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The Unexpected Feeling Episode 4: The Magic of Thai Bamboo

Bamboo-weaving wisdom has coexisted with Thai society since ancient times.  Every pattern or design seen on products from each community is unique and serves a different purpose.  One village renowned for its bamboo handicrafts is Chiang Muan in the Northern Thai province of Phayao.

            It is said that bamboo plants here produce longer stems than those elsewhere.  Importantly, the villagers’ meticulous workmanship enables them to cleverly transform bamboo sticks into a broad variety of objects, many of which have become popular export products.  This success has inspired young local residents to apply their long-inherited weaving legacy to crafting wickerwork products in a new light.  Replete with exciting designs and novel functionality, these products range from differently shaped traditional Thai hanging ornaments for auspicious occasions, modern handbags, bamboo ceiling lamps shaped like honeycombs, bird nests, octopi and corals, to various other objects formed according to the weavers’ imagination.  Thanks to their uniquely exotic designs, this community’s wicker handicrafts won the 2012 Innovative Craft Award.

Location: Chiang Muan, Phayao, Thailand

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