Any Peas in Thailand? Or who have lived or visited Thailand in the past?

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Posted 10/14/2012 by scrappinbetty in General Scrappin'
 

scrappinbetty
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PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
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Posted: 10/14/2012 10:20:43 PM
Greetings Peas!

I would love to know if we have any Peas based in Thailand? And if so, where?

Also, if you have ever lived there or visited, I would love to ask some questions:
Where did you live or visit?
Did you like it? Why or why not?
What's your favorite part of Thailand?
Are there any stores in Thailand that sell scrapping or stamping supplies? Names, locations?
What crafts is Thailand known for?
Is handmade paper readily available.

Plus, anything else you would like to share would be greatly appreciated.

I'll be heading there soon and would love some tips and thoughts from my fellow Peas.

TIA


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


mamashosh
Sugar Snap Pea

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Posted: 10/14/2012 10:30:38 PM
I've been to Thailand twice--once for a month and once for about a week (both over ten years ago)--and I love it there, but it was before I was a scrapbooker, so I can't give you any advice about paper, etc.

Bangkok is of course a must see. Phuket is very beautiful. Chang Mai and Chang Rai are great to see. I like the north the best, along the Mekong River. I have to remember the name of the town I adored that had lots of crafts.... but it escapes me right now. As I said, it was a long time ago though, and just in the two years between my trips, a lot had changed, so you probably want more recent advice.



kjapeach
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Posted: 10/14/2012 10:33:02 PM
I went to Surin as part of an Operation Smile mission. So we worked a lot without much down time to explore. Thai silk is popular and I did experience a tour from silkworms to loom to tailor. Elephants are beloved and I got to ride a baby bareback! The people are amazing. Also there is a beautiful ceremony where we placed flowers & candles afloat at night in river. Visit a wat if possible . Spirit houses are gorgeous photo op.


~Kimberly
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scrappinbetty
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Posted: 10/14/2012 10:34:55 PM
Thanks so much for your info. We'll be in Bangkok for a few days and then will focus on the north first and then come south as the rainy season ends.

I would love to know where the crafts market is as I would love to get some local crafts as gifts.

Any favorite foods, sites?


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


Delaniemw
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Posted: 10/14/2012 11:03:54 PM
Chiang Mai, a major city in the north, has some great markets. The night market is most well known, but my favourite was:


Sunday Walking Street
On Sunday evenings, the street running from just inside the Tapae Gate up to the center of the old city, along with some side streets, is closed to traffic. The streets are filled with stalls selling local handicrafts as well as foods of every kind. This market has become something of an institution, although many foreign visitors don't ever know it exists.


Thailand is fabulous. Enjoy!



scrappinbetty
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Posted: 10/15/2012 9:05:44 AM
Thanks so much for the info on the market. I am looking forward to visiting these types of markets wherever we go.

Can you, or anyone else, recommend any places in the whole of Thailand that you would definitely not miss?

We usually tend to steer clear of touristy places and I am wondering if there are any of these types of places left in Thailand?


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


shimelle
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Posted: 10/15/2012 10:27:58 AM
I certainly don't live there but have been a couple times. I had a college roommate who was Thai and we've visited her near Bangkok and then done some exploring elsewhere.

When we were backpacking, I blogged a few Thai stops on our trip: Ayutthaya, Ancient City, Bangkok Grand Palace, Ko Kret, Dumnoen Saduak Floating Market and some general experiences on taking sleeper trains in Thailand. In case any of that is useful.

A quieter alternative to Chiang Mai is Nong Khai - the northeast of the country is very different to the north/northwest. Nong Khai is tiny and quiet but also sat on the Mekong, on the Laos border. The food is quite different there too. If you are just going quickly here and there to see the sites, then most people skip out the northeast in favour of Chiang Mai, but if you want something very zen and with fewer tourists, then Nong Khai is a good stop.

Kanchanaburi is an interesting stop in the middle - home to the bridge on the river Kwai which is a somewhat eerie walking outing, and a gorgeous Erawan waterfall trek that is definitely worth the effort. It also has a very controversial 'tiger temple' where you can basically hang out with tigers up close... well, I mention this because if you go anywhere near Kanchanaburi, it will be discussed. There is a lot of debate about the place - the sales pitch is that the tigers are raised by monks and as a result they are docile. Many sources disagree and say the tigers are drugged and it's not natural for them to be so chilled out. It's one of the more expensive attractions in Thailand, so I would just read up and make your own decision. I know people who heartily believe both sides of the story and I think that makes it harder for me to figure it out!

In the south, it is hard to go wrong as the entire coast is very pretty, but the hotels and guest houses vary greatly. Read TripAdvisor reviews because we found quite a few hotels are dishonest about their amenities in order to get guests booked, then you're left in a place that might not be horrible, but for the same price or a few dollars more you could have booked somewhere some much better. I don't know how much you like to be plugged in, but keep in mind the beach towns are really marketing to those who want to chill, so quite a few hotels don't offer internet or they charge a ridiculous amount for it, but you'll have better luck in coffee shops. It just depends on whether you want to be able to switch off entirely or whether you really need to be in contact at least a bit.

If you plan to enjoy the beach & islands and you're at all sun sensitive, stock up on strong sunscreen whenever you see it. I wear SPF30 in *London* and I never found higher than 30 in Thailand. I had to be so careful and put more on constantly it seemed. But having met quite a few backpackers who tried to make do without, they were more this colour: but without the love hearts and more the screams of pain! Tropical beaches are just not made for pale skin. But they are beautiful!!! (I am not a big watersport fan but my DH went scuba diving here and it's very popular and cheaper than many other places in the world. Quite a few of the scuba shops are staffed by Aussies, Kiwis and Brits, so there's no language barrier, which could be helpful in something like that!)

I have to say if you have plenty of time, I really recommend visiting Laos as well. I adore Laos and it's a very simple, handmade, family-based culture. I daydream about it often. But of course Cambodia is amazing too! We did the whole loop (those three + Vietnam) and only had one stop we didn't like much (I am not a big fan of Hanoi, but I loved the rest of Vietnam). We had planned to take a train through the south end of Thailand to Malaysia, but it wasn't safe on the day we needed to travel so we ended up taking a flight instead. But I like that in general you can get around all of that corner of the world without ever needing to rent a car by taking trains and buses. Some are more an adventure than others, of course! If you do think you might visit Cambodia, take dollar bills with you, as Cambodia uses the US dollar as currency and you'll get a skewed rate at the exchange.


love & glitter,
shimelle.~*
blog * twitter

alone_inacrowdedroom
What are you looking at?

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Posted: 10/15/2012 11:13:52 AM
Piradee Talvanna, whose LOs I just love, is originally from Thailand but now lives in Singapore. I think I remember her saying something on her blog about teaching a class at a store in Thailand awhile back, but I could be totally wrong. You could go to her blog and contact her to ask about scrapbook stores in Thailand. I'm sure she would know, and could probably answer many of your questions.

Be warned though - her work is so lovely, you'll be on her blog for awhile!

mamashosh
Sugar Snap Pea

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Posted: 10/15/2012 11:35:04 AM
Of course Shimelle would remind me of the town I was thinking of--Nong Khai. I also agree that Ayutthaya is worth seeing

I also have to second what Shimelle said---if you have the time, go over the boarder to Laos. I really enjoyed Vientienne. Vietnam is also amazing, but I disagree with Shimelle on Hanoi--I loved it too(I liked that it is old). Halong Bay, not too far away, must be the most beautiful place in the world.



scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

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Posted: 10/15/2012 10:33:46 PM
See, I knew you ladies would come through!

Shimelle, Thanks so much for the info you shared. It was very helpful. We are really more of a mind to be as far from tourists as possible, but we are also going there to seek out some NGO and business opportunities, so we'll have to be in Bangkok and Chiang Mai for a few days at least. We do intend to see as much as Thailand as possible on this trip, and are always open to "surprise" changes to out itinerary. We plan to return to SE Asia again early next year and then do Malaysia, Indonesia (we have a car available to us in Malaysia and a home available to us in Bali), Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. This trip was planned a week ago and it will have to center around Thailand only (unless we are put off by how developed and touristy the country is and want to escape to someplace less so).

alone inacrowdedroom, thanks for the link to Piradee. I will definitely contact her tonight (as we are leaving Wednesday and I would love to speak with her before we go if she has time). And I agree, her stuff is amazing!

mamashosh, thanks for the additional info. We do plan to spend time in Vietnam, but not likely on this trip. We intend to go back to SE Asia again early next year and will likely spend at least a few weeks there then (we have a friend living there and he loves it).


Loving all the input, and always welcome more...


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
Posts: 13,653
Layouts: 18
Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 10/18/2012 10:15:47 AM
Btt...just hours from boarding the flight!


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


angsandy
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/18/2012 10:42:58 AM
hi I'm Sandy from Singapore. would recommend Koh Samui as my favourite island with a wide range of accommodations from swanky resorts to quiet, out-of-the-way homestays. that said we are in the middle of tropical monsoon season right now so you'll be seeing some wet days.

In Bangkok I love having drinks or a meal at the Jim Thompson house. He has recreated traditional thai teak houses in a beautiful garden setting. you'll just forget you're in the middle of a bustling city.

hope you have a fantastic trip !


My blog : angsandy.blogspot.com

scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
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Posted: 10/22/2012 7:34:28 AM
angsandy,

thanks so much for your suggestions. We were just talking about which beach area we might want to visit and Koh Samui was on the top of the list. Now I know we'll head there! I did read that the monsoon season will be at its tail end when we plan to go, but it's likely we'll still make the attempt. We're saving the beach time for the end of our trip.

We are leaving Bangkok tomorrow so we'll have to see if we can have dinner at the Jim Thompson House when we come back through Bangkok next month.

I'm wondering if you have any recommendations for fun craft markets outside of Bangkok? We'll be heading to Chiang Mai, taking our time to see what's on the way north. Any suggestions would be greatly recommended.

Thanks! Steph


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
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Posted: 10/27/2012 11:07:54 AM
Well, we've been here for almost 10 days and I have yet to make it to a craft market, but I did visit the Arts & Crafts Center which the Queen started. It has a huge exhibition hall and many workshops where local farmers and handicapped people are learning to create crafts of all types (wood carving, glass blowing, sculpture, embroidery, weaving, etc.). It was a really neat experience and we were able to pick up a few Xmas gifts for family members and the DGDs.

We took country roads today and came across the locals making large baskets, brooms and bags. And, they are known for their amazing little bananas which I had to buy. Unfortunately, they are only sold in bunches so we are now the proud owners of like 27 bananas! They are soooooo good!

We'll head to Chiang Mai soon and I am intent on visiting crafters around the area and picking up some local knowledge and a few items from the local crafts people and villagers along the way.


I'd still love some recommendations for craft markets in the north of Thailand.


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


Melissashim
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Posted: 10/27/2012 11:48:18 AM
My bf and are going from Jan 16-march 14. I'm so excited!

We are also going to Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam!


Melissa

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Blog: Memories and Stationery
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klaul
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Posted: 10/27/2012 4:10:46 PM
Hi Scrappinbetty,

I hope you're having a great time in Thailand, I am extremely jealous of you and wish I was back there! Every time I go back I fall in love with it a little more.

If you're up in the north, consider going to visit Pai for a few days if you want to go to unwind. The scenery is amazing there and it is also the only place in Thailand that I ever saw a strawberry flavour available from the pancake street food stalls!

While I was up in Chaing Mai, I spent a week volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park and can definitely recommend it. Their aim is to promote awareness on the poor treatment of many of the elephants in Thailand. It was really hard work at times but worth every minute. I got my favourite souvenir of my whole trip there- a carving made by the mahoot of one of the elephants we escorted through the jungle (once a week they take a couple of them out of the park and into the jungle so they can get back into their natural habitat). A lot of the mahoots are refugees from Burma/Mayanmar and sell their carvings in the park's shop to earn extra money.
They also have 1,2 & 3 night stays if you don't have the time to have a whole week. The park is completely reliant on help and funding from volunteers so I have to give a shout out to them whenever I get the chance.

As for markets, if you have the chance, try to make a trip into Laos, Luang Prabang has the best night market- If I didn't have to carry everything on my back, I would have bought something from every stall!

Hope you have an amazing time there - are you doing a blog? If so, I'd love to read about your adventures there.

scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
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Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 10/28/2012 9:42:35 AM
melissashim, that's awesome! We hope to come back next year and visit Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I hope you enjoy your trip as much as we are enjoying ours. The food's amazing and the people are so warm and welcoming...and happy.

klaul, thanks for the post. I checked into one of the elephant reserves (not sure which one, but I will check) and they were completely booked with volunteers while we'll be in the area. I so wanted to spend time working with them and learning more about the issues. It's very sad really. Hopefully we can at least stop for a visit, and go back another time if we are able to come back to Thailand next year. I don't think we'll make it into Laos on this trip, but it's on the "wish list" for a future trip (perhaps next year). We plan to spend more time in SE Asia, perhaps as soon as February/March of next year. You know, we have a month here in Thailand and it's going by so fast. I feel like we are barely skimming the surface and then it will be time to go back home. But at least we are getting off the "tourist trail" a bit and are spending time in the more rural areas, driving back roads when possible.

I will keep that area of Laos in mind for our next visit. Thanks!


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
Posts: 13,653
Layouts: 18
Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 11/7/2012 11:36:48 AM
Love, love, loving our time here!

Anyone have any suggestions on the best sources for handmade (handicraft type) items in Chiang Mai?

We plan to stop to see the paper umbrellas being made as well as making a stop where the paper is made. I also hope to go to the silversmith area, the wood carving area and to see more weaving (I have done this in every country we've visited and enjoy watching the beautiful textiles being made).


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


Melissashim
PeaAddict

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Posted: 11/7/2012 11:53:13 AM
Scrappinbetty, thank you! I would actually love to chit chat through pea mail so I could get some info from you if you don't mind?

Glad to hear you are having a blast! Jan cannot come soon enough!


Melissa

IG: melshim
Blog: Memories and Stationery
Youtube: MELISSA604
Twitter: @melissashim
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scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
Posts: 13,653
Layouts: 18
Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 11/11/2012 7:59:31 AM
melissashim, feel free to send me email at sstant at egltd dot com.

Today we visited the place where they make the huge Thai paper umbrellas. Fantastic! I loved seeing each step of the process and hanging out with the older Thai ladies (who were very gracious, and appreciative of being asked if it was ok before taking their picture). I placed my hands in the position of a greeting and thanked them all (in Thai) for sharing their skills with us as we left, and they gladly returned the greeting. I love the Thai people.

We are now heading south, stopping for a day near the Bridge over the River Kwai and then heading to Bangkok for our flight home. It has been an amazing journey and I am sorry to see it end.


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


Melissashim
PeaAddict

PeaNut 547,027
March 2012
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Loc: Vancouver, BC - Canada

Posted: 11/11/2012 11:07:31 PM
okay, sent you an email


Melissa

IG: melshim
Blog: Memories and Stationery
Youtube: MELISSA604
Twitter: @melissashim

sweetpz
PeaNut

PeaNut 416,881
March 2009
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Loc: Richmond,BC, Canada

Posted: 11/12/2012 12:18:11 AM
Sounds like so much to see and do.
My brother is getting married in Thailand on Nov 17!
Unfortunately with DH's work and the kids in school, we couldn't get time off.

My parents just left for Thailand and Vietnam.
Wish we could go and get out of this WET weather!

Enjoy the rest of your trip and maybe post pics
I'd love to see on your blog if you post there!


~juli


angsandy
PeaNut

PeaNut 479,236
August 2010
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Loc: Singapore

Posted: 11/12/2012 7:05:56 PM
glad you are enjoying it so much. and do share your pics with us


My blog : angsandy.blogspot.com

angsandy
PeaNut

PeaNut 479,236
August 2010
Posts: 322
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Loc: Singapore

Posted: 11/12/2012 7:07:48 PM
call me a crafty foodie but i just love those little fruit and veg made out of bean paste. if you get a chance go see them made, totally shaped by hand it's great and they make fun gifts


My blog : angsandy.blogspot.com

scrappinbetty
Kindness & Compassion - Free to Give, So Valuable

PeaNut 61,111
January 2003
Posts: 13,653
Layouts: 18
Loc: Texas y'all

Posted: 11/15/2012 6:33:20 AM
angsandy, thanks for that tip. Unfortunately I did not see them and we are now on our way home (sitting at the Bangkok airport as I type this). next time!

melissashim, got your email just now. The connection here is painfully slow so I'll email back when I get home and have a faster connection. What kinds of info are you interested in?

sweetpz, what a shame that you were not able to attend your brother's wedding and visit both Thailand and Vietnam with your parents. We have fallen in love with Thailand and hope to be back in SE Asia early next year to see more. Great experience!


Steph
Scrappinbetty

My Blog:
PaperCraftersCorner

Twitter:
@papercrafters


Melissashim
PeaAddict

PeaNut 547,027
March 2012
Posts: 1,428
Layouts: 49
Loc: Vancouver, BC - Canada

Posted: 11/24/2012 1:25:23 PM
Everything and anything


Melissa

IG: melshim
Blog: Memories and Stationery
Youtube: MELISSA604
Twitter: @melissashim
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