Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Day Out In Bo Sang

If you’re looking for something to do around Chiang Mai, the Bo Sang area has a lot to offer. Apart from the fishing park, there’s silk weaving, clothes and embroidery, pottery, jewellery and silver shops and the parasol factory to visit.
Factory probably isn’t the right word, although there is an assembly line of sorts, as the umbrellas are all made by hand. How? The bark of the mulberry tree is pummeled, soaked, boiled, washed and pummeled some more, to obtain the fibres to make the Sa Paper which is used to cover the parasol frames.
The frames are cut from bamboo and strung together with string. Once assembled, on goes the paper, cloth, resin or glue, paint and then the fun part...the decorations.
You can choose from hundreds, if not thousands of already decorated brollies in the shop or buy a blank, to have custom painted by one of the resident artists, for a small fee. If you not a parasol type of guy, they’ll paint anything you like, if it stands still for long enough. Stray had the elephant touched up, on his shorts, from a couple of years ago and JJ had her camera case spiffied up.
One of the artist's portfolios
If you've never been to one of the Gems Gallery 'Biggest Jewellery Stores', you have to go at least once...this was my fourth time. It'd be a lot more fun with a sack full of Baht, sigh! They're quite amazing and contain enough sparkle and dazzle to last a life time. Even the foyer is impressive, with show cases of ivory, jade, wood carvings and silver.
Unfortunately this is as far as they'll let you go with a camera. No photos allowed of the craftspeople at work or of the elegant  to elaborate jewellery, some of which I can only imagine adorning Liberace's fingers (were he still alive).

Nor would they supply me with a sample bag!

And, if you drop into the Baan Celadon Pottery factory, you're just around the corner from an excellent lunch destination, Chiang Mai Ruen Pae I. Situated lakeside, it's a lovely, quite spot to stop to refill and recoup. The dishes start at 50 Baht and just about anything is available on the menu, from frog, pig belly or tongue to spring rolls and the usual Thai fare.
For more details and directions to Ruen Pae I Restaurant, see number 4 on Cheap Eats Chiang Mai - East of the Moat. As for the arts and craft venues, any taxi or tuk tuk driver knows exactly where they are, most are right on or not far off highway 1006.
I think one of us needs a tan

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Martyn said... Best Blogger Tips

Snap your post has a rich colour in its photos and shows the fine crafts which Chiang Mai is so rightly proud of. The parasols made from Sa Paper and bamboo are delightful things, one could easily spend a baht or two in the factory.

The silver display at the gem store is pretty amazing too. Being hand crafted makes you realize the wonderful skills these people possess and craftmanship which no doubt have been passed down from generation to generation.

I love the bottom photo, very colourful and one pretty, fit looking girl.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Martyn thanks, but my posts are kind of sad lately. They (some) are either drafts I have laying in wait or old photos I want to share before we go :(

I'm surprised my muffin tops weren't peering around from behind that fit girl in the last photo ;)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Muffin tops to some are love haddles to one .... so dont pick on em...w:P

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

@Anonymous I can always count on you to look on the bright side of things ;)

Lani said... Best Blogger Tips

I went to the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival years ago and *yawn* it was dead and boring.

But your post gives me new hope! The gem museum seems to hold much potentiality :P and so does the lovely restaurant you have found. Thanks!

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Lani, it's a nice spot to go for lunch without doing all of the touristy's quite a big set up and I imagine it does a roaring trade at night, and or for tourist groups.