Introducing Bo Sang & San Kamphaeng
Bo Sang (also often spelt ‘Baw Sang’ or ‘Bor Sang’), 9km east of Chiang Mai on Rte 1006, is also known as the Umbrella Village because of its many umbrella manufacturers. Almost the entire village consists of craft shops selling painted umbrellas, fans, silverware, straw handiwork, bamboo and teak, statuary, china, celadon and lacquerware. You’ll also find the textured sa paper, made from mulberry tree bark.
The larger shops can arrange overseas shipping at reasonable rates. As at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, discounts are offered for bulk purchases. Some places will also pack and post parasols, apparently quite reliably.
In late January the Bo Sang Umbrella Festival (thêtsàkaan rôm) features a colourful umbrella procession during the day and a night-time lantern procession. Although it sounds touristy, this festival is actually a very Thai affair; a highlight is the many northern-Thai music ensembles that perform in shopfronts along Bo Sang’s main street.
Four or 5km further down Rte 1006 is San Kamphaeng, which flourishes on cotton and silk weaving. Shops offering finished products line the main street, although the actual weaving is done in small factories down side streets. There are some good deals to be had here, especially in silk. For cotton, you’d probably do better in Pasang, a lesser-known village near Lamphun, although you may see shirt styles here not available in Pasang.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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