Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Monday 19 January, 2015

Take two. Had nearly finished blog on plane but couldn't save it and forgot when we were waiting for the baggage and lost all that I wrote! So....
Monday decided to go to the artists village, Borsang which was supposed to be 9 km east of the city. After negotiating a price, which we still felt was too high, we hoped on board a red bus that we have seen all around town. We had told the driver we wanted to go to the silk shop and thought we'd start there.
It might have been 9 km the way the crow flies, but evidently you can't drive that way....quite a ways away took a good 20 min!  
They explained how silk worms eat the mulberry leaves, spin their cocoons and then turn into white moths. This was not new as most teachers have silkworms growing in their classrooms at one time or another! They then boil the cocoons and spin the silk, 50 cocoons produces 100 metres of thread. They have one ply which is the finest and softest up to four ply which is like a tapestry material.
As we saw when we watched the Karen people weaving, it is a job that takes a lot of concentration as they have to count the rows, both hands are doing different things and their feet are both going too. Jan bought some nice outfits and I bought a couple of scarves and a top.
The driver waited for us too as we thought we would be able to walk around the village and see all the artists at work. Not to be. Borsang is more like an industrial area where all the artists have their own places.
We then went to the umbrella and paper making shop. We wanted to see them paint umbrellas but they will only do that if you buy one.
The driver wanted to take us to other shops but we had spent our money so we headed home.
In the afternoon we joined a cooking school for classes. As most of them do, we went to the market while our teacher, Apple, explained about the different types of basil used in Thai cooking, lemon, holy and sweet.
Then we saw galang, finger and turmeric ginger.

Back to the kitchen to prepare our meals. In this class, each person chooses six dishes to cook. It is a great way as you get to cook yours, but also get to see how other dishes are prepared. Each person had their own work station and gas burner. We joined 6 others from Indiana, 4 of 18 boys who are all computer scientists and their chaperones. It was a great group!
I chose spring rolls, hot and spicy prawn soup, Pad Thai, prawn and tamarind stir fry, Ga Lang curry and sticky fried rice with mango!
We made our own curry paste. It took lots of pounding to ensure all the ingredients were mashed together. We also made our own coconut milk by putting grated coconut into a muslin bag in very very warm water and squeezing for a good 10 minutes or so.

At this class we got to eat after we cooked each meal which is much better so that you can appreciate the flavours more. Either way, you can hardly move by the end as you are so full!
Spring rolls were easy to make!
I really liked the prawn and tamarind stir fry. Ga Lang curry was good but I only put a little bit of curry in. That was the great thing too, you could make the dish as spicy as you liked!
My favourite! Sticky rice with fresh mango. (Sticky rice is made with coconut milk!) can't get much better than that!
Apple then took us back to our hotels. We found out that there was a Cabaret behind the hotel so we walked over to see what was happening. One show had finished and the next was ready to start and all the performers were in the parking lot!
Believe it or not they are all men. They just don't look it!

Tuesday morning we flew to Bangkok. Took some photos from the plane...houses really set in straight lines! 

And it was very hazy and very green for getting no rain except in the rainy season of May and June.
We checked in our favourite Centara Grand, dumped our bags in the room and headed over to the shopping center for lunch and of course shopping. 
Managed to take a sunset photo from our room, first one of the trip I think!

Tomorrow we leave for Brisbane but not til midnight so maybe a swim and some relaxation massages again. So that's the end of blogging for awhile ....hope you enjoyed our journey...we sure did!

1 comment:

  1. That cooking lesson looks great. Hope you try out some on your friendly neighbours.