Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Outing

My last post finished as we were ready to leave Ming's home and head out. I took a few more photos in the garden before we left. I like the first -- hanging CDs in the tree to try to keep the birds away from the fruit.

Her father had a meeting, so just four of us took off in their 4-door pickup. First we headed northeast of the city to a farmers' market that specializes in organic food. They bought a variety of food, fruit and snacks. We enjoyed looking through the market, although we were pretty late (just after noon) and most were packing up.

This vendor had lots of basketry woven items.

The lone food vendor I got a picture of.
From there we headed out of town to the south and east. They wanted to show us a hot springs spa. There are quite a few in the area, and Ming's mother wanted to show us one that wasn't crowded.

The Sippa Spa was lovely. It had a large grounds. There were tent campers in one area and they offer small bungalows for people to stay in.

After a short walk, we arrived at the hot springs. Outside there are three pools in descending order of temperature. The one closest to us was far to hot to even consider -- it might have been 180°. The second was hot and the third was lukewarm (just right for me!).

First, we were taken into a private bathing area. There were four rooms in one hut, so we were all in there. You can't see from this quite how large it is, but I easily could lie back nearly full length. The taps were incredibly strong; it only took a short time to fill the tub. You could add hot or cold water to regulate the temperature. They gave us some mineral liquid soap that was wonderful, even on my sensitive skin. After lounging in the bath a while, we went into the outside pools. Dan and I didn't have suits with us, so they gave us two towels each, one to wrap and one to dry. It felt a bit odd getting into the water with a thick wet towel around me, but it worked!

When we were finished, we saw this lovely outdoor massage pavilion.

Some water to drink after the dip in the springs.

The next stop was a handicrafts area so Ming could pick up some gifts for people back in the States. It was right across from the umbrella factory, so Dan and I went there. Here we three are standing in front of the entrance.

There was a circuit outside the building where we could see the workers making the various parts of the umbrellas. These are made of paper that is treated so that it is thickened and waterproof. The insides are made of bamboo.

They are all sizes; here are some of the small ones.
Decorative painter working
The shop was huge, with all kinds of umbrellas, fans, and even strings of lights.

From the umbrella factory, we headed back to town. We broke into the snacks in the car and finished off a lot of them! I'm sorry I forgot to take photos, but I found these on the web.

The first are very thin and crispy, slightly sweet. Easy to eat a lot!

We had three types of Thai jelly sweets. Again, they aren't too sweet, slightly coconut flavored, and tasty. We ate the blue ones! In the photo, you can see the layers. Evidently they are fairly difficult to make and take a lot of time, each layer cooked on top of the previous one.

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