If you go for a drive out along San Kamphaeng Road to look at all the silk, silverware and gem factories and showrooms be sure to go and visit the Bo Sang Handicraft Centre (8km south east from Chiang Mai).
The local artisans make the world famous Sa Paper umbrellas and parasols that would be a treasured gift for either yourself or someone special back at home.
You can watch the whole process as the workers hand make the paper lamps, fans, umbrellas and parasols from start to end.
From making the bamboo struts, covering them with paper, putting them out to dry and then hand painting them.
The artists in the Handicraft Centre who meticulously hand paint all the decorations on to the umbrellas are always willing to paint a variety of beautiful designs on items that you bring to them (for example a Purse, handbag, hat, jacket, t-shirt, even the leg of your jeans).
Even very complicated scenic designs can be painted on your object right in front of you in minutes. Prices are extremely reasonable and are negotiated with the particular artist, don’t be stingy with your money as you will be very proud to show off the beautiful finished product.
There is a large shop attached to the Bo Sang Handicraft Centre which sells a huge variety of exquisitely painted umbrellas and parasols along with other locally made handicraft products. If you don’t have room in your luggage to fit all your purchases, the centre can easily arrange to post the goods overseas to your home for you. (Credit Information : www.visitchiangmai.com.au)