Friday, January 25, 2013

Elephant camp, rafting and cooking school

Today was an unforgettable day. We rode an elephant through the jungle, watch the elephants paint a picture, take baths and EAT! Also, we learned how they make paper from elephant Dung. They each consume 500 pounds of greens per day! They eat 20 hours a day. They are amazing creatures. We rode a bamboo raft down the river back to the bus and went to an Orchid farm, and the silk factory for a demonstration on how silk thread is made. Tonight was a Thai cooking class where we learned to make spicy veggies and coconut soup and Phat Thai. We have had very long, fun filled days with wake up calls at 5:30 each day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The people of Thailand

We went for two days in to the country side of Chang Mai, and to the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Burma, and Laos. We stopped at a school, a drug rehab facility started by a Monk, a Senior Citizens center, and to meet the ladies and children of the long neck Karen tribe. This is a simple, poor way of life. The pictures of the hut are of the main room, the bedroom with the mosquito net over the bed and the kitchen with the fire pit on the floor.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tapioca, sticky rice and coconut oil and candy

It seems like allI talk about is food. But there is such fascinating and wonderful to be found here. No chocolate!!!! But lots of food that I never thought about how it is made. Did you know that tapioca is made from the root of the casaba tree? And that boiled coconut milk can be reduced to sugary candy that resembles maple sugar candy. A sweet dessert treat, is sticky rice and coconut milk poured into bamboo and roasted over a hot grill.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Batik and Indigo dye

We went to an indigo shop to see how fabric is made into batik using the indigo plant. The plant is soaked in a lye solution for a long period of time and turns to a thick dark navy paste. This paste is mixed with water that has been purified by draining through sand. Fabric is stamped with hot wax for the desired pattern and soaked in the indigo solution. When removed from the dye it is green, and dries to a darker blue. It is then boiled to remove the wax. We each got to make a small sample.

Rigshaw's and bugs

We arrived late in Phitsanuloke, and took a night city tour by rigshaw. It was a lot of fun, but we felt sorry for our drivers (peddlers)as they were small people pulling us big people around. The night market was a bustling area with lots of people and fried bugs, roasted field rats, and geese. Field rats are a delicacy because they only eat rice in the rice fields. They sell for $10 per pound.