The Thai Yuan was a large ethnic group living in the Lanna Kingdom in northern Thailand. In 1804, during the reign of King Rama I, a great number of people from this tribal group migrated from Chiang Saen district in Chiang Rai province to settle down in Khu Bua subdistrict, Mueang district, in Ratchaburi province.
A local museum, “Ban Khu Bua Museum,” has been established in Ratchaburi featuring the culture and history of the Thai Yuan. Located in the compound of Wat Khlong Suwankhiri in Khu Bua subdistrict, Ban Khu Bua Museum displays a collection of numerous items, such as utensils and textiles, in exhibits that tell the story of this ethnic group.
Dr. Udom Somporn, Director of the Ban Khu Bua Museum, is a son of the Thai Yuan and is the person who initiated the setting up of this museum. He wants to sustain the inheritance of the culture and wisdom of the Thai Yuan for the next generations. The museum, which was opened to the public in 2005, comprises two floors with 10 rooms; each room represents a theme.
The ground floor features ancient art objects in the Dvaravati period, wax figures, and agricultural tools, reflecting the way of life of the local Thai Yuan community. The upper floor demonstrates the local wisdom of cloth weaving and is devoted to the preservation of ancient textiles.
There are also ancient remains next to the museum that visitors may walk through. A community market is also found near the museum. The Ministry of Commerce has launched a project to develop the Khu Bua community market into a tourist attraction. This market has also been included in the list of “markets that should not be missed.” It offers many local goods, such as food, organic fruits and vegetables, Thai desserts, and hand-woven fabric, recognized as a unique product from the Khu Bua community.