultural Road
The museum is not the sole highlight. There are stores and stalls along the way where many types of pottery as developed from and built upon ancestral knowledges are sold. Some of them have the pottery-making process demonstrated for those who are interested. If this is not enough, there’s also a cultural road where more than 100 stores stand to showcase and sell local and agricultural products made from local wisdom. The true highlight is red painted ceramics that everybody coming here have to buy as souvenirs. If anyone wants to see how Baan Kham Or pots were made, they can go to see the pot-making demonstration at cultural tourism center at Ban Chiang. KhaJaewHom Fried Rice of Ban Chiang is something you must not miss since you can’t find it anywhere except at Ban Chaing. I got to try sweet puddings or Esan-style flour custards that Tai Phuan people made on charcoal braziers piece by piece, and it was extremely delicious!
The most impressive moment for this trip is when I walked to the Cultural Exhibition & World Heritage square of Ban Chiang where Bai Sri Su Kwan (Thai Blessing Ceremony) was held. Traditionally, the villagers will tie “Tum Home Pa Lang” around the visitors’ wrists. Some of them play a traditional track by tall-narrow drums accompanied by the traditional dance of “On Son Ban Chiang.” This will be ensued by the dancing performance of “Ban Chiang Dance.” All this is the Tai Phuan’s cordial way of welcoming the tourists and visitors.
Starting from the city of UdonThani, you can take National Highway 22 for about 40 kilometers. Keep going straight on the National Highway 22. When you pass through NongMek Intersection for about 300 meters, you then turn left and keep going straight for about 8 kilometers. After 8-kilometer drive on the road, you will see the sign that will tell you the direction to Ban Chiang where you will get to experience 4,000-year-old civilization along with the genuine culture of Tai Phuan people.