Thalang Cultural Village: Baan Kanaen

Thalang Cultural Village: Baan Kanaen
Phuket’s Local Culture Study Center

In today’s fast growing world, it is known as a forefront tourist destination which attracts many tourists because of not only its natural beauties but also the variety of entertainment.

DSC_7061In Phuket there is a small hidden village that has not changed with time. The living, lifestyle, and culture have been preserved. Some of you may have heard about it but,some possibly not.

The Guide Phuket introduces you to Baan Kanaen Thalang Cultural Village, and acting Sub Lt. Tribanyat Chariyalerpong, founder of the village and the president of the Thai culture community project of Baan Kanaen. He has worked for many years as a politician, is a former head of the Policy and Planning Division for the Democrat Party Phuket Office,former secretariat of the house of representatives: culture and tourism, former member of the house of representatives: Thalang Phuket 2 periods (1991-1995), policy and academic development committee of the People’s Party, Vice President of Phuket Provincial Council (1995-1997), committee member of the Thao Thepkrasattri and Thao Srisunthon Foundation, and committee member and vice president of the Phuket Cultural Council.

“Back in 1994, I was the leader for the reconstruction project of an abandoned temple (Kanaen Temple) which is on a four rai plot of land. There were two pagodas, but we also found another one once reconstruction started.

DSC_7013“The pagodas are well respected by villagers. When they wanted to build a new house, ordain as a monk or when they get married, they would come to ask for blessings. This was the inspiration to do the reconstruction.

“We started with the big sala in the center, which took about 7 months to finish. During those 7 months, over a hundred of villagers came out to help. While men were doing the heavy work, women treated them with food. That’s how the food culture has been revived.

“After the temple was completely rebuilt, the Department of Religious Affairs asked for the temple to have an abbot take care of it. This was the appointment of its first abbot.

“The local community then had to find a new place to gather as the temple was then to be used for religious activities.

The majority of the locals voted to move out to the rubber plantation to an area of 6 rai, which has now become 12,as I donated 6 rai of my own land. “We gather here, have activities, and support the temple, village and school.

DSC_7033“When reconstruction was ongoing, the school planned for students to learn about folk wisdom and local culture at the temple. After that the class moved to this cultural village which has now become a learning resource.

“When tourists pass by from Tonsai Waterfall, they notice there are a lot people gathering here, so they stop and visit,making the village another tourist spot.

“Local authority and agencies are also interested in what we are doing; they see it is a practical and successful project. We are now getting more and more known among people.”

The main aims for the Thalang cultural village, Baan Kanaen, are to teach local culture and the culture during the two heroines’ era, be a learning source for local culture, local way of life, handicrafts, performances, local foods,snacks, sweets, agriculture and local life tourism.

The village follows the principles of sufficiency economy, vegetables and herbs are planted primarily for home use and the rest are to sell.

04 (Small)At the village you can experience the local way of life with activity called “Long Kaek”, where people in the village gather to help each other in planting, cultivation and harvesting. People share and live together as a big family.

The activities at the cultural center are formed of different stations which is great for those who come in group. The first station tells the story of the village. There is a show of Norah dancing, a classic style southern Thai dance, which not only gives visitors a chance to learn Norah dancing, but in the way that mixes it with aerobic dance, whichmakes it easier to learn.

Activities at the different stations include cooking with local herbs, producing local sweets, a tour in an ancient wooden house, folk games and plays, making local toys from coconut leaves, and learning the ancient method of rice pounding.

When all stations are finished, visitors sit in a circle of nine people. Counting from one to nine, number 1 gets the dishes, 2 the rice, and so on. This is the local way of managing.

Thalang Cultural Village Baan Kanaen is located in Moo 2, Tambol Thepkrasattri, Amphur Thalang, Phuket. This is an ancient village which originated in the Ayutthaya era. It has been kept for generations so that it still keeps its original way of life.

For those interested in visiting, it is advisable to book
at least 2 months in advance (the sooner the better) at
086-6821371, 081-89568674.

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