Dating back almost 100 years, Khanom Babin is a Thai dessert which originated in Amphoe Tha Ruea, Ayutthaya Province. Traditional Khanom Babin is made of coconut milk, shredded coconut meat, sticky rice flour and granulated sugar. The mixed dough is baked or grilled at low heat over charcoal, with quite aromatic and appealing results. In the past, the trains travelling to the North always stopped to pick up passengers at Tha Rua Train Station. Because of its deliciously sweet flavour, blended well with coconut, train passengers always sought out Khanom Babin as a souvenir tidbit. Mae Ud and Mae Siyon are two shops that have sold this dessert for a long time.
Roti Sai Mai
One of the all-time-favourite candies admired by both Thais and foreigners alike, Roti Sai Mai is a dessert with Islamic influence, as they are the first to have made Roti and have inherited the tradtional way of making it from one generation to one generation. Sai Mai is Thai-style candy floss or cotton candy, wrapped by Roti, a thin, pan-fried flour. To this day, Roti Sai Mai has become one of Ayutthaya’s most preferred sweets, as it is easy to eat. The fun part comes when wrapping them. They are available at street stalls or shops located on Uthong Road (in front of Phra Nakho Si Ayutthaya Hospital) and behind Phra NakhonSi Ayutthay Rajabhat University.
Palm Leaf Hat
A handicraft that has been inherited since ancient times. Weaving a palm leaf hat requires no less craftsmanship than any other kinds of basketwork. The weavers have to be skilled and patient as the crafts will have to undergo a number of weaving steps. The palm leaf hat is now an OTOP product of Tambon Bang Nang Ra, Amphoe Bang Pahan, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. It has gained popularity among Thais and foreigners and is available in various provinces around the country.
Palm Leaf Fish Mobile
Weavers of the palm leaf fish mobile, and other palm leaf products, in this province are Thai Muslims. The skills have been inherited for over 100 years. It is assumed that Thai Muslim spice traders who sailed their houseboats along the Chao Phraya River in the olden days were the first to have woven fish mobiles from palm leaf, out of inspiration from their affectionate bond with water and their surroundings, referring to a Thai barb with which they were familiar and using leaves from various species of palm grown locally. Originally, each woven fish mobile was not as colourful nor numerously composed as in the present, using only a mixture of natural pigment and varnish for the final touch. The fish mobile, mostly in red, is usually hung above a baby’s cradle so that Thai children are familiar with it since their babyhood.
There are some beliefs relating to the fish mobile. Thai people in ancient times regarded Thai barb as an auspicious fish that would help to attract wealth, so a palm leaf fish mobile would be hung in the corridor in front of the house. Some believed that by hanging the fish mobile that was numerously composed would help to enhance the growth as well as number of their children so that they would have plentiful supply of labour. It was also believed that, in hanging a fish mobile above the cradle, it should be hung at the right position easily visible for the baby, not toward the head nor the feet or else the baby would be disturbed by the guardian spirit. In fact, that would cause defective eyes.
Candy rice is a very sweet Thai-style dessert used as an offering in a ceremony carried out after the harvest season, which usually falls in late September. It is made from ingredients such as peanuts, sesame, sugar, coconut, and pounded unripe rice, etc. With its sweet taste and smell, it has now become one of the most sought-after sweets in Ayutthaya. The most recommended candy rice is the province’s OTOP product labelled under the “Thai Heritage Krayasat” brand. They come in tight-vacuumed sealed package with the seal of approval from Thailand’s FDA and are available at most shops in the city. Call 0 3535 9997 for more details.
Bamboo fan weaving in Amphoe Ban Phraek, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, has been inherited from the olden days. Formerly, the fans were woven with a quite simple technique into a rough design. The border was usually trimmed and sewn by hand with plain white cloth. Later, its form changed to imitate that of a Bodhi leaf or a heart shape. The border is trimmed with gold cloth while the weaving techniques and designs have become more complicated. Required materials are easily available including strips of golden bamboo, a splitting knife to make bamboo strips, golden trimming cloth, white cloth, dyes for bamboo strips, a cutting block, bamboo handle, etc.