Delicious, functional or junk? It’s time to review the items I bought from Thailand, starting from the edibles:
Lemongrass tea – I love lemongrass tea, not only does it smell good, it also tastes very refreshing. It is natural and full of antioxidants: it is detoxifying, good for digestion and can lower high blood pressure. Since I avoided caffeine drinks in the evenings, lemongrass tea has become one of my favourite drinks after an evening meal.
Mulberry tea – I bought this tea for my father, who suffers from diabetes… Apparently it is also full of antioxidants, it strengthens the immune system and reduces bad cholesterol. But best of all, it prevents the body from absorbing many common sugars and helps manage diabetes. My father seemed pretty impressed when I explained the benefits to him, but whether he will drink it is another a matter!
Instant vegetables – whenever I travel, visiting local supermarkets is a ‘must’ on my itinerary and I usually need at least 30 minutes to wander around ( unless it’s a really crappy one). I was quite curious when I saw the Urban farm instant vegetables packs ( don’t be put off by the word ‘instant’) at a high-end supermarket in Bangkok. They are actually all natural, without MSG nor preservatives, and can be cooked with rice, noodles and soup etc. There are 5 different flavours and seem pretty convenient, hence I bought a stack and gave some to a friend who doesn’t like to cook.
Coffee – Coffee shops are everywhere in Chiang Mai, so I was determined to bring home some local roasted coffee. I found Duang Dee hill tribe coffee in a large local supermarket, what attracted me was the fact that it is organically grown, hand picked and roasted in the nearby mountains by tribal farmers. There are three blends available and I went for the 100% Arabian. I then found out that a percentage of the coffee sales would contribute towards other tribal development projects, which was quite a nice surprise.
At Chiang Mai‘s Herbs basics ( which I mentioned in the previous entry), I bought a range of gift items, including a herbal massage compress for my mother, incense sticks for my father and body butters for myself and friends. I thought the kaffir lime body butter is quite fantastic, although it has a slightly sweet smell, the texture is just right ( I think it’s even better than L’Occitane’s). My friend also texted to tell me how much she ( and her boyfriend) love the Lavender body butter, so I am quite impressed with this brand and their ‘low’ priced but high quality products.
Greeting cards & note pads – these lovely cards and note pads were bought from Chiang Mai‘s Things called art ( see my previous entry). I just love the elephant-inspired illustrations and products, they are so cute!
3-d greeting card – In my previous entry, I mentioned Nancy Chandler‘s maps of Chiang Mai, but since the company is a graphic design studio, it’s not surprising that they would also produce greeting cards. I esp. like this unqiue 3-d illustration of a local house.
Rubber stamps: I love rubber stamps, and when I saw this Japanese inspired set of rubber stamps, I couldn’t resist them even though I am not sure when I will get to use them!
Credit card holders – Good job is a Thai lifestyle brand that sells modern and unique stationery, home and fashion accessories. Founded by an architect and two designers, the company has received many international design awards since they started in 2005. I was looking for a credit card holder, and I like their simple but practical card holders, so I bought one in YELLOW and one in boring black…
Stamp sets – Last but not least, these lovely stamp collections are probably my favourite souvenirs from the trip and I gave one set to my brother who like me, used to collect stamps. I spent a long time at the Chiang Mai Philatelic Museum, examining the large collection, including ones on folk tales ( created by well-known local artists), the Royal family and Buddhist archaeological sights etc. Not exactly useful but really beautiful.