Bo Sang is known throughout Thailand as the “umbrella village” on account of the decorative umbrellas produced here. The village is made up almost entirely of shops and factories involved in this craft.
Each umbrella has a wooden handle, bamboo ribs, and a covering of oiled rice paper, silk, or cotton. Craftsmen will usually add names or a personalized design in bold colors if requested. The annual fair includes competitions, exhibitions, and a beauty contest.
Other handicrafts, including silverware, celadon (a grayish green porcelain), and lacquerware, are also sold here. Aside from its umbrella making, Bo Sang is also the heart of a farming community. In the wet season (June to October), the rice fields are a deep green color. From November to January, the fields dry out and turn golden. Farmers then thresh the rice by hand.
Many houses in and around Bo Sang are traditional, wooden Northern Thai structures (see p40) with spacious rooms. They are typically built on stilts and set in small gardens.