For most travellers Hua Hin is synonymous with lounging on the beach and nature walks. For those willing to venture further afield, however, Hua Hin offers a uniquely local experience – a visit to Baan Sillapin Artists Village.

Located just a few minutes’ drive from Avani+ Hua Hin Resort, this creative community hosts over 15 studios with arts ranging from woodcarving, clay sculpture, jewellery making and antiques to photography, watercolour, oil paintings and contemporary art. The members of the collective welcome guests with open arms; from the hands-on arts and crafts classes to regular jam sessions to exhibitions and performances – everywhere you go you are treated as a dear friend.

The roots of the community go back 20 years to when Chumpol Donsakul, a local patron of the arts, left a plot of land to Arjarn Tawee Ke-sa-ngam, a well-known artist, to be used for the sole purpose of promoting arts. Before long, Arjarn Tawee’s family was joined by 20 other artists and the commune was established.

The Artists Village features coffee shops, workshops and studios that also operate as art galleries, with artists showcasing their creative processes as well as selling the finished pieces, with all proceeds going towards supporting arts in the village. At the workshops, guests can pick an activity that appeals to them most: painting canvas bags, wood box carving, making robots from wood, or paper masks; and all ages are welcome. Never one to rest on his laurels, Arjarn Tawee is working on a plan to build Hua Hin’s first contemporary art museum.

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