Lonely Planet review
Ban Baat is the only remaining village of three established in Bangkok by Rama I (King Phraphutthayotfa; r 1782–1809) for the purpose of handcrafting bàht, the special bowls that monks use to collect alms from the faithful each morning.
The alms bowls are sold for between 600B and 2000B and make great souvenirs. To find the village, walk south on Th Boriphat, south of Th Bamrung Meuang, then follow the signs into narrow Soi Ban Baat.
As cheaper factory-made bowls are now the norm, the artisanal tradition has shrunk to about half a dozen families. You can observe the process of hammering the bowls together from eight separate pieces of steel, said to represent Buddhism’s Eightfold Path. The joints are then fused with melted copper wire, and the bowl is beaten, polished and coated with several layers of black lacquer. A typical bàht -smith’s daily output is one large bowl, more if the bowls are smaller.