Go to Razzle Dazzle welcome page. Chiang Mai, Thailand


Chiang Mai   |   markets   |   wat   |   zoo   |   Doi Suthep   |   etc.

June, 2004

Thailand photo.
Preparing spring rolls

— Pad Thai Cooking School

Chiang mai has dozens of cooking schools which offer similar cooking classes. Most include a trip to a local market to see the available ingredients, particularly those that may be unfamiliar to foreign students. The guidebooks don't offer much help choosing a school, but suggest that most of the schools are worth trying. We chose the Pad Thai Cookery School based on a recommendation from our guest house owner. Our instructor was Nuttaluck Rodwan, who was cheerful and interested in the students, and who spoke English very well. She is also a very knowledgeable cook.

This school, like most, offers several different classes, each of which lasts most of a day. Each class presents a different set of Thai dishes. During our class, we learned to make spring rolls, green curry, chicken with basil leaves, fried chicken with ginger, pad thai noodles, and banana in coconut cream (for dessert). When we were done, we ate our finished dishes. Everything was delicious and surprisingly easy to make. (Cooking is a particular pleasure when someone else is doing all the cleaning up.) The price was 700 baht (about $17.50) per person, not much more than you might pay for such a grand meal in many restaurants. We hope to go back for a second class soon.

Thailand photo.
Jamie & umbrellas

— Umbrellas

The small village of Bo Sang is just a few kilometers east of Chiang Mai. It has been the umbrella center of Thailand for centuries. Today, most of the umbrellas made here are for decoration rather than to keep off the rain. We took a few hours to visit the umbrella makers of Bo Sang, and to buy a few decorative umbrellas (see photo at left.)

The umbrellas are all made with bamboo frames covered with either paper or fabric. The paper umbrellas can be treated to withstand rain, but most are probably used indoors as decoration. Here the umbrellas are being covered with cloth. After their covers are in place, many of the umbrellas are painted. Some of the designs can be quite elaborate. Others are painted with traditional black & white patterns. Here are some samples of finished umbrellas:

Thailand photo.
Batik dragon

— Index —


— Artwork

During our time in Chiang Mai, we have purchased a few items of artwork, mostly textiles. We bought several batik pieces, including the dragon at left. We also found a lovely batik that features an asian zebu (humped) cow, and another that tells a love story with umbrellas. The last of our textiles is a very long piece of woven silk fabric. We can show only a small part of one end of the material.

We also purchased a lacquerware dish with a gold leaf image of one of the Royal Barges that we visited in Bangkok. We thought it would be nice to have a souvenir of our visit to the Barge Museum. Finally, when we went to Bo Sang to see the umbrella shops, we came across a store that specialized in mango wood products. They were using an interesting technique for staining the wood, and we decided to buy a mango wood bowl.

Well, that is the extent of our art purchases. We are basically rather frugal shoppers. That and the fact that we have no place to display our new treasures has kept us from getting too carried away.


— return to the 2004 Journal Archive


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Jim and Jamie Richter, http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/
Website designed and created by Lois Richter, expanded by Jim.
Created 6/2004. All text & photos are © 2004 Jim Richter.