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…
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.
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.
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?
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 seems to be a topic of conversation around here at the moment so I have decided to resurrect this post from aunt juju which I reblogged over a year ago.
Since then I have purchased a salt block as a present for my daughter and am awaiting feedback as she has had it for a good few months now.
This article by aunt juju is a very good comprehensive view of salt block cooking backed up by some wonderful recipes. So please take a look you will love it as much as I do… I just know you will.
Once I self-host this blog I will be offering these amongst other things for sale…..I will not have loads of ads all over the place but the sale items will be relevant to my posts. Which means folks you will still get recipes and hopefully some good advice to get you thinking about your health alongside them.
Salt is definitely being featured in our corner of the world of WP and is worth a look as that and so many other things which we were advised to steer clear of consuming don’t seem to be really as bad for us….What are your thoughts on all this backtracking?
A short post to read as you drink your morning coffee…well depending on where you live…ha ha ….coupled with some interesting links for when you put feet up later.
I hope you enjoy all of this and it links everything together for you….Do you have any What are your thoughts on Salt and your health?
We would love to know so please comment and if you have used salt blocks ..tell me your experience did you love it or hate it?….Good or bad…. I would love to know.
Thank you for reading I hope it gave you food for thought? Stay safe and laugh a lot..it’s free and it releases all those good endorphins which are responsible for our feeling of wellbeing…. it is the biochemical of the substrate aka ” The Spice of Life”
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 andSticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.
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?
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?
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.
There is very little if any shade on these salt flats to protect the workers from the sun and it is hard heavy work.
Health Benefits of Salt.
For yearsI 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.
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???
50 km’s north of Udon Thani where we now live is Wat Baan Waeng or Pho Chai Sri as it is also known.
It is home to larger than life statues and sculptures which depict the heaven and hell side of Buddhism. So in other words if you stray from the path of the five precepts of Buddhism then “Hell” is what awaits you.
It shows the fate or karma of these individuals and the gory fates that await them for their sins.
Initially when we pulled into the temple we were met with the scene of monks sitting, children playing and stalls selling trinkets, spiritual items and a well. The water level of which is always very high so if you do want to peer down into the blackness then first remove your shoes before you step onto the plinth. The well according to local folktales just appeared!
Such tranquility that we thought we had chanced upon the wrong temple(wat).
But no, if you follow the path lined with Buddhas statues you will be led through beautiful gardens, music playing, good food and drink everything that heaven is meant to be.
Happy smiles and music playing.
All plaques and writing are in Thai so it will enhance your visit if you have someone with you who can read Thai.
The tree of life depicting the man or king at the top surrounded by ladies. Showing as flowers hanging from the tree of life.
Do not be fooled!
You are now entering hell.
You will then come upon statues showing the horrific torture that you would suffer if you went to hell. Depending on your sin your punishment would fit the crime. A liar would have his tongue removed and a thief his hands.
Forced to climb the thorny tree or be eaten by the waiting dogs. It looks like he wasn’t quite quick enough.
A liar…Off with your tongue!
Cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.
Karma reigns! What goes around comes around as the saying goes.
A fruitless gesture, begging for mercy I don’t think any mercy was going to be granted here.
I hope you enjoyed this trip through heaven and hell, it will be on my to visit again list as there is a temple being built in the middle of the lake there which promises to be a lovely tranquil place to sit and read or write.
If you enjoy my travels around Thailand I can also be found on Niume and Mytrendingstories where I share my travels and recipes, fruits of Thailand and much more.
After the normal..you know.. Weekend food shopping etc
We decided to take a trip out and just 15km from Udon Thani Town is Wat TungTookham …well we went round the houses a bit and then were pointed to this little, very little soi….Big Red men Working sign across entrance….
So we travelled along a bit and thought nought here… so went back just as said workman was removing his barrier…Ah ha so down this track we went ..just one car wide and now we saw signs …so we followed the signs through a little Thai village and there it was…. Looking a bit in need of some TLC….not a bit like the pics in the tourist brochure…
It is a charming temple ..we were the only visitors and the only human life we saw were 2 lone monks and 5 laughing children… as well as Buffalo grazing in the field..it was lovely!
Some of the many Buddhas here are covered in Thai coins, both old and new and with the sun on them they glisten and this is made even lovelier as the temple is among the trees… it was so calm and peaceful.
Beneath the temple is a spirit ball and holy water seeps through the floor..this is a little temple which is only opened during important holy days so people can collect some water… the water is said to bring good luck.
The roof and walls of this temple are adorned with over 8,400 images of Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang ( Amulets) it is very beautiful.
Close by is also a Thai Silk Village so if you like traditional Thai clothes then it is the place to shop.
By this time we were starving so headed back to Udon Town and joined the hordes who were eating seafood along the front of the shops it was very busy and then I had my first fried ice cream??? No pics I afraid… too hungry… will take them next time as it was all lovely, freshly cooked succulent mussels and ?….That’s just your taster for another time…I am kind to you guys … Ha Ha
Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot …..Love you all x