Category Archives: Northern Thailand

Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

Travel Thailand Salt Farming

I have decided not to carry on with my other blog as it is too much running two blogs and eating into my writing time…so to preserve my sanity and to be able to finish my books and read more…I am transferring some of the posts to this blog and updating them… I hope you enjoy them…

via Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

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Travel Thailand… The Ancient Art of Weaving…Thai Silk…

The Ancient Art of weaving

Since moving from sunny Phuket to Northern Thailand, I am discovering a wealth of cultures. It is both fascinating and makes me in awe of what I am discovering. I am both surprised and delighted to see a lot of the ancient arts such as weaving are still being preserved and passed down through the generations.

Over the next few months, I will be bringing to you other ancient arts which are still being widely practised here in rural Thailand. It is really lovely to see age-old skills being passed down to the young and quite often you will see the very old their daughters and their children all playing their part in keeping these traditions going.

Weaving is one of Northern Thailand’s oldest and precious arts:

The skill which is learnt from a very young age at their mother’s knee.

There are many designs woven into the cloth, flowers, birds, animals, simple geometry and some of the most intricate flowing water designs which are for the very experienced weavers.

The cloth when it is made is fashioned into many things, beautiful bags, traditional Thai wrap around skirts, jackets and wall hangings to name but a few.

The silk-making process from beginning to end:

This video shows a silk village in Thailand and how the silk made from start to finish.

The weavers originally migrated from the Sipsong Panna region in Southern China where the practice of breeding silkworms goes back at least 5,000 years.

In Northern Thailand, they are known as the Lue people.

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Devoted Buddhists who live a simple life and always have a ready smile for strangers like me. As you drive around the small country roads you will still see many of the looms underneath the wooden stilted Thai family homes where mum and the old nan still weave beautiful fabric to make a living.

My pictures show one such woman who very kindly allowed us to take pictures of her weaving under her home.

lady weaving

 

The looms handmade of bamboo wood and once known as the universal loom in Southeast, Asia is now called the Lao hand-loom from North Eastern Thailand the area is also known by locals as Esarn, Isaan or maybe something completely different so many different spellings and no one seems to know the correct one.

As we say TIT( This is Thailand)

Did you know ??? The very famous Lao, Thai Khmer silks were woven on the very same looms for many centuries.

Where does the silk thread come from?

The silkworm.

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What is the silken thread made from?

It is made from the threads that the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori. The process is known as sericulture the silkworm feeds on white mulberry leaves although they will eat other species of mulberry and have also been known to feed on Osage orange leaves.

Jim Thompson is a name which is synonymous with the production of silk production in Thailand and very highly sought after. On the Jim Thompson Farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, visitors can see the entire silk-making process. However, the farm is only open for a few weeks during the cold season. If you are ever travelling around Northern Thailand then I hope you get the opportunity to see the traditional art of weaving and silk making for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the Thai tradition of weaving those beautiful silks if you did I am happy for you to share with your friends and if you do …Thank you 🙂

 

 

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Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

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Driving to Nong Khai towards the Mekong we suddenly started to see lots of roadside stalls selling salt and then I remembered nothing grew here because the land was so salty …No rice…Nothing!

Proud of their salt producing heritage there is now a 3 day Salt Festival with talks, educational displays and the most beautiful sculptures crafted from salt.

Before I show and tell you about the salt I will show you how I use salt …Which produces the most succulent fish you have ever tasted and eaten with Som Tam Green Papaya) Salad and Sticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.

Salt-fish-Thai

BBQ Salt Fish

Just take 3/4 stems of lemongrass and tie in a knot, stuff it in the cavity of the fish and then roll the fish in sea salt do not descale the fish as it will not stick. Put on a BBQ and cook until fish is just cooked, nice and juicy turning the fish a few times this takes about 30/40 mins and you will have the most succulent fish you have ever tasted.

How is the salt produced:

Thailand’s unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable. Salty eggs, fish, salt are used in many dishes and the most iconic Thai fish sauce takes pride of place on every table. A meal would not be complete without salt or fish sauce being used in every dish or as a condiment.

Do not try to put salt in a traditional western salt grinder or shaker as due to the humidity here it will just clog or cause the grinders cogs to rust.

Used firstly as a preservative long before fridges were invented, salt has become as essential as breathing.

Here in Thailand it is not only used in food but in the spa industry. Now, who hasn’t been to Thailand and hasn’t had a traditional Thai massage?

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From popular skin exfoliating, scrub massages it has great anti-bacterial properties and helps to prevent itching and provides relief from insect bites and stings.

Add lemongrass to your salt and a wonderful massage will let all your stress and jet lag just fade away.

How is salt made? 

salt farming

The ponds are flooded with salt water and left for about 10 days until the sun has evaporated the water leaving the salt, which is then collected and carried away in shoulder baskets to be bagged ready for sale.

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There is very little if any shade on these salt flats to protect the workers from the sun and it is hard heavy work.

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Health Benefits of Salt.

For years  I have been warned about the use of too much salt whereas here because of the heat and humidity I have used more salt in my cooking and diet.

I have changed the salt I use and use Pink Himalayan Salt or more recently as we live close to the above salt flats I use the mineral salt fresh from there.

The taste is vastly different from the salt I used to buy and I use less as it is saltier but since living here my Blood pressure is now normal…and for those who know me I have never been normal…lol..but it is.

Asians have for many years believed that we have an energy body as well as a physical body. All of our glands, organs, blood and skin consist of cells. They believe that our health depends on the health of those cells. Different cells require more or less of cell salts e.g nerve cells require larger amounts of cell salts but blood cells carry a higher amount of certain cell salts.

Hence salt plays a larger role in the diet in  Asian countries as they believe cell salts provide a rebalancing of the body to enable its natural disease function which controls the bodies mechanism to function fully.

I am finding northern Thailand such a lovely place to live the people are friendly and I am discovering so many fruits, vegetables and ancient crafts which are still being used and passed down to generation after generation.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share or reblog.

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All images are from my own private photo collection I have no problem if anyone uses them as long as you just ask my permission.

Want to see more from me???? I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

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