They look like beautiful exotic flowers, and they even smell the part, only unlike the real thing, Thai soap flowers last forever.
Although these days, soap flowers can be bought as souvenirs from all around Thailand, these scented masterpieces originated in the villages around Chiang Rai. When they weren’t too busy tending to their farms or working in the rice paddies, locals practiced carving on pieces of soap. Their hobby turned into a fine art, and the delicate soap flowers they sold at the local night markets soon captured tourists’ imagination.
The art of soap carving is passed down from generation to generation, and since it’s all done using a few carving knives, the beauty of the flowers depends a lot on the skill and finesse of the artist. Chiang Rai remains the best place to buy soap flowers as souvenirs, and visitors can witness the carving process first hand.
Take a look at the jaw-dropping soap flowers and tell me if you could ever use any of them for washing your hands. I’d maybe do it if it was the last piece of soap on Earth.