Bencharong ware is a multicoloured, enamel-glazed pottery technique. Derived from China, the lotus-shaped bowls are intricately decorated with traditional Thai motifs and figures from Thai mythology. Bencharong ware has been popular in the royal court since antiquity, especially since the early Rattnakosin Kingdom, when Thai craftsmen were sent to China to learn the art.
Bencharong literally means ‘five-coloured’; therefore, the original version was painted with 5 colours. However, 3-8 colours are widely applied. The main colours are red, yellow, white, black, green and blue. Additional colours can be purple, orange, brown, etc. A later form, called ‘Lai Nam Thong’ in which gold was applied to the ceramics, is emblematic of Thai Bencharong.
SamutSakhon is Thailand’s most important source of Bencharong wares. There are 2 main manufacturing groups, which produce premium quality Bencharong. The first group is the old Chinese Thai families in Tambon Khlong Maduea, which carried down the art from their ancestors. The latter group was composed of the former workers of a ceramic factory which went out of business. These experienced artist-cum-workers then organize a Benchawong Pottery Village at Ban Don Kai Di, Tambon Tha Sao, Amphoe Krathum Baen. In addition, the fine product of Ban Don Kai Di was awarded a 5-star OTOP certificate in 2003. In addition, it is another tourism village welcoming visitors to tour and experience pottery production at the demonstration centre. It is a very worthwhile visit to see artists delicately painting the ceramics, as well as to admire their rare and splendid Bencharong works. At present, they create pretty and charming miniature Bencharong pottery, ideal for souvenirs and house decorations. Along the road, villagers open shops in their homes, welcoming visitors along the route. They all offer refined and good quality Bencharong ceramics.
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Seafood includes fresh and dry fish, shrimp, shells and squid.
The people of Amphoe Krathum Baen and Ban Phaeo earn their living by growing fruit trees, vegetables, and orchids. Tasty fruit produced in Samut Songkhram include coconuts with aromatic juice, sweet pomelos, grapes, and guavas.