The Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Doll Museum is in San Patong District, Chiang Mai province. It is about 20 km south of Chiang Mai, close to Lamphun. It is one of the most overlooked attractions in Chiang Mai province. Green Trails has sent many guests to this magnificent, somewhat hidden complex in the past decade. We have never met other visitors at the centre. The Doll making Centre and Museum are in a beautiful traditional Thai-style house, located between road no.108 and the Ping River. You can combine a visit with other sights in Lamphun

Three dolls in traditional dress
Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum

History of the Centre

The story of this centre started in Vientiane, Laos, where the mother of the current owner and manager opened a small shop selling handmade dolls. We are talking the mid-60s during which Laos was in turmoil. In the early 1970s, the Boonprakong family escaped the war and moved to Udon Thani in Thailand. To make a long story short: Youthana Boonprakong took over the doll making business from his mother and settled in San Patong.

People making dolls
Doll Making Centre workshop

Visiting the Centre

After arrival in the Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum, you enter a small reception area. Here some of the handmade dolls are exhibited in glass vitrine display cabinets. Behind the reception area is the factory. During weekdays about ten local people are putting together parts of the dolls, making the dress and jewellery and so on. It is fascinating to watch these dolls being handmade here. Behind this workshop is a giant green kiln. Here the porcelain parts of the dolls are fired and cured. The doll making centre produces dolls on order.

Thai heads in a row
Doll Museum San Patong

The Doll Museum

Without exception, our guests have been awestruck upon entering the Doll Museum. The Museum exhibits thousands of dolls from all over the world. It is difficult to describe what is in there: just go and have a look yourself. There are dolls from Germany, Japan, Argentina, Rumania, Netherlands, Russia, China, England, Vietnam, France, Spain and many other countries. There are also lots of dolls from Thailand, mainly of the ethnic groups. It is a stunning collection that must be worth a fortune. The Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum used to have a wonderful section on the dress and traditions of the hilltribes of North Thailand. Unfortunately, they closed this section a long time ago.

Man with handicraft dolls Intangible Cultural Heritage of Chiang Mai
K.Youthana Boonprakong, owner of the Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum

Visiting the Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum

During the bicycle trip of the three-day cycling and trekking tour of Green Trails, you will visit the Centre and Museum.