Handicrafts Tour

reeds drying in sun
woman making a clay pot using a paddle

Duration
Full-Day

Start/Finish
Khon Kaen to Khon Kaen

Highlights
• Seeing how silk weaving is done
• See sticky rice baskets being woven
• Seeing pottery made using the ancient paddle and anvil method
• Visit a brass Buddha image workshop
• Meeting monkeys

Description
This fascinating trip into the countryside around Khon Kaen offers nothing like the contrived handicraft “villages” that are a staple of Chiang Mai tours. Isan Explorer only takes you to real rural villages where families supplement their farm income by making various handicrafts and our guests are pretty much the only visitors these villages get. While you are welcome to buy finished products direct from the families who make them, this is not designed as a shopping tour. Our only goal is to show you the interesting processes behind silk fabric, bamboo baskets, brass Buddhas, clay pots, and more; some of which have not changed significantly for many centuries. We also take a look at some modern, but equally interesting crafts and stop to meet a troop of semi-tame monkeys.

Add-Ons
Make the most of your trip with our special add-on activities before, during, or after your tour.

woman weaving a sitting mat

We begin our day in a silk weaving village where woman raise their own silk worms and some days spin their own thread. The main fabric style they weave is Isan’s famous mut-mee silk, and we will see both the weaving and the painstaking tie-dying process, which is done entirely from memory. We’ll then stop at a small store where the owner makes fake flowers using silk worm cocoons and also see outdoor furniture made out of old tires. Next we’ll visit a woman who weaves the iconic sticky rice baskets found all across Northeast Thailand. After lunch we’ll arrive at a village that makes clay water jugs and other pottery using the ancient paddle and anvil method instead of a potter’s wheel. Next we see how Buddha images and other brass statues are cast using the ancient lost wax method, which uses very few modern modifications from ancient times. If we’re lucky the molten metal will be poured during our stop. Our second to last destination before returning to Khon Kaen is a park full of relatively tame monkeys who eagerly await handouts. Finally we’ll see how reed mats (suea), used by people when they sit on the ground, are woven; a process which requires two people working the loom together.

If our itinerary doesn’t fit your exact needs and desires, please let us know. With advance notice we can usually modify things.

Prices valid until April 2022.

Group Size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9+
Price Per Person 6,350 3,250 2,500 1,900 1,550 1,300 1150 1050 Ask

Price Includes
All sightseeing and activities as specified in the itinerary with English-speaking local guides, entrance fees, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, hotel transfers, snacks and cold water in the vehicle, accident insurance, taxes, and pre-departure travel consultation.

Price Does Not Include
Meals and drinks, travel and medical insurance, personal expenses (such as souvenirs, snacks, etc.), tips/gratuities, and any additional expenses incurred due to airline schedule changes, natural disasters, political actions, or other factors beyond our control.

Booking/Cancellation Policies
• For tours longer than one day, a non-refundable deposit of 30% is required as soon as possible after making your reservation.
• The full payment is due before the tour begins. This can be done after you arrive in Thailand, as long as you have access to sufficient funds before you depart on your tour.
• International payments are best done by bank transfer, and the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way is with TransferWise. Credit/debit cards can be used through TransferWise or other online wire transfer services. For people inside Thailand, we accept payment via cash (Thai baht, US dollars, British pounds, and euros), ATM transfer, and counter deposit to Siam Commercial Bank.
• If local taxes and/or fuel prices increase significantly, we reserve the right to add comparable surcharges.

Click here to read our full tour Terms & Conditions.