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Re: [BKARTS] Thailand - Books - Paper Mills



>I am very keen to visit the mills in the North that 
>make the unryu and mulberry handmade papers 
>but don't know where to start. Has anyone visited? 
>Know where they are/how to contact them?

I have been to Thailand twice - once to help set up an elementary school
library, and once on vacation.

A lot of the "mills" and "factories" in Thailand are much smaller than
you would think.  I went to one paper mill that was just three large
open-air structures in someone's backyard, run by a family and some
neighbors.  They make beautiful paper in large quantities.  I also
visited a Buddhist statue "factory" that was similar in size, but
produced tons of bronze figures.

In some areas there are women's collectives that make paper.  While the
men go to work in the fields or the city, the women in a neighborhood
may set up a paper mill in one or more backyards.  I know that some of
them grow their own trees and plants to use in paper production, as
well.  

Finding these sorts of mills and factories can be difficult without a
guide.  They aren't necessarily on any bus routes, and most are not
advertised anywhere.  Guides are easy to find in Thailand, but it
probably wouldn't be a bad idea to try to contact a guide company and
see if someone could set up a guided tour for you (travel agents may be
useful in this regard, too).

>Can anyone suggest good paper/book related 'must sees'?

I didn't find any, but I wasn't specifically looking for them.  The
paper mills often produce paper-based items in addition to sheets of
paper, so you can generally buy blank books covered with different
papers from them.  All of the mills and factories (of any sort) that I
visited sold things on-site, as well as selling them to distributors.

Thailand is a very interesting place to visit overall - I'm sure you
will have a lot of fun.  The people are very friendly, it's relatively
safe (except for some areas of Bangkok), it's a beautiful country, and
everything is very, very inexpensive.  The main cost is getting there -
after that, you will be amazed at how far your dollar goes.

Jesse Ephraim

Youth Services Librarian
Southlake Public Library
1400 Main St., Ste. 130
Southlake, TX  76092

Email:   jephraim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Phone: (817) 748-8248
FAX:    (817) 748-8250
www.southlakelibrary.org
uncommonly friendly service

                                    
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