Decided to hire a tuk tuk for a few hours and headed off towards an area outside of Chiang Mai called Bo Sang which is famous for its handicrafts. Silk, umbrella's and jewellery.
I went to a really nice emporium place and met Nasir and Malik from India via Mauritius. They gave me tea and showed me how a Kashmir rug is made which takes on average 3 months for a 3ft by 3ft small one. They had some amazing stuff - a teak bed in the shape of an egg which apparently is an old traditional style, its on rockers and all comes apart and can be shipped to anywhere in the world - a bargain at $5,500 plus shipping!!!
I visited a silk factory where they showed the silk being produced from the moths laying eggs on mulberry leaves through to the cocoons being boiled and spun. I brought a really lovely hand painted wall hanging from this place.
Women hand making the sticks for the umbrella's.
Trainee Buddhist monk in Starbucks - I had a chat with them - they were in Chiang Mai to visit the sports shops and to buy an ipad!!
Then I sat outside and got chatting to a really nice old American guy who is a writer and has lived here on and off since visiting during the Vietnam war. His name is Denzil Castro and he has various books available on Amazon. He writes true stories from his past about the mafia, unsolved murders and the CIA. He had to stay sitting down for about 30 minutes as his knee malfunctions so we had a good chat. He told me how Bangkok in the 60's only had rickshaws and no cars. He is sad to see how Thailand has changed but would rather live here than anywhere else. He gets his pension from the Pentagon so has extra special treatment from the bank here!
Just managed to get back home as the 3.30pm rains started. Am off for dinner with Emily, Ellen and Suzie to a rooftop restaurant at one of the hotels (weather permitting of course) its all open air so fingers crossed.