I recall visiting various handicraft factories in Chiang Mai way back in 1985 and to my delight not much has changed. Silverware is still hand beaten; Lacquerware hand made, a small piece can take many weeks, silk hand woven. At each factory the process is demonstrated - many of you would have seen similar in your travels. Below you can see silversmiths at work.

silversmiths at work

And here organic dyes are being prepared to be used for the silks. organic dyes

It was wonderful to watch these lacquered elephants being painted by a woman who didn't need a pattern at follow so experienced she was at her craft. painted elephants

My favourite was the handmade umbrella and fan factory. umbrellas

The products are so colourful and each step completed by an expert - all are paid by the piece. The Borsang factory was visited by Lady Di in 1988 and has an interesting history. Borsand factory

An artist offered to paint our purses or mobile phone cases - too good to pass up! My purse is now painted with humming birds. Butterflies

And butterflies jazz up my mobile phone cover. Butterflies

Our guide Kat was born in the year of the rooster - a very proud fellow now adorns the leg of her jeans. Kat's Leg

I have always regretted not buying a hand painted parasol as I travelled throughout Asia - now I have the challenge of getting this one home! my new umbrella

If you happen to be interested- this 5 minute video was taken at Borsang and very similar to what I saw.

More from me tomorrow on The Golden Triangle. Jane