Chonnabot Silk District
Located 60 kilometres southeast of Khon Kaen, Chonnabot is famed for its world-renowned ‘Mudmee’ brand of Thai cotton and silk. The brand name comes from the unique process involved in producing the area’s silk and cotton – a method that involves tie dying the fabric strands before they are woven. The whole town is involved in the textile industry and it is a very quiet and relaxed place. Chonnabot also hosts a ‘Thai Silk Exhibition Hall’ (Sala Mai Thai) that offers displays and information about the town and its’ livelihood. Some of the shops in the town have silk looms and demonstrations of the silk weavers’ art can be arranged with some prior notice. Of course the local produce can be purchased from a variety of outlets in the town and going directly to source, prices are usually quite good (although not necessarily as cheap as in major cities where outlets purchase in bulk and pass savings on to customers). If you want a look at a traditional Thai way of life that exists in harmony with the modern world, Chonnabot is about as good as it gets. Don’t expect to barter if you can’t speak Thai – very few people here speak any English!
Details: “Sala Mai Thai” is hosted in the Khon Khen Industrial and Community Education College about 1 kilometre west of Chonnabot. Admission is free, although donations are suggested.
How to get there: To get to Chonnabot take a Khorat bus to Ban Phaen. From Ban Phaen, get a Songtaew to Chonnabot (around 40 Baht for the 10-kilometre trip).