Sunday, January 4, 2015

Saturday on the Go

Wow! Saturday was a full day. I won't be able to put it all into one blog post, so I'll just do the first part. It's Sunday morning here now, and I'm glad to have nothing scheduled until afternoon!

We started Saturday with a repeat of the first breakfast -- muesli with yogurt and fruit at the nearby cafe. As of today, we are having our own breakfast in our room -- muesli with yogurt and fruit!

In mid-morning, we met up with Ming La and her mother. Ming is a master's degree student in Environmental Sciences at Goshen College (in residence at Merry Lea), and we met her through Darab. She told us she would be at home over the holidays and would be glad to see us when we got here. They had some trouble locating us -- we are in a new building, Smith Suites, which is an offshoot of the older Smith Residence, only a few blocks away (we can even see it from our place). All the streets in Chiang Mai are narrow alleyways wandering off the main streets. The map below shows the square of the Old City, surrounded by a mostly crumbled wall and moat. The black X south of the Old City is an approximation of where we are. The Old City is about one mile square.

Once we found each other, they drove us to their family foundation, the Urban Development Institute. Both parents are professors, and they are passionate about the history of this place and reusing of materials. The foundation is housed in an old building and in a beautiful shady compound in the northeast quadrant of the Old City. Chiang Mai was the capital of the Lanna nation, eventually subsumed into the Thai Kingdom.

Bathroom decor - used bottles in windows, CDs for decoration

More bottle windows, recycled plastic as lampshade

Waste materials collected for use in clay bricks - fabric scraps, etc.

Cut fabric traditional Lanna decoration

Beautiful fans

Lanna Basketry

More decorative arts

Lanna clay pots

Roofing made from recycled milk cartons

Ming and her mother

Native flora - the upper one, third in the bottom row, was named for Ming's mother's sister
Inside of fabric parasol, treated to repel rain

Outside of parasol

Another parasol, made of recycled drink containers

Bags made from reclaimed materials, lined with plastic

Special tree in courtyard, largest one left in the city

Model of CM with different lights showing development of tall buildings, etc. (Old City seen as slightly tilted square in center of photo) Map is about 10 years old.

Entry to the foundation building

Model of traditional Lanna house

Waste cans made of rubber scraps from sandal factory

Well in courtyard
After that, they drove us around town a bit. We went into and out of the largest temple area, then through the Wararot Day Market area. We had a short stop there at Kasem's Store, a grocery that caters to the "farang" (foreign) population, where we quickly picked up two bags of muesli, more tea bags, bread, and cheese. We hadn't been able to find these things in the shops near us. I have a feeling we will return there! From Wararot, we crossed the river and drove along it on the far side. We learned that rich Chinese merchants had lived there, and more history too much for me to remember! We crossed back over and returned to our hotel. Ming was leaving that evening to return to Goshen. Thank you more than we can say to Ming and her charming mother for showing us around.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating recycling! Lots of creativity. What a good opportunity to know Ming from Goshen.


Please send me your thoughts about my posts.