Silk is a classical product from Asia and Thailand, too has its quality products.
Silk is made of the cocoons of a special butterfly, They take the cocoons, give it into hot water and begin to unravel the threads of silk.
these threads will be colored and then spun into different clothes.
All this you can see in one of the many silk factories, especially around Chiang Mai.
What to buy: Shirts, Dresses, Blankets, Cloth, Underwear, Scarves, etc etc
What to pay: how much do you want to spend?
Especiall in and around Chiang Mai you can buy a lot of Jade and Nephrit.
Both are these green, cool stones (half gems).
How much they are worth is dependent on the structure of the stone (the finer the better) and it´s color.
Really green Jade is very precious, but be careful, there are also lots of fake Jade around.
It is not easy as an amateur to distinguish between a fake jade, a good jade, a nephrit etc.
Generally we were told that Jade is a very "cold" stone. That means it takes away the heat from your hand if you hold it. If you take a hair and lie it close to the stone, you shoud be able to run the flame of a lighter over it, without burning the hair. If it is not Jade, the hair will burn.
What to buy: Jade is also a quite soft stone, so it is easy to work with. You can buy it in many forms, they can carve almost everything.
Wearing something out of Jade is said to change the stone, to make it more personal.
Try it with a simple chi-ring or buy a carved elefants (they bring luck)
What to pay: depends on the qualits of the stone
After a short introduction into Paper making (because some umbrellas are made of that, others from cloth), you can have a look around the manufacture.
You can see how they make the umbrella (the handle is of bamboo), how they paint it - the big ones are real beautiful.
If you want, you can have a design painted on your clothes right there. I had myself done a small dragon, gold, red and white on my black T-shirt ... it sure looks a lot better now than it did before!
The paint they do it in is acrylic, so you can wash your clothes normally and it should stay on.
What to buy: Umbrellas big or small,
What to pay: One big umbrella, shipped into Europe is about 2850 Baht.
(good present for my parents garden)
What to buy: The traditional handicrafts are a must to buy to keep your memories. Anyway, these handicrafts are usually the a reasonable price and you can even bargain.
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