Try your hand at weaving
Published/Last edited or updated: 22nd April, 2021
One of many ethnic minority groups that have traditionally dwelled in the hills of Southeast Asia, the Tai Dam people migrated to Loei in the early 20th century from the mountainous Dien Bien Phu area of Vietnam. They brought their outstanding weaving skills with them, and today the Tai Dam Weaving Group makes it possible to see the craftspeople at work in the heart of Chiang Khan.
Tucked into a cosy stilted house off Sri Chiang Khan Road, a few of the weavers spend their time weaving cotton scarves, skirts, table cloths and other products in both traditional and modern styles. While the beautiful old designs rely heavily on dark blue, white and red in diamond patterns, today the artists create a wide range of garments in various colours to suit the contemporary market.
Visitors who are interested in trying their hands at weaving can jump on one of the old-style hand-powered spools and be given some pointers by one of the friendly weavers. If that sounds like too much work, it’s fascinating to simply watch the experts do their thing. The on-site shop is stocked with some truly exquisite products, making this a fine opportunity to score gifts directly from the artists.
The Tai Dam have taken full advantage of the cotton that grows well in Loei’s mountains, even growing a couple of cotton plants on site in Chiang Khan. If you would like to delve deeper into Tai Dam culture, visit the main village in Ban Na Pa Nat, some 18 km south of Chiang Khan and marked by signs off Route 201. Though not run by the Tai Dam, you’ll also find a small cotton quilt workshop on Chai Khong Road, between Sois 11 and 12.
Address: Chiang Khan Road, across from Soi 18
T: (086) 036 1404;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º39'34.87" E, 17º53'42.97" N
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David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.