If you love your arts and crafts, the Land of Smiles is a great place to learn a new skill to take back home with you as a lasting souvenir of the trip.
A holiday in Thailand opens up a wealth of leisure time that is perfect if you want to learn a new skill. With its rich cultural heritage, the Kingdom has inspired a vast array of traditional crafts and skills, from towel origami to intricate soap carving.
If you feel like escaping the sun for a while and putting busy hands to work, you will find plenty of classes on offer in Thailand, whether you want to learn local cooking techniques or make local crafts.
Below are just a few of the unique arts you can learn whilst you are on vacation in the Kingdom…
The exquisite taste of Thai cuisine is based on a fine balance of four essential flavours: sweet, salty, spicy and sour. To learn how to belnd these elements you can enrol on a Thai cooking course or even have the chef at your private villa teach you a few techniques. While many classes focus on the basics, longer courses will teach you a few of the more advanced dishes and may even include a trip to the local market so you can learn more about all the fresh produce that goes into creating each unique Thai dish.
As you wander round any Thai market, it’s hard to miss the stall with a kaleidoscope of vividly coloured soaps carved into flowers. Traditional carving began 700 years ago in the ancient capital of Sukhothai when one of the King’s servants carved a flower into a bird for Loi Kratong festival. Nowadays, soap carving is a popular hobby, and an increasing number of visitors are learning this ancient craft.
If you are hosting an event in your private villa and want to impress your guests with an unusual appetizer, why not serve an elaborate platter of carved fruit? Like soap carving, fruit carving in Thailand dates back hundreds of years. If you are determined, it’s even possible to teach yourself the basics, as there are many fruit carving books and even DVDs that offer a step-by-step guide through the process. Only a simple set of tools is needed, and it’s easy enough to pick these up from a Thai handicrafts store. In your very own ‘Kom Kom Knife Set’ you should make sure you have a pair of handmade carving knives, paring knives, seeding knives, bird’s beak knives, garnishing tools, decoration knives, chef’s knives, peelers and slicers.
Origami with a Difference
If you want to embark on a completely new creative project during a Thai holiday, then a towel origami class is a great option. Compared with the traditional Japanese art of folding paper, towel origami is actually a little easier, which means that it’s also a great choice for kids. Many towel origami classes focus specifically on creating animals, from elephants to swans, which adds another entertaining aspect. Once yo and your kids are schooled in the craft of towel origami, you can apply the new skills at your private villa to create your very own mini towel zoo.
Silk weaving is another of Thailand’s most famous traditional crafts. It depends on where you are in Thailand to what kind of silk weaving you can learn, but with hundreds of years of heritage behind the craft it is best learned from locals whose passion is traditional silk weaving. Indeed, people in some local communities still rely on silk weaving as a source of income. In most classes, you will learn how to set up the loom before using it to weave your very own brightly coloured scarf, or even a small bag.