The Southeast Asia Chronicles
Destination: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Having returned from an ample period of time touring Southeast Asia, I thought of documenting my travels of the picturesque and breathtaking destinations that I was so sad to say goodbye to. But before doing that I decided to set aside a post for some interesting artefacts or items I gathered along the way. You can imagine my state of mind every time I boarded a plane dreading the risk that the suitcases would not turn up or get lost! But after 14 take-offs and 14 landings, the luggage arrived more or less in one piece and the ‘spoils’ intact. So without further ado here is a showcase of my favourite items that I chose to share with you due to their cultural spin; an attempt to incorporate some style into travel (though I admit it is a far cry from the fashion-related hauls we are accustomed to).
First up are these two bags (I know us women love our carry-alls!) which are quite special to me as I got them whilst visiting the Long Neck Karen tribe and the Hmong village (both in Chiang Mai, Thailand) respectively. These bags are hand-woven and it was definitely a gratifying gesture helping these women cultivate their traditions by buying the products from them directly. The scarf is also a Long Neck Karen creation; while its material is quite delicate, I really liked the two-colour blend and it was difficult to choose one as they had many colour selections.
The next set of items are stationery-related which I am quite keen on. Added to them is a handy pouch for coins and notes when I need to leave my chunky wallet behind (the latter is also a Long Neck Karen purchase; once again the elephant detailing is quite prevalent). As for the diaries, the cloth elephant-themed one I got from the Hmong Village in Chiang Mai whilst ‘The Great Gatsby’ one I was lucky to stumble upon in a museum shop in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam. They had plenty of other novel-related diaries but this was my favourite.
One of the best purchases I made on my trip was this pair of headphones. I can hear you asking ‘What is so special about them?’ If you have ever heard of Bose, then you would know that these are the trendier version of noise-cancelling gadgets. They are indispensable for long-haul flights as they not only sharpen the sound quality of music and films while on the plane but they really make the flying experience a less cumbersome one as they seriously cut down on the engine noise. They came at a good price in relation to the European price tag. I got these from Bangkok, Thailand in one of the ubiquitous malls.
Stay tuned for upcoming fashion- and travel-related posts on Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia!